JoJo’s Biscuits

May 19, 2018
34 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes About 20 biscuits
Author Notes

From Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table cookbook: "It took me a year of Saturdays to get these biscuits just right. Almost every weekend for months I worked up another batch for Chip and the kids to taste and then wrote down their feedback. Biscuit after biscuit was judged to be too heavy, too light, too flat, too salty, too dry, or just... not right. I don’t entirely know what kept me going back to the mixing bowl, but something inside me was clearly determined to prevail. All those failed batches didn’t discourage me—instead each one spurred me to tweak my formula and try again the next week. Of course it helped that I had a houseful of agreeable taste testers who delivered their criticisms with kindness, and encouraged me to keep at it with the kind of enthusiasm that can only be mustered by people who really love biscuits.

I vividly remember the moment I finally nailed it, when the whole family declared simultaneously, 'This is it.' They have been our family's Saturday-morning breakfast ever since. Among the tricks I worked out along the way are the somewhat unusual addition of eggs and the way they are arranged for baking so that they all touch, both of which contribute to the moisture, lightness, and loft of these biscuits.

Chip thinks they are nothing less than heaven on earth. Every Saturday he has the same breakfast— fried eggs cooked over-medium and two biscuits, one slathered with butter and strawberry jam and the other one tucked under a generous serving of sausage gravy. Every week he declares that it’s the best breakfast he has ever had. And every week the kids reply, 'Dad, you say that every time!' These biscuits have become so ingrained in our lives that when our oldest, Drake, went away to summer camp for the first time he wrote me a card that said, in part, 'Dear Mom, I miss you so much. All I can think about is home and your biscuits and gravy. Promise me that as soon I get back, we’ll have biscuits and gravy.' Naturally, I framed the card.

When we opened Magnolia Table, there was no question these biscuits had to be on the menu, so I turned the recipe over to the chefs to transform it to suit the needs of a restaurant kitchen. (I make only twenty at a time; they make hundreds of them every day.) When the time came to decide which of my family's favorites would go in this cookbook, I knew not only that I had to share the biscuits, but also that the recipe had to be the very first one in the book." —Food52

Test Kitchen Notes

I'm pretty sure I reached biscuit nirvana when I first tried Joanna Gaines’ biscuits. I had long admired her and her husband Chip’s home renovation artistry on their hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper, but after my initial bite, I had yet another reason to swoon. Buttery, flaky, and tender, JoJo’s Biscuits, as these cuties are known, came after more than a year of taste-testing among the opinionated Gaines clan. Hey, biscuit prowess doesn’t come overnight.

What makes this recipe an incredible one are two noteworthy additions: eggs, which are not so common in biscuit recipes (unless you’re using one to brush the tops); and salted butter. The eggs enrich the dough, while the salted butter give ‘em that lip-smacking quality that has you going in for the next bite. Lucky for us, Jo shares her family recipe with us and in her new book, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering. —Hana Asbrink

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups self-rising flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) salted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or grated
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, plus 1 large egg for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or as needed, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
  • Strawberry jam or classic gravy, for serving
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are even and about the size of peas.
  2. Stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in 1½ cups buttermilk until the dough comes together into a sticky mass. If it is too dry, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until it reaches the correct consistency. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Use your floured hands to press it into a round roughly 14 inches across and about 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Use a floured 2 3/4- inch round cutter to cut out about 20 biscuits. If necessary, collect and pat out the scraps to cut more biscuits.
  6. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, arranging them so that they all are touching. In a small dish, beat together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon buttermilk. Brush the mixture on the top of the biscuits.
  7. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  8. Biscuits are best the day they are made (and ideally fresh out of the oven!). Serve with strawberry jam or gravy, if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  9. NOTE: For longer storage, arrange the biscuits about 1/2 inch apart on two parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and freeze until solid. Transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. There is no need to thaw them before baking.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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61 Reviews

Anne L. December 31, 2022
A very good, tender biscuit with a lovely crumb & exquisite, satisfying crunch. The next time I make them we'll LOVE them as I agree, too much baking powder. I was concerned the "base" notes of the soda contained therein would be evident in the final product. Bingo, I could detect it enough to know it was a bit off. I will make this recipe again with half the additional baking powder. I feel it will rise beautifully & not have the aftertaste. Never used an egg prior to biscuits, it was a good addition & the egg/buttermilk wash on top was a crowning touch.
Foodlovermoroccan July 2, 2022
Idk why this is not rated 5 stars. Its a fantastic recipe and def a keeper I am not switching! Whoever gave lower than 5 stars just did not do the recipe right.
Shirley M. December 19, 2021
So. It's just me? These biscuits are flaky enough, for sure. But, there is no, FLAVOR!!! I kept checking the recipe afterwards, because this was my second time paking them, and, I got the SAME thought, did I forget the, SALT? Nope. Doesn't call for any salt. But, I sure don't think it could, HURT this biscuit recipe. Sorry. I don't get all the fuss over it.
conway55 January 19, 2021
Growing up in low country South Carolina, a biscuit a sacred food. It is not to be taken lightly. My mother as well as other Moms, Aunts, Cooks made biscuits that made you cry. I love Southern Made biscuits done the right way---that have endured the test of time. Like the pizza is Italian the biscuit is Southern. Let us hold on to our heritage recipes and pass these tried and true recipes down to generations to come....
Lori W. January 16, 2021
I just wanted to say best biscuits ever it was so good my husband was like wow 😳 I really enjoyed them myself and my big bloodhound took off with one that he could reach with his nose husband approved and dog also
Angela R. September 16, 2020
omg, thank god I found this site. I made these for my family and was so embarrassed because I thought I messed up. They tasted just like baking powder. Im glad it wasnt just me. I'll try again with a different recipe.
Lori W. January 16, 2021
Mine came out perfectly if you make your own self rising flour whisk all your ingredients first before you added butter and eggs and buttermilk it comes out perfect
Lana M. August 9, 2020
These biscuits are terrible. Made them exactly as written. Because they already have self-rising flour and huge amounts of baking soda and powder, all I can taste is the leavening. Plus the egg does make them fluffy but that also makes them not like a biscuit. They are more like cake.
Anne L. December 31, 2022
I made them for the first time today & followed the recipe as written, cut it in half for family size. I was concerned about the extra baking powder but wanted to give this recipe an honest try. I've been making biscuits from scratch for decades now & often without a recipe, just knowledge & feel. I could taste the off note of the baking soda, my husband & daughter didn't detect it. I'll try it again with half the additional leavening & believe it will me spot on. Some bakers add a pinch of sugar to their biscuit recipes for the same reason, I prefer not to do so.
Ach25 June 17, 2020
I followed the recipe just reducing to 1 tablespoon of baking powder like other reviews suggested.I felt that taste of too much baking powder and smelled it to. It's too much baking powder. I am sad to say I did not like them. First recipe I tried from her cookbooks. I hope others are decent. Going back to my biscuit recipe of Once upon a Chef.
Antonio V. September 21, 2019
I read the comments and decided not to say anything. I think the person who loved their recipe got the point. Not every recipe works out well by following directions. Sometimes you have to see it done. The ingredient always missing in the recipe is love.
marilu September 21, 2019
I’ve made these many times and love them so much. I love them with a little bit of butter and raspberry jam. I keep a bag of these in the freezer at all times and bake them for a quick afternoon pick-me-up with tea. Yum! Thank you for posting!
allen September 20, 2019
seems that your making self-rising flour starting with self-rising flour! then adding salted butter, etc. I'd love to see the sodium numbers for this recipe.
allen September 20, 2019
with so many great recipes out there (if you still need one) try Nathalie or Virginia Willis, or how 'bout Dora Charles or especially Miss Edna Lewis! this one's just weird; got the buttermilk right, though!
Karla G. September 1, 2019
stick to raising children. baking is not your forte.

Karla G. September 1, 2019
You are going to HAVE TO slather it with something to make it taste like anything.
Shirley M. December 19, 2021
My thoughts, EXACTLY. I've tried twice. I'm done.
Karla G. September 1, 2019
I am a Certified Professional Chef. I just made them. Shear garbage. She wasted a year on this?????????
malia May 28, 2021
I kept thinking the “self rising” flour was a typo. Way way too much leavening. A waste of heritage wheat and kerrygold butter. 😢
Shirley M. December 19, 2021
Tina W. February 8, 2019
These biscuits are DIVINE. I added butter and jam so I can't speak to it being too salty. It was perfect with butter and jam.
Terri G. January 18, 2019
I have made these biscuits twice now. I made the first batch as written, but didn't like the bitter aftertaste, so the second batch I added some sugar, thinking that it might help. It didn't. I love the texture and look of these biscuits but not the bitterness. I think the recipe calls for too much baking powder which leaves an aftertaste. If I try again, I will reduce the baking powder to one tablespoon.
Julie W. January 12, 2019
Eggs do not belong in southern biscuits.
Julie W. January 12, 2019
I've been to Magnolia Table restaurant and the biscuits are great with eggs. I've made the biscuit recipe 3 times at home and they always seem to be too dense and heavy. My favorite biscuit is CALLIE'S in South Carolina. Like a little cloud with butter!
Julie K. January 8, 2019
I made these today and this recipe is by far the best homemade biscuit recipe. The biscuits turned out perfect! They did not crumble when sliced as some homemade biscuits do.
Kaye S. January 7, 2019
I've been making biscuits for 50 years and I must say these are the worst biscuits I have ever made or tasted. A crumbly mess of something that resembles a very bad yellow cake without sugar. We couldn't even eat them, threw them in the garbage. I do hope no one thinks this represents a southern biscuit as I grew up in the south, had homemade biscuits every morning and I never tasted a biscuit like this! Love their show, hate the biscuits!