The Great Big Biscuit Challenge


While most folks put dropping pounds or learning a new language  as their New Year’s Resolutions, at the top of my list is to make a better biscuit. I mean really; how can one call yourself a Southern gal and not make a decent biscuit?  I’m stepping forward and pleading guilty to that one. My biscuits are usually of good flavor but rather dense and heavy for my liking (& also Big Sugar’s when pressed to give honest feedback).

So on the first day of the new year I put everyone in the house to work.  Belly up to the bar, grab a biscuit and let the ratings begin.  Three different biscuit recipes were used; an old recipe I had claiming to be just like Bojangles, the second from the back of the White Lily Flour bag and the last,  a back-of-the-can traditional baking powder biscuit.  Two of the recipes used self-rising flour and the other all-purpose  For the fat,  good old-fashioned lard and the other two good ol’ Crisco.  Each recipe also called for a different baking temp though all were baked at pretty high heat. Each was brushed with melted butter as they came out of the oven.

Here’s how the biscuits looked for judging-

Biscuit A: Bojangles Biscuit Wanna-Be

Preheat oven to 450 degrees/ bake 12 min

3 C. Self-rising flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp powdered sugar

1/2 C. lard

1 1/4 C. buttermilk

Biscuit B: Southern Soft-Flour Biscuit

preheat oven to 500 degrees/ bake 8-10 minutes

2 C. White Lily Self-Rising Flour

1/4 C. cold Crisco

2/3-3/4 C. buttermilk

I added one tsp sugar

Biscuit C: Baking Powder Biscuit

preheat oven to 475 degrees/ bake 11 minutes ( I only baked these 10 min because they browned quickly…uh, that’s a hint)

2 C. All-Purpose Flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 C. cold Crisco

3/4 C. buttermilk

I added one tsp of sugar

I TB melted butter (brush on top before baking)

And so the judging began. Well, let me back up, the  judges had to be slowed down a bit so that the nibbling didn’t commence willy-nilly.  The biscuits were kept separated on their baking sheets (all baked on parchment).  And of course, we had mounds of softened butter and Hawaiian Honey but the initial bite had to be of a naked biscuit. We’re running a tight ship here.

Angela took the role as scribe.  She also directed the boys which biscuit to each first.  I gotta tell ya, it was hard not to tell them which was which. But I wanted to let them taste & judge  in the blind.

Check out the comments and cool chart that Angela put up on our kitchen board:


We all designated our number one choice for the best biscuit and then which ones came in second and third place.

The Soft Southern flour and the Baking Powder Biscuits tied for first place with the copy-cat Bojangles (Biscuit A)  judged by all to be the least favorite of the bunch.

Here’s the comments:

Biscuit A: dry & salty

Biscuit B: buttery, best looking, moist (Cameron & Angela’s top pick)

Biscuit C: Flaky, buttery (Mike and My fave but Cam & Ang thought it was dark and heavy)

What’s to be learned from this?  Biscuit tasting Contests are a great way to start your day (& year)!

And I learned cold Crisco and a high oven temp produce the lightest flakiest biscuit.

Now I can get started on the other things on my resolution list. And I better put the biscuit baking on hold to get  to the other resolutions especially the one involving less calories. C’est Bon!







Southern & Sweet…Carolina Cornbread




Let’s start with a cornbread controversy.  Southern cornbread purists will tell you that this delicious skillet of baked corn goodness should be savory, no sugar.  And folks, they’re serious ’bout that. Pop that cornbread batter in hot oil and you’ve got a hush puppy. Order cornbread in Hawaii and you will be served corn bread that has been baked in a square pan and it ‘s buttery and sweet like cake. Heck y’all, it IS cake.  Really good corn cake.They’re both wonderful when done right. 

Barbecue is happy to have some cornbread alongside. Collard greens put it to work, sopping up all that pot likker.  Sweetpea says my Daddy liked to eat it soaked in buttermilk and a spoon.  But my favorite is with cold baked beans.  That to me is such a great and simple lunch but be warned; it’ll put ya in a carb coma.     ah bliss…You can fancy it up with bacon, corn niblets, cheddar cheese, onion and my buddy Jim likes to bakes his spicy by adding chopped hot peppers.  

My recipe is southern(savory) and a lil’ sweet.  Me and my cast iron skillet are currently baking this cornbread on Channel 53, Olelo.

Here’s some tips before you start. Put your cast iron skillet in the cold oven and then preheat; you want it to heat up slowly.  Have the batter made before you put the butter in the hot skillet. The butter just takes a moment to melt and you don’t want it to burn. Not to be bossy but you gotta use yellow cornbread.  Folks, cornbread is golden. In more ways than one.


Put cast iron skillet in oven, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 1 TB yellow cornmeal

2/3 c.sugar

1 TB baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

3 eggs

1 1/4 c buttermilk

1/3 c. vegetable oil

3 TB melted butter

In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Melt  butter in microwave.  In separate bowl, whisk eggs and remaining wet ingredients.

Slowly add butter to egg mixture.  Add wet batter into the dry ingredients, stirring just to combine.  Add 2 tablespoons butter to hot skillet in oven.  Swirl the skillet to have butter evenly distributed. Carefully, pour batter into the very hot skillet.  Bake 33-35 minutes until golden brown.  Once baked, keep cornbread in the skillet until cooled, uncovered. This will keep the crust crisp. Lightly brush with additional butter. Why not, right?   

My recipe is southern(savory) and a lil’ sweet.  I am currently baking this cornbread on Channel 53, Olelo.