Quest for the Perfect Biscuit

For several years, my wife and I have been on an on-again-off-again quest for the perfect biscuit. Actually, we’ve found that Cracker Barrel biscuits come pretty close to perfection. They are light and fluffy on the inside, they don’t crumble and fall apart and they’re not hard and crusty on the outside like Hardee’s biscuits.

The problem is our goal isn’t just to find the perfect biscuits, it’s to be able to reproduce the perfect biscuit in our own kitchen. I don’t want to have to drive 30 miles to the nearest Cracker Barrel every time I want the perfect biscuit. I mean, how hard could that be? All biscuits are are just self-rising flour, shortening and buttermilk. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. We’ve gotten all the right ingredients, but there is a apparently a combination of technique and ingredients that continues to elude us.

Recently, the best we’ve been able to do is the Bisquick recipe. Those are pretty close–they rise like they should and the biscuits taste pretty good, but they are still not as light and fluffy as Cracker Barrel biscuits.

The frustrating thing is that every Cracker Barrel that I’ve ever been to, the biscuits always taste the same. They are always light and fluffy and absolutely delicious. What that means, of course, is that there are hundreds of people that make these light, fluffy biscuits as a matter of course. It can’t be that hard. It must be fairly easy to do. They have the right ingredients and right technique and voila! Light, fluffy biscuits, every time. And yet, I have been shut out of this elite group, missing some key ingredient or technique that leaves me frustrated and settling for second-rate biscuits. Oh, and Cracker Barrel doesn’t give out recipes.

To be honest, I’d almost given up hope.

Then my wife had the wonderfully bright idea of Googling “Cracker Barrel biscuit recipe”. A number of sites popped up with recipes of biscuits that taste “just-like Cracker Barrel” biscuits. Oh, joy! We were finally going to be able to make the perfect biscuit. And yet we tried the recipes one by one, and still no dice. Too crumbly, too hard, not fluffy. What could be wrong!?

*Sigh* Please pass the Bisquick.