Biscuits: flaky vs. fluffy

Yes, we’re talking about butter again. You can’t really avoid it in baked goods (at least, I don’t want to), so we may as well embrace it and make it work for us.

It sort of blows my mind that these biscuits have the same basic recipe. As far as ingredients and baking go, they’re identical. The stark differences, in everything from appearance to texture to crust and even to flavor, illustrate the extreme importance of how we add the butter and process the dough.

Biscuits: flaky vs. fluffy

As we talked about last week, the laminated biscuits get cold, flat, thin sheets of butter. We work them delicately into the dough, then fold and roll out a couple of times to get even bigger, thinner layers of butter. When the water from the butter hits the hot oven, bam! Layers galore.

This week, we ditch the finger-pressed butter and leave the rolling pin in the cupboard for a super easy biscuit that turns out beautifully soft and fluffy. Forget about leaving out the butter or thinly slicing it—just throw it in the microwave and melt it. Using melted butter means we stir it in much more completely, so we get butter evenly distributed instead of in thin sheets. This gives the dough a tighter, more regular crumb and gets that buttery goodness into every nook and cranny.

The second difference here is the processing. Rather than folding and rolling like we did for the flaky biscuits, fluffy biscuits require just a simple stir and plop method. We needed to develop gluten for the structural integrity of the flaky biscuits, but fluffy biscuits turn out best with as little structure as possible to keep the insides nice and tender. Stir them together until everything feels incorporated, then step away from the mixing spoon.

So which one wins? I don’t know if I can choose! The flaky biscuits show off their buttery layers, but the fluffy biscuits break apart into melt-in-your-mouth crumbs. In the end, I have to go with flaky—can’t beat a showstopper like this guy!

Flaky biscuits and honey butter |