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The lowdown on different types of biscuits – plus ideas for your next meal.
From simple side to delicious dish, biscuits are a great, inexpensive and easy-to-make food for your next meal. Biscuits can be enjoyed in any number of ways from sandwiches, treats, main dishes or complements to a main dish or soup.
Types of Biscuits
Along with the various ways you can work biscuits into a meal, there are several different types of biscuits. The biggest difference is probably between the so-called American and English biscuits. In America, most typically think of biscuits like those you get at your favorite fried chicken restaurant chain – light, buttery and soft. In many other areas of the world, biscuits are more akin to American cookies – hard and sweet.
Today, I’ll be focusing on American biscuits.
Biscuits were brought to the early Americas as a cheap and easy way to feed lots of people. Back then, they were generally made and served with warm gravy – still a favorite meal in the US, especially in the southern states.
Most American biscuit recipes are pretty similar. As you can see from a few of Tablespoon’s biscuit recipes –Gold Medal Classic Biscuits and Famous Buttermilk Biscuits – the ingredients are mostly the same. Usually, it’s just the proportions of those ingredients that change from recipe to recipe, but there are still some great substitutions and additions that can be made.
Besides classic biscuits made with flour, milk and shortening, a few other variations exist. Buttermilk biscuits replace milk or water with buttermilk to give the biscuit a slightly different taste. Cheese biscuits add in shredded cheese to offer a little more variety. Or, you can get even more creative with recipes like this one for Bacon Quiche Biscuit Cups.
Biscuits are typically mixed by hand to ensure the shortening is blended into the dough evenly. After kneading the dough, biscuits can be either spoon dropped onto a pan for "drop" biscuits or they can be cut out using a cookie cutter or an old, clean soup can. Drop biscuits turn out a bit crispier as the top of the biscuit is filled with peaks and valleys whereas cut biscuits turn out a bit more polished looking. Large drop biscuits are sometimes called "cat head" biscuits for their large cat-like appearance.
Topping It Off
When it comes to eating your biscuit, you’ve got several options. As mentioned earlier, biscuits and gravy are a common pair. Breakfast sandwiches are also quite popular, and can easily be made by quickly microwaving an egg in a small glass dish and adding cheese and bacon bits. For a sweeter food, you can top your biscuit with honey or jelly.
There’s no end to the ways you can use biscuits. Be sure to take a moment to share your fave or add your own biscuit recipe!