Best fat for southern biscuits ?

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Joined Jul 15, 2006
I have always used Crisco shortening when making my Southern biscuits but for health reasons I am going to stop using Crisco (hydrogenated =very bad for arteries). So, I switched to using butter, however I do not get the same high-rise. I am hoping that I can get a discussion going to look at other ways of making biscuits that DOES NOT involve hydrogenated fat. If memory serves I started using Crisco many years ago because Shirley O. Corriher recommended it in her book "Bakewise". So, what say you ?
 
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There is 16 to 18% water in most butter, that could be the reason. You could use Ghee or make your own clarified butter. I would also freeze it and then grate it into your biscuit recipe so it melts in small pieces slowly during the baking.......ChefBillyB
 
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Go ahead and use the Crisco. Their oils are fully hydrogenated which means they become saturated and have no trans fats in them. Crisco uses soybean and palm oils, again both fully hydrogenated.
It is the partially hydrogenated oils that raise your bad cholesterol and lowers you good.
 
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There are some excellent suggestions in this thread, all of which I agree with. However, to add to these suggestions, you could also try lard. Compared to butter, its very close in terms of flavor and you won't have the water issue that ChefBillyB pointed out.

If you are artery health conscious, believe it or not, in many ways lard is better than butter on that score. It contains no trans fats and more than half of its composition is mono saturated, which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. On the other hand, butter is less than half mono saturated fat.

I hope this helps. Good luck! :)
 

phatch

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Damon Lee Fowler gives a recipe for olive oil biscuits in New Southern Baking that work well. I'll occasionally use chicken, turkey or duck schmalz if the meal matches up and I have any available. Sometimes a little bacon or sausage drippings but only as a partial substitute then. If they're too thin, freeze them to increase the solidity as necessary for cutting in.
 
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chefross, I was unaware that Crisco no longer has trans fats (or at least very small amounts). this morning I did some reading about Crisco and it sure looks like you're correct.
 
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I have always used Crisco shortening when making my Southern biscuits but for health reasons I am going to stop using Crisco (hydrogenated =very bad for arteries). So, I switched to using butter, however I do not get the same high-rise. I am hoping that I can get a discussion going to look at other ways of making biscuits that DOES NOT involve hydrogenated fat. If memory serves I started using Crisco many years ago because Shirley O. Corriher recommended it in her book "Bakewise". So, what say you ?
Hmmmm, I use real butter all the time when making my Biscuits and they rise up for me. Personally I prefer the taste too when using real Butter. And our Guests love my Biscuits.
 
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If you don't use lard or shorting it's not southern. We use Crisco as my mother did. Grand parents used lard and my grandfather died in his nineties. He retired in his late eighties and walked four blocks back and fourth to work. He walked home for lunch likely for those wonderful green beans cooked with bacon drippings my grand mother made.
 
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Bah! We use butter and we're southern. We've used leaf lard when we first started butchering our own hogs, but prefer butter.

If you want to get technical, southern biscuits use a specific flour (soft wheat) but shipping and modern grocery stores have changed that for most.
 
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I don’t really want to intrude on a Southern conversation but Yankees use Crisco to make biscuits (Spy or lard in the olden days). The flour difference is profound. I spent time in the South and fell in love with Martha White. At one time I’d fill a suitcase with both flour and corn meal to keep me going between assignments in the South. Also fell in love with the diversity of Southern biscuits. But whether Yankee or Southern... they need to be slathered with butter, gravy or jam.
 
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Hmmmm, I use real butter all the time when making my Biscuits and they rise up for me. Personally I prefer the taste too when using real Butter. And our Guests love my Biscuits.
I use White Lily Self Rising Flour bleached, or unbleached, heavy whipping cream and whole milk to finish off. Here is a question I need answered about biscuits. I did a breakfast for 20 people, made biscuits the day before and froze them. Next day, let them thaw for 1 hr, brush tops with butter. They did not rise as well as the ones I have always done. How to do them ?
 
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I don’t get it. Why bake ahead and freeze? Making a couple of trays of biscuits isnt very time intensive. Why not make them right before breakfast?
 

phatch

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Cream biscuits usually forgo other cats in my experience. This produces a less flaky bicsuit but still good in its own right
 

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