How to make perfect biscuits, plus 9 recipes

Really good biscuits are tender, lighter than air, and should be eaten straight out of the oven, while they're still warm. Whether you like your biscuits with a touch of tang from buttermilk, a little zing from ginger or made with cold milk, cream, shortening or lard, there are certain tips that can help you achieve the perfect biscuit every time 

Here are some general tips to help elevate your biscuit game: 

Keep your ingredients cold: Make sure all of the ingredients -- including flour and leavener -- are cold. Place your measured dry ingredients in the freezer 30 minutes or so before using. This helps to keep the ingredients from warming as the dough is worked, which could result in tough biscuits.

Don't overwork the dough: Mix the ingredients just until incorporated and the dough comes together. Overworking the dough will result in dense, tough biscuits.

Thickness counts: If you're craving high biscuits, roll the dough so that it's no less than about an inch thick before cutting.

Punch the dough, don't twist: Use your cutter to punch out the biscuits, careful not to twist the cutter. Twisting seals the layers and disrupts the rising of the biscuits.

Eat them right away: Biscuits don't have a long shelf life. Savor them while they're still warm.

Now that you've got the basics down, here are nine biscuit recipes to try. 

Buttermilk biscuits and burnt orange honey butter

One bite and you won't wonder why these biscuits were one of our top 10 recipes of the year in 2013. The recipe, from Govind Armstrong of Willie Jane, combines puffed, golden buttermilk biscuits with a side of sweetened honey butter flavored with caramelized orange juice.

Mangalitsa lard biscuits

If you've never heard of the word, Mangalitsa is a heritage pig breed known for its flavorful fat. The lard is a favorite of pastry chefs and bakers. That particular lard can be hard to find, but the recipe will work using standard lard. Serve these beauties with sausage gravy for a breakfast to be remembered.
Ginger biscuits

These biscuits, from Hans Rockenwagner, are the perfect wake-up call with their combination of sweet crystallized ginger and spicy fresh-grated ginger.
Sausage biscuits

These biscuits are studded with flavorful bits of country sausage, cheddar cheese and green onion.
Angel biscuits

These classic biscuits are light and airy with a yeast-leavened dough.

Harris Ranch buttermilk biscuits

These biscuits are crisp and golden on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, and they have just the right hint of tang from the buttermilk. 
Durty Nelly's cheddar green onion biscuits

A little cheddar cheese and green onion take these biscuits to the next level.
Maple bacon biscuits

From Zoe Nathan, these incredibly flaky biscuits are sweetened with rich maple syrup and studded with no less than one pound of bacon. Life doesn't get much better than this.
Eula Mae's buttermilk biscuits

If you've never heard of Eula Mae Dore, she was a Southern cook who made her name working for the McIlhenny family of Tabasco sauce fame on Avery Island, La. You won't find any hot sauce in this recipe, but you'll find it hard to forget these biscuits' light and flaky texture.

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