The Quest

I’m on a quest. I shall be wearing shining armor, charging around on a white horse…just kidding. I will actually be wearing an apron, charging around covered in white flour. Almost the same thing.

I’m on a quest for the perfect buttermilk biscuit. It all started at Ruth’s Diner in Salt Lake City.

Ruth’s has been in Salt Lake for 80 years. My mom still tells stories about skipping classes in high school and going to Ruth’s for breakfast. But more to the point, this is still a family favorite for breakfasts. And the buttermilk biscuits here are TO DIE FOR.

Literally. If a plate of Ruth’s biscuits were lying on a track in front of a speeding train, I would absolutely jump onto the rails to rescue the biscuits. And then I would eat them in a celebration of my victory.

Oh yeah. I would totally do that.


Huh? What? Where was I? Sorry about that. Just thinking about these biscuits, I get a little distracted.

Thus began my biscuit quest. I am going to figure out (eventually) how to make a similarly awesome biscuit. And then I’ll probably make them every day for a year.

I started with a standard cream biscuit because it was easy, and I forgot to bake bread and I was out of yeast. Or something like that. The cream biscuits are good, but not amazing. They are soft and tasty and a tiny bit sweet, but not fluffy and tall like Ruth’s.

Next up was a variety of buttermilk biscuit I found in one of my cookbooks. It was also good, but not as fluffy as I wanted, and somehow too salty even if I only put in half the salt the recipe called for. Sad.

So I tried another version of buttermilk biscuits.

I’m extremely pleased to report that these are getting pretty close. I think the remaining key (in addition to the ever-so-crucial buttermilk) is going to be yeast and some rising time. I’m convinced that Ruth’s biscuits are actually a biscuit-bread hybrid. Of course, that only makes them more fantastic.

Anyway…who’s hungry? I may need volunteers/guinea pigs to test out new recipes. My poor husband is starting to get tired of eating my experiments.

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  1. Veronika

     /  October 13, 2011

    I’d happily test those out – but I am in the wrong part of the world!

    That said, I make scones (biscuits in American English) with local sourmilk, which is not buttermilk, but rather whole soured milk (filmjölk), and they work fantastically well and turn out fluffy and wonderful (if possibly not the same thing or just AS good as the ones you are going for!). If you can find an equivalent dairy product over there, I’d try it and see what gives!

  2. Veronika, is it possible to sour whole milk at home to get something similar? I haven’t come across sourmilk anywhere in the US, but I’d love to try some!

  3. Shauna

     /  October 28, 2011

    Miko-you might try plain Keifer if you can find it. Should be in the yogurt section. according to wikipedia, species Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides are the bacterias specifically in sour milk. Also Cultured buttermilk is similar.

  1. Biscuits: Not Just Breakfast Food! « smorgasbord

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