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Carla Hall's Tip For Flakier Biscuits Is A Must-Try
By Kalea Martin
Butter or shortening are key ingredients in most biscuit recipes as they act as a barrier to the formation of gluten, largely contribute to the flavor, and are responsible for the signature soft, flaky texture. Some people swear butter produces better biscuits, while others claim shortening works best, but celebrity chef Carla Hall uses both in her biscuits.
Both have their advantages: shortening does a better job at preventing gluten from developing because it's 100% fat, whereas butter is superior in taste, but Hall says there's no reason you can't use both. She uses a 1:4 ratio of shortening to butter — or 2 tablespoons of shortening for every stick of butter — for the best balance of buttery flavor and flaky texture.
Hall says the easiest way to prevent overmixing and ultimately toughening the biscuit dough is to pinch the shortening into the flour until the dough is crumbly, then add the butter by grating it into the mixture, and lightly toss to combine. For best results, the celebrity chef recommends using frozen butter as it is easier to grate, but the biscuits also bake more effectively.