Big, soft and fluffy buttermilk biscuits from Asheville’s Biscuithead is the breakfast of your dreams! This Southern classic can be dressed up or down with fresh jams, whipped honey or even turned into a breakfast sandwich. The possibilities are endless with these popular cathead biscuits!
A few weeks ago, I went on a girls’ trip to Asheville with 4 of my close college friends. The last time all of us were all together was in college. A few of us have been together since, but not all of us at the same time. So this particular weekend was long overdue.
I had never been to Asheville but had heard many wonderful things about it. It was supposed to have an amazing restaurant and shopping scene, not to mention the Biltmore Estate that was nearby. While we opted out of the Biltmore tour, we did indulge ourselves in a full day at the Grove Park Inn Spa. And holy cannoli, that place was heaven in the mountains. After our 1-hour spa treatments, we got to the enjoy the rest of the amenities for the remainder of the day. My favorite relaxation spot was a waterfall sauna where the waterfalls fell so hard and so quickly on me that it acted like a massage.
Earlier that morning, my former roommate E had gone to a local restaurant called Biscuit Head. This was an Asheville institution where the lines are almost always out the door. E went and lined up as soon as she could and ordered several biscuits for us to try. She also brought us some fresh jam from their jam bar (YES that is a thing, and I want one!). Needless to say, these were the best biscuits I had ever tasted. They were tall, soft, fluffy and full of buttery goodness.
I had to recreate it.
Lucky for me, Biscuit Head had a cookbook, and their signature cathead biscuit was the featured recipe. I promptly ordered myself a copy and have been scouring through the cookbook to see what to make next.
If you’ve never been to Asheville, go, and go now. If you’re unable to make it for some reason, make these biscuits. You’ll finally understand why people line up for an hour just to sink their teeth into these fantastic biscuits.
Biscuit Head's classic cathead buttermilk biscuit
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour they use White Lily brand
- 2 and 1/2 cups cups cake flour they use King Arthur Flour brand
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease a cast iron pan or baking sheet and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, salt and baking powder. Add in the butter cubes and mix by hand. Pinch the butter cubes so they disperse throughout. Slowly add the buttermilk and gently fold it in by hand or with a spatula/wooden spoon. Do not over mix.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto your prepared pan, making sure to have each dough mound touch the next one.
- Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and fluffy.
I’m planning on trying this recipe this weekend, but I had a question- are you sure there’s no shortening in the recipe? I’ve been comparing recipes online, and I would prefer to go with the one straight from the book, but all of the others I’ve found online have four tablespoons shortening as well as the half stick butter. Anyway, can’t wait to try this, and I’ll definitely leave a review. Thanks!
I double checked, and the official recipe only calls for butter – no shortening.
Thank you so much for replying!
I tried the recipe over the weekend. While overall I liked the biscuits, I will change a couple of things next time I make them. One- I will add half a stick of butter. The biscuits were great with jelly, with butter or as a breakfast sandwich but on their own they were just kinda bland and a little too bready. I think more butter and perhaps a little more salt would help. Also I will set the oven to 425 instead of 375. I’m guessing 375 would be perfect for a convection oven but I have a conventional oven, and as a result the biscuits baked slowly and didn’t get the good flaky crust on them. Thanks for posting the recipe!!
Thank you for sharing your results, T. I like the changes you suggested. I’m not a biscuit making expert but your recommendations sound like they’d improve the texture and taste. If you do make these revisions next time, please let me know how they turn out!
I made these biscuits last night in a large cast iron skillet. I was only able to get low fat buttermilk, so I used some whole milk Greek yogurt in place of some of the buttermilk. I added a couple extra tablespoons of buttermilk to get all the flour mixture wet. I didn’t have a large enough scoop, so I added extra to each scoop with my hands. They were really good, but next time I will add a little more salt, butter and possibly a little sugar. Overall, I really enjoyed these drop biscuit and will make them again.
Glad you were able to make these, Beverly. Thanks for letting me know the adjustments you recommend!
I just tried the recipe as printed herein and right out of their book and have several comments and questions which I wish Biscuit Head would answer:
I have been collecting biscuit recipes for years and have about 30 saved in a spread sheet so there was a lot to compare:
1. Taste of finished biscuits was great! Improvement on any I have ever cooked previously
2. Amount of butter was about half usual recipes which may have caused the improved taste which is surprising.
3. Baking temp of 375 was lower than any of my other recipes, in fact none of the others were below 400?
4. Baking time was not 20 to 25 min. Mine did not brown at 25 min so I let them go to 35 before pulling them as I had my baking temp probe and they just reached 180 deg at 35 min. Would have like them to reach 195. I wonder how Biscuit Head gets theirs to brown as in their pictures due to the lower temperature and shorter time. Something here is not right?
5. Their published recipe says it makes 6 biscuits! 5 cups of flour to make 6 biscuits? No way.
You have such awesome observations! I wish Biscuit ahead would let us know as well. I followed the recipe to a T, and it definitely didn’t taste as good as theirs. 😄
This was a great recipe. I made them for my family this morning and they loved them. I just had a couple of tweaks. I froze and grated two sticks of butter and upped the salt to 2 tsp. Also, I baked for 30 minutes and they seemed a little light so I topped with melted butter and pu under the broiler for an additional 3 or 4 minutes. Just be sure to keep an eye on them. They came out great. Made 10 biscuits. Thanks for the recipe.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed this, Larry! Thanks for sharing your tweaks!