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Biscuit Bliss: 101 Foolproof Recipes for Fresh and Fluffy Biscuits in Just Minutes Paperback – December 13, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (December 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155832223X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558322233
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


If all you have ever made are biscuits from a boxed mix, be prepared to be transported to heaven. -- Mary Williamsen, Omaha World

In an era of prepackaged pretenders and just-add-water counterfeits, it’s nice to see somebody defending the biscuits honor. -- Renee Enna, Chicago Tribune

Villas crafts the ultimate guide to biscuits in this slim but comprehensive volume. -- Publishers Weekly Online --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

JAMES VILLAS’s work has appeared in Esquire, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and the New York Times. He won James Beard Awards for Journalism in 2003 and for Pig: King of the Southern Table.

More About the Author

I was born and bred in the South, have 3 university degrees in language and literature (Fulbright scholar), and taught in 3 universities before changing careers and becoming Food and Wine Editor of TOWN and COUNTRY (1972-1999). I've published 15 cookbooks and 4 literary books on gastronomy. My first novel, DANCING IN THE LOW COUNTRY, was published in 2008; my second, HUNGRY FOR HAPPINESS, in 2010; and I'm currently working on a dog novel titled THE BEAGLE PLAYS BRAHMS. My cookbook, PIG: KING OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE, won the James Beard Award for 2010, and my newest one, SOUTHERN FRIED, will be published in 2013. I live in East Hampton, Long Island, where I devote my time to writing cookbooks and fiction and pursuing my love of great music.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 30 customer reviews
I haven't tried all 101 'foolproof' recipes in the book.
John Matlock
I recommend this one highly for anyone interested in trying new and varied recipes as well as learning some basics of biscuit making to improve his/her own recipes.
L. Grant
The hints and recipes within this book are outstanding, simple recipes with well written directions makes for a easy read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
James Villas is an old school culinary writer. He was a friend and confidant of both James Beard and Craig Claiborne. He was born and raised in North Carolina and many of his books have featured Southern cooking subjects and styles. This book is no exception.
The book is an almost perfect follow-up to his last effort, `Crazy About Casseroles' in that both books deal with a single subject which is at the core of both Southern and American cooking styles. I am especially fond of single subject cookbooks, whether the subject is a style of dish like gratins and casseroles or an ingredient like potatoes or eggs. Therefore, the score of this book starts with a score in my mind of four (4) stars instead of three (3) before I even read the first page.
The book's subject can be divided into two major topics. The first topic is basic biscuit techniques, covering all the variations in flour, leavening, fat, oven temperature, and dough versus batter. The second topic deals with how to apply all those various techniques to sweet and savory additions.
Techniques are covered in Chapters on `Biscuit Basics', `Plain Raised Biscuits', and `Drop Biscuits'. The greatest virtue of basic biscuit technique is its simplicity. This does not mean a person can make good biscuits, much less make good biscuits on the first try, after reading a single recipe that gives no insight into biscuit subtleties. The first batch of biscuits I made a few years ago was from Jim Villas' mother's recipes he published in his memoir `Between Bites'. I confess that the process had me puzzled, sticky, and a bit disappointed, even though I am sure I followed the instructions to a tee.
Part of the puzzle may be due to the fact that making biscuits is a lot more like making pastry than it is like making bread.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Natalie Jones on December 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a good cook. My one downfall, was biscuits. I am a true southerner, from Charlotte, NC. Not being able to make biscuits or dumplings with every meal is unacceptable. So, I bought this book to cure my failure as a biscuit maker. I couldn't make them light and fluffy. I bought this book. The first day I bought it, I made the sausage and cheese buiscuits. It was a complete success. My boyfriend couldn't stop eating them. Then I made the oatmeal raisin biscuits. Also a complete success. Needless to say, I have made biscuits 4 times since I bought the book. I have turned into a biscuit making fool, and I haven't even had the book a week yet. If your skeptical, don't be. This book is GREAT. I am even able to adapt the recipes. I make frosting for my biscuits. I must warn you in advance- make a lot of biscuits, because if your feeding a family, they are gone quickly. All of James Villas, and especially his mothers' Martha Villas' books are winners to me. I reach for their books time and time again. When I travel, these books go with me. I have well over 300 cookbooks. This book is in my top 10. LOVE IT!!!!
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on June 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Why would I go out to buy a whole book, even if it's a fairly small book, just on something so simple as how to make biscuits.

Because I've never been happy with the biscuits that I've made. The ones made by my grandmother, let alone the ones made by the grandmother of a friend of mine, are so much better than the ones I've been able to make.

I found though, that Mr. Villas has the same problem. In his case it was a great-aunt. She threw in a little of this, a little of that, put them in the oven, and then without even looking to see if they were ready, she'd take them out -- perfect biscuits. ==Instead, the rest of us have to follow recipes, try this, try that and finally come up with biscuits that at least begin to approach grandmothers.

Here in this book is several pages of what you might call biscuit lore -- what kind of fat, yeast, flour (where do you get Southern flour made from soft winter wheat). Well you can order it through the mail, but you pay $7 for shipping $2 worth of flour -- that's OK, it's worth it, after all, that's the way you have to order good quality grits.

I haven't tried all 101 'foolproof' recipes in the book. But I think that this mornings batch is the best I've made yet.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By H. Grove (errantdreams) TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Whether you like your biscuits made with shortening, butter, lard (believe it or not, lard has less cholesterol than butter), or some combination of the above, you'll find plenty in here to suit you. There are even a few recipes that use whole-grain flours such as whole wheat. Many of the recipes include historical or personal notes that are fun to read and add interesting background to the process. Helpful hints include tips on freezing biscuits, as well as the all-important note for Northerners that finally saved my biscuit attempts when Alton shared it: if you use hard Northern flour, substitute cake flour for some of it.

The book includes plain raised biscuits, flavored biscuits, drop biscuits, cocktail and tea biscuits, scones, and recipes that allow you to cook with biscuits. There are plenty of hearty recipes in here such as biscuits with bacon and cheese in them (one of my favorites). There are also more subtly-flavored choices such as the parmesan-herb drop biscuits and the sweet potato biscuits (which work surprisingly well with canned pumpkin). The scones are far better than any commercial scones I've had before--not too sweet, not too dry.

Whether you want to go all-out with biscuits fried in lard on the top of the stove or make something out of buttermilk or whole grains; whether you prefer traditional favorites or unusual combinations such as parmesan and chutney--you'll find the perfect never-fail biscuit recipe in here. And that's definitely biscuit bliss!
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