Food Fight

Battle Refrigerated Biscuit Dough: Pillsbury vs. Store Brand

Whose refrigerated biscuit dough brings all the boys to the yard?

This intrepid food journalist decided to find out by conducting a comprehensive evaluation taste-testing of two brands side by side. The contenders: Pillsbury and H-E-B store brand "Hill Country Fare."

Okay, a little more background. Although I prefer making biscuits from scratch, I knew I would not have time later this week to make a carbohydrate companion to my hearty Irish stew (see upcoming post) all in one afternoon, so in preparation I decided to consider my pre-made refrigerated-dough options.

Readers of this blog may have noticed I have given favorable reviews to Pillsbury products and thus may be unfairly biased.

To them, I simply say, "Never fear. I have no problem sticking it to the Dough Boy if he deserves it."

And, of course, same goes for, um, whomever Hill Country Fare uses as a mascot.

Cooking instructions for both biscuit brands were very similar, but I nevertheless baked them separately just in case results might be skewed by aroma cross-contamination in the oven (biscuits were replated for the photo above).

The Pillsbury biscuit was lighter, flakier, with a milder white-flour flavor. Although the label claims buttermilk was somehow involved in the recipe, I missed any discernible slightly sour notes.

The Hill Country Fare biscuit was denser and the interior was saltier. I would shy away from using this biscuit to sop up an equally savory sauce, but would be happy to consume it on its own or with something comparatively lighter, such as a vegetable-based soup.

For my St. Paddy's Day stew, I'll go with the Pillsbury biscuit, which won't overwhelm the main course, and, I think, liven it up a bit with some sausage juices.

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Joanna O'Leary