The Pro Tip For Achieving A Perfectly Golden Brown Biscuit

Baking the perfect biscuit that comes out of the oven with a beautifully golden brown crust is something of an art form. But fear not, because achieving that coveted hue is simpler than you might think. The not-so-secret tip most professional bakers use to elevate biscuits' appearance from good to great is the application of a wash before baking.

The process simply involves using a pastry brush to lightly coat the top of your unbaked biscuits with a liquid ingredient known to create that browning effect once heated. One of the most popular choices for this is cream, which imparts a rich golden color to the crust. However, if you don't have cream on hand, melted butter, milk, or half-and-half can all serve as suitable substitutes.

The reason these dairy products are so effective at promoting a golden brown crust is due to the milk solids they contain. These solids include sugars that, when exposed to the high temperatures of an oven, caramelize and that's what gives the biscuits their rich, golden hue. But apart from dairy products, some bakers prefer using different variations of egg wash to lend a golden tint as well as a shiny finish. 

More ways to make your biscuits golden brown

The secret to achieving that perfect coloration doesn't stop at the wash. The types of fat and liquid you incorporate into your dough also play a role in the final appearance, as well as the texture of your biscuits. For example, fats like butter or shortening, when mixed into the dough, not only help to create flaky layers but also brown beautifully under heat. Similarly, the choice of liquid — be it buttermilk, sour cream, or milk — can affect both the dough's moisture content and its browning finish. Typically, those with the highest fat content will give the best browning effect. However, adding on a wash before baking will give you that golden hue, regardless of the fats and liquid you use.

Another factor that cannot be overlooked is the right oven temperature. While it's essential to follow your biscuit recipe's recommended baking temperature, a small adjustment can make a big difference. Some bakers swear by increasing the oven temperature at the end of the cooking time for about a couple of minutes. This little boost in heat accelerates the browning process, giving the biscuits a more pronounced golden brown crust without overcooking them.

Achieving the perfect golden brown biscuit is a combination of technique and ingredient choice. With a little practice and attention to detail, you'll be well on your way to creating biscuits that not only taste delicious but also boast a perfectly golden-brown crust that's sure to impress.