When it comes to buttermilk biscuits, one fast food restaurant takes the cake, er, biscuit. Accounting for almost 50% of their sales, nothing can beat steaming hot Hardee's biscuits straight from the oven. Whether you like them plain, drizzled with honey and butter (yummy!), or as a base for your favorite breakfast sandwich, Hardee's Biscuits are a true work of art for brunch.
The History of Hardee's Biscuits
If it wasn't for Mayo Boddie, we wouldn't have the golden brown Hardee's biscuits we love and crave today. According to the Virginian-Pilot, Boddie-Noell Enterprises founders Mayo Boddie, older brother Nick Boddie Jr. and his uncle, Carleton W. Noell opened up its first Hardee's franchise in 1962 in Fayetteville, N.C. The business was lacking and in the 1970s Mayo recalls being asked to join business associate Steve Black for a ride. They ended up at a "white wooden house and Steve told [him] to go inside and try their product, which was a biscuit with ham or sausage." The biscuits were great, but Mayo had one issue, their store was known for charbroiled burgers, not breakfast, especially homemade biscuits.
In terms of franchising, Hardee's had stated that serving breakfast was allowed, and did not specify what could and couldn't be on the menu.
"It made a lot of sense -- a biscuit was quick and easy, and we needed to do something," he said during the interview with Virginia-Pilot, adding that Black already had procured a recipe and baker. "We said, 'Let's go,' and got baking."
The group launched their new breakfast biscuits in 16 Tidewater stores, including places like Virginia Beach.
By the mid-70's the flaky made from scratch biscuits had gained success. However, getting corporate onboard was a little harder. It wasn't until 1977 that Hardee's introduced biscuits on their menu.
Today there are over 5,800 Hardee's restaurants in 44 states and 37 countries. Each location may vary, but the majority sells breakfast biscuits such as the Smoked Sausage Biscuit, the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit, Biscuit & Sausage Gravy, Country Ham Biscuit, Country Fried Steak Biscuit, Chicken Biscuit, and the Loaded Omelet Biscuit which includes crumbled sausage, bacon, ham, and cheddar cheese stacked on a freshly baked biscuit. Some restaurants also serve up the Monster Biscuit which includes bacon, a sausage patty, slices of ham, folded egg, all topped with slices of American cheese.
How To Make Hardee's Biscuits at Home
While the real Hardee's biscuit recipe is a secret, this copycat recipe from The Southern Lady Cooks is a close second. The recipe has all the typical contenders like self-rising flour, baking powder, and Crisco. Mix them up, roll them out on a floured surface, and use a biscuit cutter to cut them out, then place them on a baking sheet, making sure to brush tops with additional buttermilk before baking. The best biscuits are served piping hot from the oven and loaded with melted butter.
Sure, they aren't the same as the ones Hardee Biscuit makers create, but it's a good substitute.