If you live outside the United States, you may be surprised to find Americans referring to biscuits as rolls. Biscuits and rolls are made and named differently depending on your country or US region. For instance, biscuits are a staple included in most meals in Southern America, while rolls are famous in North-East America.
But how exactly are biscuits different from rolls? Although knowing the difference between the two may not seem significant to you, it is. And the only time you’ll realize the importance of differentiating biscuits from rolls is when you’re served biscuits while you’ve ordered rolls. For this reason, let’s dig into the differences between rolls and biscuits.
Biscuits vs Rolls: Overview
Biscuits are crumbly and hard to slice with a knife. They are made using self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, or baking soda. Biscuits also tend to incorporate more fat in their dough and are often served during breakfast instead of other meals.
Rolls are more bready and can easily be sliced with a knife. They are made using flour and are leavened with yeast. Rolls are usually used to make sandwiches, and burgers, as an accompaniment to other meals and are served during breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
In the United States, biscuit, a small quick bread often made from flour, salt, vegetable shortening or fat, and baking powder or soda as a leavening agent, is associated with Southern America. The biscuit dough is kneaded for a short time before rolling out and then cut with a round cutter. Spoonfuls can also drop the dough to make irregular-shaped biscuits. Typically, biscuits are eaten hot with ham, butter and fruit preserves, or sausage gravy.
The biscuit dough, a southern specialty, is beaten with a mallet or other heavy utensils for around 30 minutes to produce a more refined texture. Round pieces are then cut from the dough using a round cutter and pricked with a fork to prevent the development of large bubbles. The biscuits are then baked slowly. Once baked, the biscuit resembles a soft cracker.
Sometimes the biscuit dough is sweetened to make a strawberry shortcake. A strawberry shortcake is a dessert comprising split-up biscuits covered with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. In the UK, the word biscuit means a variety of small crisp cakes, either unsweetened (American cracker) or sweetened (American cookie).
A roll is a tiny, round or oval, doughy piece of bread often used as a side dish but can also be used to make sandwiches. Rolls are popular in almost all parts of the world, although they come in different names depending on the origin and dialect. The name “bread roll” was invented by bakers according to their method of preparation and ingredients used in making the dough. In many cuisines, rolls are usually eaten as breakfast rolls, fry-ups, or stuffed with meats.
European cuisine is known for making rolls. In Austrian and German cuisines, rolls make different roll dishes. There’s even a classification of rolls, dark rolls, and white rolls, with the main difference between the two being the recipe and ingredients used. Rolls are famous comfort food that can be eaten any time of the day.
Differences Between Biscuits And Rolls
Biscuits and rolls are different in how they look. Biscuits have a uniform brown top and bottom with a creamy inside free from brown or yellow spots. Rolls have an even rich brown color with a creamy inside free from streaks.
Biscuits are uniform in size and shape with straight sides and a smooth top, while rolls are well proportioned and symmetrical with a well-rounded top.
Biscuits are tender, a bit moist, and flaky with a medium fine grain, while rolls are slightly moist and have a springy soft texture with thin-walled cells and fine grain. Biscuits are also moderately smooth, tender, and free from excess flour, while rolls are crisp-tender with a uniform thickness over the whole surface and free from bulges and cracks.
biscuits are pleasant with a well-blended flavor and no bitterness. On the other hand, rolls are wheaty with a sweet nut-like taste with no off-flavors.
Method Of Preparation
Rolls are kind of like bread and are risen similarly, using yeast. Store-bought rolls are as good and tasty as homemade. That’s why many people prefer to buy rolls in stores rather than baking at home.
On the other hand, biscuits are often homemade with pre-made biscuit dough or from scratch. Finding good, readily prepared biscuits in stores is complex, making many resorts to preparing them at home. Unlike rolls, biscuits are raised using baking soda, powder, or self-rising flour.
Rolls are traditionally served with evening meals at home or in restaurants. Holiday and formal meals usually include rolls as a side dish.
Rolls can also be used to make hoagie sandwiches. You can even grab Vienna rolls and make sandwiches at home. Yet, it’s very rare to find meat served on biscuits.
Biscuits are often served with breakfast, topped with sausage gravy, or as a side dish. Many people love cheese, eggs, and either sausage or bacon on top of biscuits as a breakfast sandwich. Biscuits are usually served as a breakfast sandwich rather than any other meal.
Different Names Across Cuisines
Biscuits and rolls are known differently in various cuisines. For instance, Mexican biscuits are similar to American biscuits and form a crucial part of their cuisine, like tortillas.
However, that’s not the case in Europe. In Europe, the term biscuit means cookie, and if you order a biscuit in an English restaurant, you’d be served with cookies. Similarly, what the British describe as rolls in the UK is what Americans call biscuits, including crumbs, batches, buns, and barm cake.
Biscuits are a golden brown pastry with a uniform shape and a smooth top. They have a pleasant taste with a well-blended flavor and no bitterness. Biscuits are usually served during breakfast as a side dish or to make breakfast sandwiches.
Rolls are rich brown bread well proportioned with a soft and springy texture. They are wheaty with a sweet nut-like taste and no off-flavors. Rolls are usually served during dinner or when making sandwiches.