In Austin, Olamaie is synonymous with one thing: biscuits.

Deliciously dense yet impossibly flaky biscuits. Biscuits so good that you can order them online ahead of time if you’re not lucky enough to snag a table. Biscuits you couldn’t replicate even if you had the recipe, but good luck getting your hands on it.

The restaurant’s chef Michael Fojtasek, a James Beard award finalist no less, is a master of southern cuisine. And though he may never share the secret to his famous biscuits, one secret he will share is his recipe for perfectly fluffy hush puppies.

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According to Fojtasek, these hushpuppies get their deep corn flavor from locally milled cornmeal courtesy of Barton Springs Mill.  “It’s a type of corn called Bloody Butcher.” says Fojtasek.

“James Brown is the miller there. They are really doing something special.”

Dave Mead

But to get the texture just right, Fojtasek uses another Austin staple: Rambler Sparkling Water. It’s not just a favorite behind the bar at Olamaie. Fojtasek claims that Rambler’s balanced, effervescent carbonation is his secret weapon to lighten the batter and get the exterior perfectly crunchy.

Here’s how to make Rambler Hush Puppies (yield: 1.5 qts)

Dave Mead

Ingredients:

  • 300g Cornmeal
  • 175g All-Purpose flour
  • 6g Baking Powder
  • 6g Baking Soda
  • 5g Citric Acid
  • 20g Sugar
  • 14g Salt
  • 20g Buttermilk Powder
  • 230g Heavy Cream
  • 200g Rambler Sparkling Water
  • 70g Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 26g Garlic Chive

Preparation:

  1. Preheat 4 cups of neutral frying oil to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, citric acid, salt, sugar and buttermilk powder.
  3. Whisk together heavy cream, Rambler, buttermilk, eggs and chives.
  4. Whisk dry ingredients into wet until just combined – be careful not to overmix!
  5. Spoon 1 large tablespoon of batter into hot oil making sure not to over-crowd the hush puppies and cook for about 3 minutes, turning halfway through until golden brown