Oct 5, 2016

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Do you like biscuits?  Do you make your own?  I love them but don't make them often. What can take the place of a hot flaky biscuit pulled apart and served with warm creamy butter? In my mind nothing can. My grandmother's did this three times a day. I'll never forget that and let me tell you they were all different but so delicious!  Grandma Cora was so funny! Once she said to me, "Your granddaddy puts his feet under that table three times a day and expects his biscuits three times a day"!  God bless her she was such a mess and they really spoiled their men back then. Some of us still do! My mama made them almost daily not three times but once a day and neighbors from miles around would come to her kitchen to eat her biscuits and drink her sweet tea! A little Southern Tradition here.

Preheat oven to 450 F degrees


3 cups self rising flour
4 Tbs  shortening,
4 Tbs. lard
1 cup buttermilk

*Substitution for shortening and lard:  Cold butter cubed 8 Tbs. or 1 stick.  

Hand Rolled Biscuits
Sift flour
Place in bowl, make a well in center for shortening/lard
Add shortening and lard into the well.
Add buttermilk over shortening in well
Take one hand and only mixing the shortening/lard & milk together, between fingers squishing to mix together until smooth.
Take that hand and on the outside of the liquid mixture go around slowing folding flour into it slowly and softly.  Do this until most or all of the flour is added in. You should have a round ball of soft dough. (remember do not over work dough or your biscuits will be hard and tough).
Add Flour in if needed and Knead three or four times to make somewhat of a log shape.
Flour your hands well
Pinch dough approximately 2-3 inches in diameter, (really it's your choice as to the size of your biscuits)
Roll your biscuits as little as possible to make a pretty round smooth shape, handle easy
Place biscuits onto ungreased baking sheet
Press biscuits with floured fingers to flatten some.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned for tender melt in your mouth flaky biscuits or brown until golden color for a crispy crust with a tender insides.

Remove from oven brush with melted butter is desired, cool slightly, carefully turn biscuits upside down to prevent bottoms from sweating. (this was taught to me by my grandma Cora).
Cover with tea towel or tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Serve immediately
Makes 12-14 small flat biscuits or 9 large biscuits this is approximate count.

Homemade Biscuits with Pastry Cutter and Biscuit Cutter

Sift flour
Place in bowl
Add and cut shortening/lard into flour until very small pea sized pieces.
Make the well into the center
Add the buttermilk
With a fork mix in gently around and around the flour into the well with the milk. Until you have used all or most of the flour.
Flour rolling surface
Add your dough and add more flour on top
Roll to thickness of your choice -- small flat make them as flat as 1/4 inch, go from there to choose your size of biscuits
Flour biscuit cutter, cut closely to get as many biscuits out of this first rolling. Take scraps and combine together again flouring if needed, roll again and cut.  Do this until all or most of your dough has been cut.
Place on ungreased baking sheet
Bake in same manner as above.


You can use instead of self rising flour:  all-purpose flour, add 1 tsp salt plus 1 Tbs baking powder.  Sift together.
(I just have better tasting biscuits with self rising flour family tradition and I love the taste better).

If you like a little crisp to your biscuit (like I do) leave opening in covering of tea towel/foil. So you can keep warm without taking all of crisp away.

You might also like to read:
Thin Old Fashioned Lard Biscuits.  There is a video I found of a precious lady making her biscuits to give you an idea of the technique.

Worried about your health eating biscuits? I've cut the shortening/lard way down from what ladies used to use in making them. Plus, I didn't say eat the whole pan full!  Although you may want to especially while they are hot; Don't do it! :)


A Few Notes/Tips*
You can also use Canola, Vegetable, or Olive Oil for that matter to replace the butter or lard. They will all taste differently but it can be done. My grandmother used to use lard that they actually made from their homegrown pork and it was delicious. She also had her milk cow that she had buttermilk, milk and made the best butter ever.
Then the 'stay away' from those types of fats and whole milk cream products came about. I personally don't like to use shortening as much as before but it does make for flakiness and never use margarine.
Buttermilk is always the best but did you know you can use 1 cup milk with a 1/2 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar added.  Sit on counter for 5 minutes and you have the taste of buttermilk in your baking products.  Not as delicious but good to substitute in a pinch.

King Arthur 
The Rise The History of American Biscuits