the art of making biscuits.

28 March 2012

the art of making biscuits.

if there's one thing us southerners take seriously, it's our breads.
specifically our biscuits & cornbread.
{we'll talk about cornbread another day.}

growing up, we had biscuits {or cornbread} at every meal.
no, this isn't a joke.
my daddy is a firm believer that a meal just ain't complete unless there's bread.
i sure do love that man.

i was about 10 years old the first time i flew solo on biscuit making.
and yes, i remember it quite clearly.
i can't wait to show my kids how to make biscuits from scratch.

so there's two crucial ingredients in a good biscuit: lard & fresh buttermilk.
i'd also like to add that certain flours are just known for producing good biscuits.
we were taught to always use white lily flour.

there's also two kinds of biscuits: drop biscuits & cut biscuits.
drop biscuits are made by dropping a heaping spoonful of dough directly on the pan.
i looooove drop biscuits.
they're my favorite.
but every once in a while i get the itch for cut biscuits.
*drop biscuits are pictured above.*

cut biscuits are made by kneading and rolling out the dough, then using a glass or biscuit cutter to make little circle shaped biscuits.
my mal made big ol' cathead biscuits like this.
and for the record, mal made the best biscuits in the world.
NO ONE, i repeat, NO ONE can make biscuits like hers.
*cut biscuits are pictured below.*

the one with the remix.

so, with all that being said, let's teach y'all how to make homemade biscuits!!!

here's what y'all will need:
2 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup lard {or shortening}
3/4 cup fresh buttermilk

the making part:
preheat oven to 450'
using your fingers, mix flour and shortening in a mixing bowl until a coarse meal is formed.
stir in your buttermilk just until blended.
drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.
bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
serve warm with fresh jam/preserves.
OR my favorite way is with some fresh honey.
ah snap. that's some goooood eatin' right there.

**to make cut biscuits, follow the same recipe, but instead of dropping the dough by heaping spoonfuls, roll out the dough and cut out circles using a glass or biscuit cutter.**

so, step away from canned biscuits and make them homemade.
they're SO worth the extra few minutes.

hope y'all enjoy.

xo, rachel

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Michele said...

From one Southern gal to another, biscuits are our specialty. My grandma taught me the technique young. Plus, they're so easy.

MIss Sherry said...

Thanks for the recipe; we have been patiently waiting! I love me some biscuits

Susan said...

Although I no longer live in the South, I was raised there (have the accent to prove it) and I know how to make a pretty decent biscuit. Until I moved away to Canada, I used self-rising flour, but I couldn't find it in Vancouver (at least not at a price I was willing to pay), so I learned to make them with regular flour and add my own baking powder and salt. My Granny taught me to pinch the dough off and make each biscuit by hand, rather than rolling them out and cutting them. I can still see her making her dough smooth, then pinching off each biscuit, laying it on the pan, and then patting each one with her first three fingers! :) How I miss my Granny and her biscuits! Thanks for spreading the biscuit love and letting everyone know how easy it is to make them!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

My grandmother used to make the BEST biscuits (and every other kind of food known to man!) and your biscuits look just like hers! I'm putting this on my list of things-to-do this weekend with my kids! YUM!

Thanks for sharing!


Laurie said...

Good memories of my grandma making biscuits the same way. She did roll them and cut them with a can she saved for just that purpose. I learned at her knee and I use my first daughter's little drinking cup for cutting them. Oh, that daughter is now 42 and I still use that cup! We may need to have biscuits tonight.

Patrice said...

I am married to a man that says the exact same thing your daddy did. He comes to the table and is like, "where's the bread?". But I've never made homemade biscuits even though I'm a southern girl. I've been so intimidated by the idea. Thanks for posting this recipe. I think now I'll try.

Vicky said...

Your post - amen to everything!!

Marian said...

Oh yum! I love biscuits. My grandma was from Kentucky and made biscuits and gravy every day and we'd have them every time we went to visit her. I'm eager to try your recipe, I've never seen one that looks so simple! Thanks Rachel!

Mindy said...

Love, love, love me some biscuits, and cornbread too for that matter! My husband and I both make homemade biscuits. One time we had a friendly disagreement about whose were the best, and that was the birth of the biscuit wars. For weeks we made biscuits every day, first day, me then him the next, always trying to find someone to give a taste test, and an honest opinion. We had a lot of fun but a decision was never reached. I must admit I've never made biscuits with lard. I'll have to remember that for the next biscuit war.

CathyK said...

Next to quilting , I LOVE cooking! Can't wait to try your biscuits! Thank you!!!!

Casandra Shilova said...

Okay, I give. What is a cathead biscuit??? I'm not southern, but I love good biscuits.

Anna C. said...

Thanks! Have been wanting to make your biscuits for so long, thanks for the recipe!!

Charlotte said...

I'm an English woman, born and bred, living in London. I make biscuits and gravy often for my husband who is from Tennessee. Biscuits are so delicious and easy to make - just another example of brilliant things you Americans have given us!

Effie said...

Same language but such different say biscuits we say scones, you say cookies we say biscuits...either way theyre delicious....

Jennifer Blosser said...

I love it! Made my morning! My sisters always made our biscuits ... I am a poor example of a daughter/wife/mother. I better get to makin' some biscuits. Hmmmm ... I'm feeling breakfast for dinner tonight!!!

Hugs & stitches,

SharleneT said...

I married a man from Tennessee and his mother and sister showed me how to make biscuits. (I'm a bagel girl, if possible) But, they never used a bowl! Just used a clean counter and fork to mix the flour and lard, created a circle with the mix and poured the buttermilk in the center, gently folding the flour mix into the milk.

She said you could overhandle dough and it just needed to be blended. Then, they used a drinking glass to cut the biscuits. The biscuits were so light we had to put a net over the basket to stop them from floating away!

Libby said...

Thanks for the recipe. I haven't heard the word "lard" in a long time. Brings back memories....and how good did it make food taste...fried chicken, biscuits... I remember making lard growing up and when I was first that all stopped (so called healthy eating..still wondering about that)Thanks again, may have to make some for supper tonite instead of cornbread (baked in a cast iron frying pan). Have a wonderful day!

Maryjean said...

I would have been disapointed if you hadn't used the word "cathead". Now I know you are a true southern girl. mmmmmm I love biscuits.

onlymehere said...

Okay, now what about the rolled biscuits?! I'd love the recipe for them too. I'm going to try these bz my parents had bread at every meal too but it was usually homemade loaf bread.

VickiT said...

Please feel free to come to my house and teach me. I had a Southern Momma but can you believe she NEVER taught me how to make biscuits OR sausage gravy? Are you ok? I hope you didn't hurt yourself when you fainted just now. haha

She did teach me how to cook and I learned quickly as a child how easily it all came to me and continued to expand my knoweldge in cooking and baking. Now that I'm MUCH older (we won't discuss HOW much older) I have had a lot of people tell me over the years that I should open a restaurant and my two specialties that I'm 'famous' for are biscuits and gravy (only because that's the name NOT because I have learned to make the biscuits!) and the best brownies; nice and chocolaty and chewy with awesome frosting. BUT biscuits? NOPE! Still using those canned rocks. Stop shaking your head! At least I don't use the genric brands and buy only the best for my family. LOL

Thanks for the recipe. I guess I'll need to give it a shot again.

Becky G said...

Yummo! I'm southern... And love to cook for folks. Don't know where to get lard... I heard what is in stores now in those waxed cardboard wrappers is not very good... I'll have to go on the hunt! As to buttermilk, i love Horizon's organic sold @ Whole Foods in glass returnable bottles, AMAZING difference... Wish i knew @ a local place to get fresh buttermilk. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.... Drop biscuits were one of my Mom's specialties... Mine are Angel biscuits... With yeast & baking powder/baking soda... And of course buttermink! Happy baking! B

Sandra said...

Yippee, I've been waiting for this recipe! Thank you! Can we please have the cut biscuit one too (when you have some time???).
After I've tried this out, I'm thinking this is so simple I could teach it to middle school students.

Sandra said...

About how many in a batch?

harleywife57 said...

OH ! I can't believe I missed this post after I asked you a few times about your recipe ! SORRY for bothering you ! here is my m-i-l's recipe : 1/4 C shortening ; 2 C sifted self rising flour ; 1/4 tsp Soda / 3/4 C Buttermilk . She is from Alabama . When I came into the family , she was past her baking days , but I did get the recipe !!!!

Miriam said...

I am from Australia and I have wondered what a biscuit was. Thank you for your description and the recipe. It is very much like what we call scones.
Unfortunately, scones are about the only thing I have tried to cook that come out a huge fail!!!! I am going to try your recipe and see if I can make them work.

Dirt Road Quilter said...

As a ranch wife, biscuits are a staple around here and when I cook for a crew, they devour them in the blink of an eye. My hubby makes sourdough biscuits for breakfast in the dutch oven and add some homemade jam and it just doesn't get much better than that. Making your biscuits in the morning - thank you!

jackiero said...

Ummm, thank you! It's printing out right now. Yumms Rach!

Susanne said...

I'm married to a Southern man, a gravy and biscuits man who also believes no meal is complete without cornbread, biscuits....his mother also made biscuits from scratch, every morning, buttermilk and lard in the self-rising flour, and they turned out as light and fluffy as clouds. She, my mil passed away in October, one week after her 94th birthday. I have her biscuit pan, but I will never be able to make biscuits like she did, never, ever.
Susanne :)

~Jess said...

I'm a southern gal by heart and love me some biscuits. I've been convinced that I had finally found the perfect recipe, which they are good, but I just made these (had lard and fresh milk in the fridge). I think these might be my new favorite!

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