There really is nothing better than hot homemade biscuits. After you try this recipe, the canned biscuits just won’t quite do it for you anymore. This is a really old recipe and the classic way to make southern biscuits. It’s surprisingly easy and the biscuits come out perfect every time!
This recipe makes about 24 biscuits. Normally, if I’m cooking for just myself and my husband, I half the recipe so that we don’t have any biscuits go to waste.
Start by adding 6 cups of self rising flour (or 6 cups of all purpose flour with 12 tsp of baking powder) and 1 1/2 tsp of salt to a large mixing bowl. Add in a total of 3/4 cups of a diced up fat ingredient.
I know that the words “fat ingredient” are just about the least appealing words I could possibly say, but hear me out (and forgive me because I’m going to say these words a lot). It’s the fat ingredient that creates the flavor and flakiness in biscuits. This is the ingredient that you can play with to really make the biscuits your own.
Your options for the fat ingredient are butter, shortening, and lard. Butter will give you the best flavor, while shortening and lard add the most flakiness. Lard is an older and more classic ingredient, but personally I don’t love the flavor of lard so I prefer to use shortening. You can use all 3/4 cups of one ingredient or you can do a combination. In my opinion, using half butter and half shortening creates the perfect combination of flavor and flakiness. Try making the biscuits a few different ways and pick your favorite!
The next step is cutting the fat ingredient into the flour. “Cut” is one of those fancy pastry terms that you’ll sometimes see in recipes. If you’re not sure what this means, don’t let that deter you. The process is really very simple. Cutting butter into flour literally means just that. You cut up butter into some flour. This is the process that creates flakiness.The trick is to do this without allowing the fat ingredient to get too hot and soft. Keeping it cold will keep the biscuits flaky.
There are several ways to cut the fat into the flour. You can use a pastry cutter (a tool designed for this purpose that makes the job really quick and easy) or you can use two knives as I did today. The two knife method takes a few minutes longer, but it works just as well. If you don’t have a pastry cutter in your kitchen, feel free to follow my example.
To use the two knife method, you move the knives in opposite directions across the bowl, slicing chunks of butter in half as the knives pass each other.
Keep doing this until the flour mixture resembles course crumbs with a few pea sized pieces of butter left. Have patience. This process takes around 5 minutes with the knives, but it’s so worth it.
Next, add in 2 1/2 cups of buttermilk (or 2 1/3 cups of milk with 3 tbs of white vinegar) and stir until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
The dough should come out smooth and not sticky.
Press the dough with your hands until it is about 1/2 an inch thick. You could choose to roll the dough out with a rolling pin instead, but I prefer to use my hands. It makes the tops of the biscuits dimply and a little uneven which I feel like is a requirement for homemade southern biscuits.
Cut the biscuits out with a floured drinking glass or biscuit cutter. Up until very recently I always used a drinking glass to cut my biscuits, but for my last birthday, my husband bought me this handy biscuit cutter! It has a cute scalloped edge that I just love. Thanks, honey!
Place the biscuits on an ungreased pan. Bake them for 10 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
They’re finished when the tops are golden brown.
Your kitchen will smell amazing at this point. If you make these for your friends and family, you will be their favorite person. Biscuits keep extremely well so many times I’ll make a batch for us on Sunday and we’ll have them for breakfast all week. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Enjoy them with a little butter and jelly or take them to the next level by topping them with sausage gravy or turning them into a bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich.
Old Fashioned Southern Biscuits
Makes 24 biscuits
- 6 cups self rising flour (or 6 cups all purpose flour with 12 tsp baking powder)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup or butter, shortening, lard or a combination, diced
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 2 1/3 cups milk with 3 tbs white vinegar)
Add the flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir.
Add in the fat ingredient (my preference is half butter and half shortening). Cut in the fat ingredient until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Pour in the buttermilk and stir until the mixture comes together into a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
Flour the board again and press the dough out until it is about 1/2 and inch thick.
Using a biscuit cutter or floured drinking glass, cut out the biscuits. Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. The biscuits are finished when the tops are golden brown.
Serve with butter and jelly or take them to the next level by serving them with sausage gravy or as a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich!