Southern Style Biscuits are good for so many things.
Grab some southern style biscuits and slap an egg and some bacon in the middle. Cut one in half and slather it with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. There are chicken biscuits, biscuits and gravy or cheddar cheese biscuits. But the thought of making biscuits from scratch can pose a problem…
Are you intimidated by the idea of making biscuits from scratch?
I was for years. I’m not intimidated by many things, but my timidity in making authentic southern-style biscuits and meeting new people took some intentional effort on my part to overcome (I’m still working on the meeting new people thing, but I’ve improved).
Then this California girl married a very southern man from the mountains of Western North Carolina…plus, his mother wasn’t just a great cook – she had a degree in home economics.
Talking intimidating. But she made cooking look so easy. When we stayed at her house she often made things that seemed beyond me. Dinner rolls, dumplings and yes, southern style biscuits. Watching her convinced me that, “I can do that too!”
Well, you can as well. I never got her recipe from her before she passed away. That has always disappointed me. But I have found some recipes for southern style biscuits that come pretty dog gone close.
There is nothing that screams, “comfort food” quite like scratch buttermilk biscuits. I emphasize buttermilk. I love buttermilk anything: pancakes, pound cake and obviously, biscuits. The smell of fresh biscuits in the oven is to die for and the taste is even better. I love to load mine down with some homemade apple butter or sausage gravy. I’ll show you how I make those soon.
Now there are a few tips that will help to ensure you end up with flaky delicious biscuits every time.
- Keep your butter and buttermilk VERY COLD. (I usually put both in the freezer right before I begin adding dry ingredients together and preheating the oven.
- STOP cutting your butter when it is in small chunks. (You want to see those butter peas throughout the flour.) You can also get your hands dirty to help break the butter up.
- DO NOT OVERWORK your dough. It’s all about folding and keeping the folds to a minimum. I also don’t roll my dough with a rolling pin. I pat it out, which I believe keeps the biscuits flakier.
- Put your cut out biscuits back into the fridge for a few minutes before baking.
- Put your VERY COLD biscuits into a VERY HOT oven. I’m talking 400 – 450 degrees depending on your oven.
One little frustration…
I have to admit that having a large family can make using most recipes useless since they are often made to feed a nuclear family of 4 1/2. I typically am feeding an average of 8-10 people. For several years I was daily cooking for 11+ depending on if we had company (which is often). And when I oversee craft services on one of our indie film sets for LINER HOUSE. The typical shoot has 10 – 16 people. So the recipes I share will be larger than most recipes because I have tweaked them until they work for feeding a crew like my recipe for Pumpkin Muffins with Crystallized Ginger. You should really try that one.
So, without any further ado let’s make some biscuits.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Sometimes you need more than a dozen biscuits. Here is my recipe for a slightly larger batch of flaky delicious biscuits. Perfect for any meal or any occasion.
- 3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Cold Butter
- 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Cold Buttermilk
Cut a stick of butter into tablespoon size sections.
Place the butter and the 1 1/4 cup buttermilk from the refrigerator into the freezer. Put 2 Tbsp buttermilk into a small bowl and reserve for later.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Gather only the dry ingredients (first five) and measure them into a large mixing bowl and mix to combine.
Take the butter from the freezer and "cut" it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives scissor style until the butter resembles pea sized chunks.
Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture.
Remove the buttermilk from the freezer and pour it into the well. Stir the mixture until just combined. (Some of the flour may not be completely incorporated.) Using your hands, gently work it into a ball (It is okay if it still feels a bit dry)
Lightly flour the surface then turn the dough out, press down then pat it flat to about an inch. Fold over, press down and pat it flat again. Do this 3 - 4 times then pat the dough out for cutting. Using a 2" diameter biscuit cutter cut out as many biscuits as possible. Gather the excess and with as little handling as possible pat it out and continue cutting continuing the process until you have 15 biscuits. Place them close together on the cookie sheet then slip them back into the fridge for about 5 minutes.
Brush each biscuit with the reserved buttermilk.
Remove the cookie sheet from the fridge and place in the preheated oven for about 14 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve hot with whatever your heart desires.
What is your favorite way to eat biscuits? Have you ever used your biscuit dough to make cinnamon rolls. That is a Liner House favorite. I’ll put that on my recipe to-do list for the blog.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time…