Another Buttermilk Biscuit - These are the buttermilk biscuits I remember from childhood. They're moist and substantial and totally delicious.
This recipe was a long time coming. A really long time. As in years.
I know that I've admitted before that there are two things that are my biggest failings in the kitchen. One is pie crust. Can't make one to save my life. It was a really big day for me when they came out with those nice ones in the dairy section at the grocery store. But pie crust isn't such a big deal, really. Lots of people have trouble with pastry dough. I could get over that one.
The other one, however, was my biggest shame. Biscuits.
What Southern Cook Can't Make Biscuits!?
Who ever heard of a Southern cook who couldn't make a biscuit? It was just unbelievable.
And it's not like I haven't tried. Over the years I've wasted enough flour trying to make a decent biscuit that you could have baked a dozen of William and Catherine's royal wedding cakes with it. Honestly.
I tried every biscuit recipe I could find following each one to the "t." I sifted my flour just so. Had the buttermilk at room temperature. Cut in the shortening till it was the perfect consistency. Nothing worked. They were a complete disaster every time. The tops cracked. They burned on the bottom. They were dry and they fell apart. And it frustrated me to no end.
Searching for the Perfect Recipe
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was trying to make the wrong kind of biscuit. What I was longing for was the biscuits I grew up with. And they were nothing like the tall, flaky, light biscuits everyone raves about. Not at all.
The biscuits that I grew up eating and which were produced by nearly every cook in my little corner of south Georgia were not light. They weren't flaky and they surely weren't tall. Those biscuits were moist! They had an almost chewy texture and they never, ever fell apart. You could slice them open, put a piece of ham or sausage in them and close them back up like a sandwich. Those biscuits had substance!
The Right Fat Makes All the Difference
After all these years I've finally realized what made those childhood biscuits different. The difference was oil. Believe it or not - oil.
My childhood biscuits were not made with solid shortening at all. Our south Georgia cooks made up their biscuit dough using soft winter wheat flour, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. There was no cutting in involved at all. They just dumped the ingredients into a bowl, mixed it up a little, formed the biscuits and popped them in the oven.
And guess what else - I have now made baking sheets full of perfect south Georgia biscuits! I cannot explain to you how relieved I am that I can now make a biscuit. Whew. I thought for a while there that I was gonna have to give up my Southern cook credentials.
How to Make Another Buttermilk Biscuit
If you'd like to try my version of buttermilk biscuits, one of the things I'd recommend is to try finding some White Lily flour. It's a Southern flour made from soft red winter wheat and it makes a tremendous difference in your baked products. If it's not available where you live, any self-rising flour will work. Your biscuits just won't be quite as tender :-)
Sift the Flour and Add the Wet Ingredients
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl (or not - most flours don't really need sifting these days). Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk followed by the oil and the salt.
Don't Overmix the Dough
Mix the ingredients together just until all the flour is moistened. Try to avoid over mixing. You'll have a fairly rough, shaggy dough. That's okay - it's supposed to look like that.
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and gently knead it just 4 or 5 turns. That's all you want to do - just enough to bring the dough together.
Form the Biscuits
Now, for these biscuits instead of using a cutter, you're going to roll them like you would a yeast roll. Just pinch off a portion a little larger than a golf ball and roll in between your palms a few times. Be gentle. Then flatten it into a disk.
Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet with the sides touching. That will help them rise a little more.
Bake in a Hot Oven
Place the baking sheet in the upper third of the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. Check a couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time and if the tops are not quite brown enough, turn on the broiler briefly to finish browning.
While the biscuits are cooking, melt a little butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush immediately with melted butter.
Add Butter and Syrup for a Treat
If you really want to experience a south Georgia treat, split one of these biscuits open while it's still good and warm. Add a pat or two of butter and drizzle it with a little cane syrup. Oh, yeah.
And there you go - the biscuits I remember from childhood. I was afraid I'd never figure out how to make them. I feel all grown up and everything :-)
More Biscuit Recipes on Never Enough Thyme:
Biscuit Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Ezra Pound Cake's Hot, Crusty Buttermilk Biscuits
- King Arthur Flour's Angel Biscuits
- Sweet Potato Biscuits from The Kitchn
- Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits from She Wears Many Hats
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Another Buttermilk Biscuit
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 tblsp. butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spray a baking sheet generously with cooking spray and set aside.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in the buttermilk followed by the oil. Add the salt.
- Mix all ingredients together just until all the flour is moistened. Do not overmix.
- Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times – no more.
- Pinch off portions of dough a little larger than a golf ball.
- Roll the dough into a ball, then press to flatten into a disk.
- Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet with the edges touching.
- Place the baking sheet in the upper third of the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes. If tops are not quite brown near the end of the cooking time, turn on the broiler briefly to finish browning.
- While the biscuits are cooking, melt the butter over low heat.
- Remove biscuits from the oven and brush with melted butter.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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