Southern Grandmother’s Buttermilk Biscuits

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Some of ya’ll might think biscuits are those things you pop out of a can; true, but there’s so much more to it than many ever imagined. For those of us who have tasted hot from the oven homemade biscuits, the others can’t compete. Goodness gracious sakes a live, it’s divine. Of course ever good cook has their own recipe.

Ingredients do matter as Southern flour makes better tasting biscuits than the national brands due to the wheat they use. They are lighter, don’t brown as dark and have more of a biscuit taste, as opposed to a chewy bread taste. But if you’ve never tasted the difference, you’d never know the difference. Of course I’m partial to Martha White flour as it is milled in my home town. White Lily is another southern favorite.

These will remind you of your Southern grandmother’s biscuits or make you wish you had a Southern grandmother!


  • 2 cups sifted Martha White flour or all-purpose flour
  • (sift before measuring)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
  • or lard (makes the best biscuits)
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 440 degrees with rack in the middle. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. . Add shortening, coating it with flour, then rub between your fingertips until coarsely blended with some 1/2-inch lumps. Make a well in the flour mixture and then add buttermilk, stirring with a fork just until dough forms and holds together (it will be soft and sticky.)

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Too much kneading leads to tough biscuits. Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2-3/4 inch thick) and, using a fork dipped in flour, prick all the way through about every 1/2 inch.

Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 2-1/2 to 3 inch round cookie/biscuit cutter dipped in flour (do not twist cutter or use an overturned glass which will seal the edges so they cannot rise.) Bake, almost touching, on an ungreased heavy baking sheet, rotating sheet after about 6 minutes if browning unevenly, until crusty and golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about a dozen.

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