Our family has lived in Utah for over 20 years now, but I’m a California girl at heart. I can’t claim any Southern roots, or tell any stories about classic Southern recipes that have been passed down through the generations. But I was lucky enough to grow up with a mom who knew that the secret to making great food is not taking shortcuts. (She still makes everything from scratch, which is so impressive to me.)
Even though my mom doesn’t make any Southern dishes per se, I think her philosophy on cooking reflects the soul of Southern cuisine. Because the best Dixie cooks and chefs will also tell you that great comfort food is a result of good ingredients, some old fashioned elbow grease, and a lot of love.
So I thought we’d tackle a classic Southern recipe today, and one that my mom can make with the best of them… biscuits. I think a lot of people (including myself!) are a little intimidated by biscuits. Because when they’re good, they’re so good. But when they’re bad… well, it may as well be criminal. But making great biscuits is really not as hard as you might think!
So let’s all agree to be a little brave today, and learn how to make our own buttery, flaky, and delicious biscuits at home.
adapted from SouthernFATTY.com
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp butter, frozen
- 1 Tbsp shortening, frozen
- 1 cup buttermilk, cold
Start by grating the frozen butter. Once it’s grated, return it to the freezer until you’re ready to use it.
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl, and then whisk or sift to combine.
Next, take your frozen, grated butter and frozen shortening out of the freezer and add them to flour mixture. Carefully mix to combine.
Pour about three-quarters of the cup of buttermilk into the mix, adding more if needed. The dough should be very loose. Set aside the remaining buttermilk to brush the tops.
Use your hands to fold the dough together, working quickly. Scoop under the edges of the dough, and fold it towards the center. This will gently incorporate all of your ingredients, without destroying the bits of frozen butter. Overall, you want to work the dough as little as possible.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a floured surface (or onto a sheet of wax paper). Press the dough out until it is a little over 1” thick.
Use your biscuit cutter to cut out your biscuits. You should have enough dough to cut out about 8 of them.
Carefully transfer your biscuits to a greased or lined baking sheet. Arrange the biscuits closely, so they are touching each other on the sides.
Next, if you like, you can use your pastry brush to brush the tops with the leftover buttermilk. Sprinkle with a bit of finishing salt, too.
Bake in a 450F degree oven until golden brown. Cook time will vary, so start checking on them frequently after 10 minutes.
Serve warm or room temperature, with plenty of butter and jam or honey. Or some country gravy! Mmmm… if I wasn’t hungry before, I certainly am now! :-)