Friday, June 21, 2013

My Best Southern Biscuits -> just make these

I agree that I probably do have too many biscuit recipes here.  I wasn't going to put up another one but I've been asked for a while now how I make my biscuits.

I decided I should probably publish the one that *I* use every couple of days to replenish our stock :)

I have a pretty handy arsenal of biscuit recipes and methods in my head and I used to flip flop around which I'd make on any given day, usually depending on my mood.  I noticed that I stopped flipping about and stuck to this one recipe pretty consistently now and since I have the time, I took a million pictures of it this morning and here we are.  

One of the recipes that would come in and out of fashion for me was one I found in one of my old "old lady" cookbooks and have been using it as my standard, go to, the one I make, the one people ask me for, real old fashioned southern biscuit recipe.

I tweaked it a little bit and now it's THE recipe with THE method that I use all the time.  The recipe is EASY but the method is a little weird.  When you look at it, you'll think I'm being fussy and making an easy thing more difficult but truly, I'm not.  If you break it down, it's a mix, a few flips and a bake. Trust me, I make these 2-4 times a week and have for a really long time.

This recipe takes 5 minutes to put together and 15-20 minutes to cook then you are in soft, tender, delicious southern biscuit nirvana.  I promise you.

I haven't steered you wrong before and I'm not going to now.  This is one of those leap of faith moments.  Forget what you know about biscuit making, shake your shoulders out and do not fret.  My international tester made them and loved them.  I have faith you will too.

I had Connor take a million pictures, over my shoulder, as I made them for his breakfast this morning.  I timed it and it was 8 minutes from deciding to make them to popping them in the oven.  That's pretty quick and pretty easy.  I'm sorry there's so many but I wanted to show you, literally, step by step.


1 cup milk (I use 2%)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (out of the big plastic green lemon jar I keep in the fridge, don't judge :)
2 1/4 cups *SELF RAISING flour
1 stick of **MARGARINE (again, don't judge)
optional: a couple of tsps of sugar if you feel the need, I add some 50% of the time

*IF you do not have self raising flour then make some.  For each cup of flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt, mix it up, make 3 cups for this recipe and use it as "bench flour" as well.
**OK OK OK... in this recipe, I absolutely do use margarine, it's CHEAP and they come out beautifully and you can then justify slathering, thickly, the hot, fresh, biscuits with your best cold butter.  I think butter makes them too rich, if there is such a thing.


Preheat oven to 450 and be sure your rack is on the top third of the oven.

Mix milk and lemon juice in a cup and leave for a few minutes.

Cut/mix margarine into flour with hands, combining until it looks like sand.  Use your fingers (like me) or two knives or two forks or a pastry cutter.

Make a well in the center and pour all the milk/lemon into it!  ACK!  SERIOUSLY!  Mix with a fork until it's a runny, batter like mix.  Take a moment to worry that you've done something wrong...  OK, look at the pictures now and see that you didn't :)

Pour (yeah, you have to pour this) dough on to HEAVILY floured board and with a bench scraper, start to fold it over itself.  No kneading or pushing, this stuff sticks like CRAZY at this point.  You want to dust lightly then fold with the scraper then turn, dust, fold, turn, and slowly, after about 8 turns, you have a very soft, smooth, lovely dough.  You can tell if it's too wet because it feels cold and wet.  IF you try to cut the biscuits and they stick together or go flat then it's not enough turns, trust me.  This sounds obnoxious but it's really easy and quick... look below before you judge it.  It takes a minute or two.  Connor said I should do a video showing it in real time I will next time I make these, which will be Sunday or maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, when it's a soft dough, pat it gently and cut biscuits out.  I use a 2 inch cutter, dipped in flour and cut straight down, no twisting.  I put the 9 (or 10 with a cooks treat) on a greased sheet, touching and bake at 450 for 16 minutes, then I spin the tray and cook them for another 4.  Butter the tops lightly when they come out and well, then just eat 'em.

HERE are a million play by play pictures, let me know if you have ANY questions:

Flour in the bowl and then the margarine stick (1/2 cup for those who don't get the sticks)  Work it in with your fingers, lightly and quickly.
No big chunks left, make a well in the center
Pour all of the milk/lemon juice in at once.  Mix quickly with a fork.
It looks like batter, trust me, it'll work.  Heavily flour a board and the top of the dough
Pour it out... ohhhhhhhh it's a blob! Flour the top and grab your scraper and start flipping it on itself
Scrape under, flip it! Scrape under from the other side, flip it!
Scrape under, flip it, flour it lightly.  Scrape it, flip it, flour it lightly.  Repeat 4-5 times
OOH!  it's starting to look like dough!  Flour lightly now, scrape, fold in half.
yeah, here we go.  Now I get fancy, flour lightly, fold in thirds, and turn!  it makes a difference!
Bottom third up and over, now turn it 90 degrees and do it again, 3 or 4 times
Ok, this is really looking like dough now, square it up a bit and see if it's happy being patted out.  I pat it the dough about equal height of my baby finger
Yeah, that works... square it up nicely.  Flour your cutter and press straight down and slide it out of the way, no twisting.  I don't know if it truly matters but I'm funny about it so just don't twist :)
cut out 9 biscuits, you can fold the scrap dough to get the rest. I always roll any extra as cook's treat :)
oh just look at this waiting to be baked biscuit...  what a beautiful thing
Line then up touching on a 1/4 sheet pan, lightly greased.  I press my fingers on the top, I don't know why but I just do.  Set timer, on preheated 450 degree oven, for 16 minutes. Bake them on the top third rack
At 16 minutes, they're a bit pale still, spin the pan and cook another 4 minutes or until they're beautiful.  When they come out, brush them immediately with a little butter
OK, now we're onto the beauty shots.  No knife required, just pinch the sides and pull these babies open

This is Connor's, plain with butter, now, onto the cook's treat!
*this is how I serve when I'm taking pictures
*THIS is how I serve myself up in real life!!!  Thick butter and way more golden syrup!
ooooh, drippy and marvelous.  You can taste it, can't you?

So, in conclusion (finally) THAT is how I make my biscuits.  Try it, you'll love it!  It sounds hard and look obnoxious but really, a quick mix, a couple of flips and into the oven.  DELICIOUS!!

Unlike the other biscuits I used to make, these reheat perfectly even after a couple of days.  Connor toasts them in the toaster oven without splitting them and they come out like fresh from the oven.  I split and then toast and they're like slightly thicker English muffins.

Truly, try them and let me know how much you love them too!



  1. Thanks, girl!! Southern biscuits ROCK, and so do yours!

  2. I have lived in the South for 64 of my 69 years and was never able to make edible biscuits until yesterday, when I happened upon your recipe. Now I am spreading the word about these little bites of heaven! For such a detailed recipe, it's amazingly simple. Thank you so much!

    1. there are few comments that make me as happy as this one :D

  3. Does the butter or margarine have to be cold or at room temperature.most traditional biscuit recipes call for cold butter or margarine.

  4. Ok,ok,, quit nagging. I made them today. I knew there was a problem when yours looked like glop and mine looked like biscuit dough but I persevered and floured and flipped with a bench scraper, per your directions/instructions. When I cut them the same thickness as my pinkie I was thinking this was the softest dough I have ever made. When they came out of the oven, I slathered the top with melted butter and grabbed a plate to smother them in my homemade sausage and onion gravy. I ate one with an over easy egg. In Seymour, Missouri, that was called half-an-egg (a half order of biscuits and gravy topped with an over easy egg). I have not had anything that good since I left Missouri in 2009. MY biscuits today were the best ever but with practice I think will be amazing. I know my 60 year old male cousin liked them because he ate all but 2 biscuits and all 4 cups of sausage and onion gravy by the time I got back home two hours later! He said they were the best he has ever eaten and highly recommends this recipe. I agree. I am still shocked as he has never eaten that much since he has been staying with us.

  5. Easy recipe, my only suggestion is to make sure your baking powder is not out of date.... otherwise you get yummy flat biscuits! We will still eat them but they are not really flaky this time (+_+)