No-Fail Buttermilk Biscuits


Southern food includes lots of biscuit recipes!

Biscuits and Southern food go hand in hand, and every Southern cook worth her salt has her own biscuit recipes. My favorite basic biscuit concoction is for Southern buttermilk biscuits. The buttermilk gives the dough a rich, wonderful flavor. You can use whole milk instead, but in my opinion, the biscuits won’t be nearly as good. Also, most Southerners prefer using White Lily flour for their biscuits, but if you can’t find this brand in your local area, substitute another brand. Another biscuit secret you might be interested in is to store the flour in the freezer.

This is a no-fail biscuit recipe that anyone can make successfully. Buttermilk biscuits I’ve made with this recipe have always turned out to be the perfect biscuits!

Holle’s Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • Pinch baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Cold vegetable shortening the size of a large egg (about 6 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 – 1 cup buttermilk (use whole – not low-fat buttermilk)
  • Melted butter (optional)

Place flour in large mixing bowl. Add baking powder, sugar, and salt.

Using a pastry cutter or fork, work shortening into flour until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Gradually add buttermilk. Start with ½ cup and add more as needed. You might not need the full amount. Dough should be smooth and pliable, but not moist enough to stick to your hands.

Place biscuit dough on floured surface and knead 3-4 times. Don’t overhandle the dough. Doing so will incorporate air into the dough, making your biscuits hard.

Next, oil your hands and pull off pieces of dough to form your biscuits, with the amount depending on the size you want your biscuits to be. Personally, I use pieces about the size of a cross between a golf ball and a tennis ball.

Place the “biscuit balls” on a greased baking sheet, spaced apart about a half-inch. Once all your dough is on the baking sheet, flatten dough balls until the biscuits are about ½ inch thick and touching each other.

Bake your buttermilk biscuits on the top rack of your oven, at 450 degrees until tops are brown. This should take about twelve minutes.

When biscuits are done, brush tops with melted butter, if desired.