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Grandma's Buttermilk Biscuits

From Eleanor Bradshaw's article on making biscuits from scratch.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup shortening or lard, chilled (see Note, below)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, and add the buttermilk, blending quickly, just until dry ingredients are moistened. A sticky dough will result.

Turn the dough out on a floured board. Flour your hands and knead the dough 3 or 4 times. Important: Do not overhandle the dough. Roll or pat to a 3/4-inch thickness, and cut with a biscuit cutter. Repeat with the scraps of dough. For soft-sided biscuits, place close together on a lightly greased baking sheet or in a lightly greased cast iron skillet (vegetable cooking spray works just fine). For biscuits that are crusty all around, place about an inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake at 425°F for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes about eight 3-inch or about a dozen 2-inch biscuits.

Prep time: 12 minutes; Cooking time: 15 minutes; Total time: 27 minutes
The serving dishes in our photograph are Fiesta dinnerware.

Biscuit Notes

Biscuits baked on a baking sheet will rise higher and brown more evenly than those baked in a pan with sides.

Lard makes wonderful biscuits and pastries. And it may interest you to know that it contains less saturated fat than butter.

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day is May 14.

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