If you sang the title of this post, you are showing your age, you old coot! I am kidding! We are only slightly old. It’s kinda like being only half-dead! I am still kidding! We only have one foot in the grave……. Ok! Ok! I quit! One thing I have noticed in my old age is the fact that my tastes in food have changed. I love having a spoonful of chow-chow with my soup beans (Especially if they have been cooked with a ham bone. My Aunt Lorraine would be so proud!) and cornbread and a slice of tomato with my biscuits and gravy. Two things, that I never thought I would have loved in my lifetime but crept up on me just like my grey hair. (Shaddup.) On the flip side of that coin, there are things that I can’t stand anymore like canned biscuits. Yuck! Or worse, eating a greasy biscuit. *SHUDDER* So like my quest for amazing cornbread, I have learned how to make delicious, flaky biscuits. The recipe is a standard one used by many cooks over the ages but the technique is the key.
Interested? Come my child!! Take my hand and let me lead the way to those flaky biscuits! Don’ t be afraid! I won’t lead you astray!
Step one: Gather your ingredients. You will need self rising flour, buttermilk, a bit of melted butter, and some sort of fat. You can use lard, butter, shortening, or even coconut oil. Now I personally have never used coconut oil but I have heard it can be used. Anyone use coconut oil? Let me know how it goes! Here I chose butter flavored shortening. I also use a 10 inch cast iron skillet but I have used a 9 inch round cake pan and a 9×13 pan after doubling the recipe for a crowd.
Step two: Measure your flour into a bowl and add your shortening. You can use a pastry cutter, a whisk, or your fingers. I have gotten in the habit of just using my fingers so I have one less dish to wash. Laziness rules! This is also where you con your husband into taking pictures for you because your fingers are covered in flour and shortening but your fingers are covered in flour and shortening so you wiggle your eyebrows and shake your shoulders to entice him over into your web of MENIAL TASKS!! He is trapped forever! MWAH HA HAAAAAA!
Step three: Add your buttermilk and stir with a spoon until a soft dough forms.
Step four: Sprinkle flour on your counter top or board or whatever you want to use and place dough in flour. Knead a few times. I usually do about 4 to 5 times. Also, dodge your husband’s hands since he will be grabbing your hiney because you are stuck with your hands in dough. (I know, I asked for it!)
Step five: Now here is where the “magic” begins. Pat out your dough like you are going to cut out your biscuits. Don’t cut them yet! We are going to fold the dough in half and pat back out again. Do this twice more to make those flaky layers.
Pat and fold.
Step six: Pat out your biscuits one final time to a thickness of about 1 inch thick. Cut your biscuits and place in your lightly greased pan. Cooking spray is fine. Press straight down when you cut and don’t twist! Twisting seals the sides of the biscuit shut and you won’t get a good rise. Gaze at that layered goodness. Now the middle biscuit it usually a hand shaped biscuit with the scraps of dough, hence the rough edges.
Step seven: Use the knuckles of your pointer, middle, and ring finger to make slight indents in the dough. This makes the sweetest little pockets for melted butter. You are gonna want to use that melted butter now and again when they come out.
Step eight: Bake in a 425-450 degree oven for about 10-20 minutes. It all depends on how fast I want them to cook. I know you are thinking, “Uhhh…. I would always want them the fastest!” But I am here to tell you that when you are trying to get a few dishes done at the same time, a little leeway in time is a lifesaver! Now, just because it feels so good, brush those babies again with butter, serve, and wait for compliments.
Now the quality of your ingredients will also affect the flavor of these biscuits. I am only mentioning it because the last time I went home, I got the chance to use real lard and fresh buttermilk with these amazing bits of butter from a local Amish store. My eyes crossed, my legs crossed, and I sang GLORY at the top of my lungs until everyone came to check my sanity. I then crossed myself and ate another one. Amen. I urge you to try it at least once!
Here is the recipe:
2 1/2 cups of self rising flour
1/2 cup of fat i.e. shortening, lard, butter, etc.
1 cup of buttermilk, more or less (The more you make these, the easier it will get to recognize the soft dough stage.)
Melted butter, optional but oh so good!
Combine flour and shortening in bowl by using your hands, pastry cutter, fork, whisk…. whatever you want to use. These are your biscuits! Damn the torpedoes and plow ahead! Stir in your buttermilk until you have a nice soft dough. It will be slightly sticky. Scrape dough out onto floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times. Pat dough out to 1 inch thickness. Fold in half and pat out again. Do this two more times to make flaky layers. Cut biscuits out and place in greased pan. Brush with melted butter and bake at 425-450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Brush with butter again and serve.
I would like to thank my handsome husband for his photographing skills while I was incapacitated. BTW, I licked your biscuit when you weren’t looking…….
UPDATE! My best friend Joni (Who taught me how to make the best spaghetti in the world!) messaged me this morning and informed me that she just made these with Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk and they were amazing! She also suggested that sour cream would probably work as well. Thanks girl!
Thank you for reading.