Weekend biscuits are great for breakfast any day. Treat yourself, your family, your neighbors, or anyone who stops by for coffee, to these fluffy homemade biscuits.
OK, you can make these any time you want, but Saturday or Sunday mornings are a great time to indulge a little. One-third of the flour is whole wheat so they’re not entirely decadent. They pair well with butter, jam, honey, eggs, tofu scramble, or just about any breakfast item. But don’t stop at breakfast. Biscuits are great with soup and beans too!Jump to Recipe
While these don’t take long to make, give yourself time to enjoy the process. You might want to put on an apron. That way you won’t care when that puff of flour flies up from the cutting board. Get out your supplies to start assembling this flaky delight. To make these biscuits, you’ll need a big mixing bowl, a pastry blender, a floured cutting board, a biscuit cutter, and a cookie sheet, preferably lined with parchment paper.
A bit of info about the ingredients
What’s up with shortening? I use shortening instead of butter. I read about it and what I found indicates that using shortening instead of butter in a biscuit recipe is a Southern thing. While I don’t really consider myself a Southerner, my father was born in Tennessee and I learned to make biscuits by watching my mother, who was making them for my father. (The rest of us just got lucky.) The other good thing about using shortening is that it makes the dough a little easier to handle. Butter melts at a lower temperature than shortening, so if you use shortening, you don’t have to worry about the dough getting sticky while you handle it.
On to the flour. My mother made her biscuits with white, all-purpose flour and I like to use 1/3 whole wheat in the flour mixture. I started doing that decades ago and there’s no stopping me now. I like the taste and the texture. But hey, these are your biscuits and if you want to use all-purpose flour, that’s fine – just make it two cups and omit the whole wheat altogether.
On to the buttermilk. Use the kind that says it’s for cooking and baking. It has the cultures in it that make it slightly acidic. That mild acid combines with the baking soda and baking powder to make CO2, and CO2 is the gas that makes the biscuits rise. Yup, there’s chemistry in biscuits. That’s why you can substitute yogurt with active cultures mixed with regular milk to get the same effect.
A bit of info about the process
Sift the flour, even the whole wheat flour. It aerates the flour and makes the dry ingredients combine more easily. I also sift the baking powder because I’ve had it clump before and sifting gets those clumps out. But here’s the thing: I don’t own a sifter. I had one for a long time, but in some move it fell out of my life. That happens. I just use a stainless-steel mesh strainer and tap it gently to sift the flour. The other thing I like about sifting is that it looks nice. It just makes for an aesthetically pleasing mountain of flour. Cooking should be fun. Take your pleasures where you find them.
After all the dry ingredients are combined, cut in the shortening with a pastry blender. If you don’t have one of those, use two table knives to cut in the shortening. Your aim in this part of the process is to have the shortening cut into very small pieces that are blended well into the dry ingredients.
When you have the shortening mixed to your satisfaction, make a little dent in the middle of the ingredients and add the buttermilk. Stir it just enough to mix things thoroughly and then turn it out onto a lightly floured cutting board.
Kneading Biscuit Dough
Before you start kneading the dough, put a little flour on your hands to keep them from sticking to the dough. Knead the dough by gently smashing it down, scooping it up, turning it over, and repeating this process for a couple of minutes. You can use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, but I just press it down with my hands. Grab your biscuit cutter and start cutting biscuits and placing them on the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. After you have cut a few, you will have to pull the remaining dough into a ball and press it out again to cut more biscuits. Keep doing that until they’re all cut. If you have a little blob left, just throw it on the cookie sheet and make a lumpy, mutant looking biscuit. Who says life is perfect? It still tastes good.
The yield depends on the size of the biscuit cutter that you use. I like to use a small can that has been washed and opened on both ends. If you don’t have a cutter that you like, just use a knife and slice them into squares or any shape you like. The smaller they are, the crispier they will be. If they’re too large, they won’t rise and heat evenly. If you’re new to biscuit making, it’s best to start small and see how you like them.
After you have arranged the biscuits on a cookie sheet, put them in the oven that you pre-heated to 400° F. When a 10-minute timer goes off, check to see if the biscuits are brown on top and bottom. (Lift one up with a spatula to check.) If they aren’t brown enough, give them 2-3 more minutes.
- 1 1/3 C white flour
- 2/3 C whole wheat flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 C vegetable shortening
- 1 C Buttermilk
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir the dry ingredients.
- Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening.
- Add the milk and stir well.
- Put the dough onto a floured cutting board.
- Knead lightly and press or roll out to about a 1/2 inch thickness.
- Use a biscuit cutter to make the round biscuits.
- Place on an unbuttered cookie sheet (or one lined with parchment paper).
- Bake for 10-13 minutes.
- The recipe calls for buttermilk but regular milk works just as well. However, if you go with regular milk, you won’t need the baking soda.
- A good substitute for buttermilk is to add a couple of tablespoons of yogurt into a measuring cup and then fill it to the one cup level with regular milk.
I love biscuits— and muffins— so your recipe will tug at me until I make time to bake.
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Y’all rock with all your great ideas and stories.
Thanks! And thanks for visiting too!