Big, Fat, Fluffy Southern Style Biscuits – Prepared Two Ways!

USE - Southern-Style Biscuits No. 2 - myyellowfarmhouse.com

Makes 11 – 12 yummy biscuits!

This Massachusetts Yankee (of French Canadian descent) has been searching for a long, long time for a really good recipe for Southern Style Biscuits. I’m talking biscuits that are soft and flaky inside, with a slightly crunchy, buttery top.

Believe me, I’ve prepared enough ‘so so’ biscuits to know when I’ve finally found a great recipe – and, actually I found (and adapted just a bit) two excellent recipes! To quote a series of books – these recipes could be called ‘Southern Style Biscuits for Dummies’!

++ In true ‘Cecile Style’, the first time I prepared the 2nd biscuit recipe I didn’t have any vinegar.  So I substituted ‘Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing’.  And, how about this, the biscuits were wonderful !

Quick Story About My Cast Iron Skillet.

We usually went camping for our vacations when I was a child…. that is, when we actually went on a vacation.  (I grew up during the 1950s in a working class neighborhood.)  During one of those trips we woke up to find our cast iron skillet missing.

My Old Cast Iron Skillet - myyellowfarmhouse.com

My father followed the trail of the raccoon who had absconded with it.  At the end of the trail he found not only our cast iron skillet but another one as well, which he brought back.  And that’s the story of the cast iron skillet I use today – – which is the one my father found in the woods laying along side ours!

TIPS !!

Learn from my mistakes…..  1. Make sure the butter is super cold  2.  Ignore directions telling you to ‘ cut slivers of butter with a potato peeler’ … simply because the butter is far too warm (from your hands) by the time you’re done  3.  Cut the butter into the flour, baking powder, salt mixture quickly. If there’s tiny hunks of butter, so much the better.   4.  Keep the kneading down to a minimum.  The more you knead, the softer the dough  gets as the butter warms up.  5.  The VERY best way to bake Southern Style Biscuits is in a cast iron skillet.  I tried… several times… using a cookie sheet but I just wasn’t happy with the results.

biscuit cutter

Biscuit Cutter

pastry blender

Pastry Blend

 

 Biscuit Recipe No. 1 – ‘Southern Style Baking Powder Biscuits’

INGREDIENTS                     Yield = 11 – 12 biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled
  • 3/4 cup milk  ++ At least 2%
  • ++ butter for greasing cast iron skillet – and for brushing on top of uncooked biscuits.

METHOD                 Preheat oven to 425 (F)           Butter a  cast iron skillet      

++  I used a 10″ cast iron skillet but a 12″ will work just as well !!    

In a medium bowl mix 2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar & 1 Tbs. baking powder.  Cut in 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, either with your fingers, a pastry blender or two table knives.  Mix milk (at least 2%) into flour mixture until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  I have a dish towel (tea towel) I use just for this. I shake it out after each use and put it away until the next time.  Knead dough very briefly… perhaps 30 – 40 seconds.

Pat down the dough using your fingers to form an 8″ circle.  Cut with 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter – or a glass of similar size.  Place biscuits around the edges of a buttered 9 1/2″ to 10″ cast iron skillet, then add others in the middle. (For this recipe, you should have three biscuits in the middle.)  Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake 18 – 20 minutes.  (Mine were ready in 18 minutes.)  To check for doneness, insert a knife or toothpick in the middle biscuits.  No dough should stick.  Let biscuits cool for a few minutes… that is… IF YOU CAN !!  Enjoy!!

 Biscuit Recipe No 2 – ‘Southern Style Biscuits’  

Recipe includes vinegar, baking powder & baking soda.

But…. if you have buttermilk.. or dried buttermilk, as shown below, then skip the vinegar!

 

No buttermilk?  This is a great product.  Just remember to refrigerate after opening!

SACO Cultured - DRIED - Buttermilk -

USE -Southern-Style Biscuits No. 1 - myyellowfarmhouse.com

USE - Southern-Style Biscuits No 1 - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)

Makes 11 – 12 yummy biscuits!

INGREDIENTS               Yield = 11 – 12 biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled
  • 1 Tbs. vinegar – plus enough milk (at least 2%) to make 3/4 cup
  •   ++ OR 3/4 cup buttermilk    
  •   ++ OR 3/4 cup 2% milk & add I Tbs. dried buttermilk to dry ingredients
  • butter for greasing cast iron skillet – and for brushing on top of uncooked biscuits.

 

METHOD              Preheat oven to 425 (F)           Butter a cast iron skillet

++  I used a 10″ cast iron skillet but a 12″ will work just as well !!

In a medium bowl mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 Tbs. white sugar.  Cut in 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, either with your fingers, a pastry blender or two table knives.  Pour in 3/4 cup buttermilk.  (OR place 1 Tbs. vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar) in a measuring cup and add enough milk (not less than 2%) to make 3/4 cup).  Mix milk/vinegar (or buttermilk) into flour mixture until just combined.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  I have a dish towel (tea towel) I use just for this. I shake it out after each use and put it away until the next time.  Knead dough very briefly… perhaps 30 – 40 seconds.

Pat down the dough using your fingers to form an 8″ circle.  Cut with 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter – or a glass of similar size.  Place biscuits around the edges of a buttered 9 1/2″ to 10″ cast iron skillet, then add others in the middle. (For this first recipe, you should have two biscuits in the middle.)  Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake 18 – 20 minutes.  (Mine were ready in 18 minutes.)  To check for doneness, insert a knife or toothpick in the middle biscuits.  No dough should stick.  Let biscuits cool for a few minutes… that is… IF YOU CAN !!  Enjoy!!

Need a bit of inspiration for what to serve with your biscuits?   

How about Salisbury Steak from ‘Rufus’ Guide’ ?  

Greg - 'Rufus Guide' - Salisbury Steak

Here’s the link for the delicious Salisbury Steak recipe!

Breakfast Time?  Perfect white gravy from ‘Mom of the South’.

Gravy Over Biscuits - Mom of the South

Here’s the link to ‘Mom of the South’ and her recipe for perfect white gravy!

++ Biscuit recipe No. 1 adapted from ‘Mom of the South’.     Biscuit recipe No. 2 adapted from ‘Allrecipes.com’.  

33 thoughts on “Big, Fat, Fluffy Southern Style Biscuits – Prepared Two Ways!

      • Either way… as you know, most recipes of this type are pretty ‘forgiving’! That being said, I’m, pretty much, ‘A Flour Scooper’! (Except for the bread I recently made, for some reason I was having such fun spooning the flour into the cup…)

    • I hope you like the biscuits. You know what? I think I’m going to ‘buy me some buttermilk’ when I make this next… rather than use milk with a bit of vinegar. I sure wish they sold little containers of buttermilk… what the hell are we supposed to do with the rest of it? : o )
      And, as I finally learned when using this recipe to top the pie made with leftovers, the less you mess with the dough, the better. And, if bits of butter are still visible – that’s even better!! (As always, let me know if you have any suggestions etc.)

      • I have a litre of buttermilk in my fridge right now. So exciting! and the cast iron skillet I got for my birthday but have never used, ever!

        • Isn’t it funny how, sometimes, things just fall into place. Can’t wait to hear what you think about the biscuits. I would look into your cast iron skillet since you’ve never used it before. Here’s the How To! (By the way, I never ‘turned my skillet upside down, as these instructions say.)
          1. Pre-heat oven to 325°
          2. Wash skillet with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly.
          3. Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil, or vegetable shortening with a paper towel on all surfaces, inside and out.
          4. Place in oven on center rack, upside down. Place a baking sheet or a sheet of foil on the rack beneath to catch drippings.
          5. Bake for an hour, then turn off heat, open door, and allow to cool inside oven before removing.
          6. Skillet is now ready to use.

          To wash, scrub with hot water and a brush without detergent. Never use sharp or metal utensils on it while cooking and never place in the dishwasher. If it finds its way into the dishwasher, don’t fret – just repeat seasoning process.
          http://www.thekitchn.com/technique-seasoning-a-brand-new-cast-iron-skillet-6719

          • ‘Wash without detergent”??? What are we doing here… camping and washing out our cast iron skillet with sand?? I ALWAYS wash mine with detergent – how the heck are you gonna get bacon grease etc. out otherwise??? (Liz, you’re gonna love your skillet!!)

  1. Wow – Yup, th UAE is just a tad too far to ‘drop by – LOL !! I found the buttermilk powder a while ago. Before that, I never even knew it existed. I very much doubt you’ll find it where you live – but you don’t really need it. Are you based somewhere in the UAE? I know how difficult it can be to be in a different country to find the ingredients you’re used to. And then, conversely, once you’re back in the States, you miss the products you used to be able to find overseas. When we lived in Malta there were wonderful Arabic, Italian and British foodstuffs – I missed them when we loved back to Canada/USA.

    • Thanks – I’m so pleased that I FINALLY found not one – but two – recipes which make light, fluffy and delicious biscuits. And you’re welcome to come over to learn how to make them… that is, as long as you don’t live hours – or continents – away!! ; o ) ++ I highly recommend buying a canister of buttermilk powder – but its sure not necessary!!

      • As you wrote- I’m living too far (UAE), but thanks a lot for the invitation! 🙂 and I even never heard of buttermilk powder 😀 does it really looks like powder? to dissolve it in a water?

  2. Both look extremely delicious. Now I know what I will use the cast iron skillet I got for my birthday for. I love eating scones, especially in the morning and sometimes with soup. Thanks so much for sharing these two recipes. I shall try the buttermilk one!

    • These are a lot like scones but lighter. In the States these are often referred to as Southern-Style Biscuits because the South is know for their light and fluffy biscuits. I’ve fallen in love ‘all over again’ with my cast iron skillet!! (Liz, are you living in Australia? All this time I’ve been picturing you living in Canada…)

  3. I bet your mother-in-law’s biscuits and gravy were AWESOME!! Guess what – I forgot I’d bought a container of dried buttermilk for recipes such as this… (I’m ‘loosing it”!! LOL) And, therefore, I never mentioned that there’s such a product available. I’m going to fix that right now!! ; o )

  4. I agree – scones are NOT biscuits anymore than biscuits are scones. The ingredients may be very, very similar but scones are ‘a whole different animal’,as you well know! Scones are heavier – by far. Biscuits should be relatively light…. if they’re heavy, then you’d better start over with a new recipe! Here’s my recipe for ‘Savory Cheese and Scallion Scones’ https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/08/14/savory-cheese-and-scallion-scones/ And here’s the link to my ‘Maple Pecan Scones’ https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2013/08/13/maple-pecan-scones/ ++ I wouldn’t pretend that I make scones as well as people in the Commonwealth countries anymore than I would think I make a better biscuit than people living ‘down south’ in the States!! ; o )

  5. I love buttery biscuits and both these recipes sound terrific. My friends tell me they’re scones with a different name but I know better.

  6. These biscuits are very similar to what we call scones which are generally served for morning or afternoon tea with butter & jam, or jam & cream aka Devonshire tea. I never though of adapting them to a savoury dish but it’s a great idea. Yum.

    • Actually, these ARE very much like scones… they’re just a bit lighter. And grocery stores in my area have begun to sell their ‘version’ of scones…which are far too light and airy to ever be accepted as actual scones! True story – one time, when we were in London, I was at a lovely tea shop and ordered scones with currants. I told the man waiting on me that there was a fly in the bakery case. He replied, “No…. Madam… those are currants”. To which I replied, “Then one of your currants is flying!” TRUE STORY !! :o)

    • Anytime I was in Britain, I’d always try to have afternoon tea, complete with scones, clotted cream, raspberry jam and tea sandwiches. We used to be in London quite a bit when my husband ran an international bank in Malta because the bank had an office there. I can’t wait to get back to both Britain and Malta! ; o )

  7. I have got to learn how to make biscuits, Cecile. I’ve just never developed the knack for it. Then again, I rarely attempt them anymore. I’m going to pin this recipe and give it a whirl. It sure would be nice to surprise Zia one morning with freshly made biscuits and jam. I’ve got plenty of jam. Now for the biscuits …

    • I KNOW you can make these babies John! If I can do it – ANYONE can do it. And – if my neighbor and friend Frank loved them…. then they have gotta be good. Let me know how they turn out. And – I am expecting to hear from you soon!!

  8. These look just perfect! I feel like grabbing one right now. 🙂

    As for working the butter/flour – I simply place them in the food processor with the metal blade on, and pulse a couple of times. It works for pie dough as well.

  9. They look big … fat … and fluffy indeed. No ground beef to make those salisbury steaks regrettably but I’m keeping them in mind for when I DO. Would yogurt help with the turning milk into buttermilk, I wonder?

    • You can substitute 1 Tbs. of milk in a measuring cup, then add enough milk to make up 3/4 cup. (That’s what I did!) OR – prepare the first biscuit recipe, which does not require buttermilk!

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