- Nov 26, 2016
- central NC
(Photograph by Taylor McBride)
If they like biscuits in heaven, my grandma is probably making a big ol’ pan of her buttermilk biscuits every morning. There’s no telling how many biscuits she must have made in her long lifetime. She didn’t roll her dough and cut them out with a cutter. They were what most Southerners call “cathead-style” biscuits. Grandma pinched off a hunk of dough and rolled it out in the palm of her hand before placing it on a baking pan and placing them into the hot oven. I think she would be happy that I’m passing this recipe along to you, my CWT foodies and friends.
4 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 ½ cups buttermilk
¼ cup lard
Preheat oven to 500°. Lightly grease a baking pan or cast-iron skillet with lard or butter.
Fill a sifter with flour, about 4 cups. Sift flour into a large, wide bowl. Make a well in the center of flour with your hand. Add lard and buttermilk. Squish the lard and buttermilk together with your fingers until lard is in small clumps.
Place fingers straight down into the center of the bowl and start making small circular movements. Continue to stir, in small circles, while gradually working in flour from the sides of the bowl. You’ll work in most of the flour, but probably not all it.
Sprinkle some of the excess flour on top of the dough ball and fold the dough into itself a time or two. Knead the dough just a few times until it’s fairly smooth, and then shape into a thick rectangle.
Clean any dough off of your hands before proceeding. Flour both hands prior to shaping and forming the biscuits.
Use your fingers and pinch off a section of dough that’s slightly larger than a golf ball. Roll this ball in the palms of your hands to smooth it out using slightly firm pressure at first and then lighter pressure as it becomes a bit sticky again. Try not to overwork the dough. Drop the ball back in the flour and coat lightly with flour. Roll the ball in the palm of your hand for another second or two and then flatten it like a hamburger patty.
Place the biscuit dough on your greased baking pan or in a cast-iron skillet. For softer biscuits, make sure sides are touch. For biscuits with crispier edges, space them out. Repeat the process until all the dough is used or your skillet is filled. Use the back of your fingers and gently press down on each biscuit. Bake 8 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Brush melted butter on top of each biscuit.
Cover with a clean towel and let rest for a few minutes prior to serving. This will set the butter and make the biscuits extra tasty.