Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

my granny's old-fashioned biscuits

★★★★★ 8
a recipe by
Elaine Bovender
Wilmington, NC

When I was young and learning how to cook, this was another one of those things that I could never seem to get right. On a visit with my Tennessee grandmother, I was talking to her about my problem with biscuits. She walked me step by step through the art of biscuit making. The result is these wonderful, tasty biscuits that come out great as long as I follow these specific guidelines that Granny told me. Her advice helped me and I hope it helps you, too! 1. Don't use too much shortening; 2. Don't over-handle your dough; 3. Make sure your shortening and buttermilk are very cold.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

A simple, basic buttermilk biscuit with minimal ingredients. It's an old-fashioned recipe everyone should have handy. If you follow Elaine's directions, once baked the biscuit is perfectly flaky and fluffy with a little tang from the buttermilk. They're melt-in-your-mouth good.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 8
serves Makes 10 to 12 biscuits
prep time 10 Min
cook time 15 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For my granny's old-fashioned biscuits

  • 2 c
    self-rising flour (Martha White or White Lily for best results)
  • 1/4 c
    lard or shortening (about egg-sized and very cold)
  • 1 c
    very cold buttermilk (may need to adjust amount)
  • 3 Tbsp
    melted shortening or butter

How To Make my granny's old-fashioned biscuits

Test Kitchen Tips
Elaine says to place the hot biscuits in a covered container to steam. Since we were leaving them in the cast iron skillet, we just covered that with a tea towel to steam.
  • Greasing a cast iron skillet.
    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heavily grease a large cast-iron skillet or biscuit pan and set aside. (I prefer the cast iron skillet).
  • Flower and lard/shortening in a bowl.
    Put the flour into a large bowl and add lard/shortening.
  • Cutting flour and shortening together.
    Cut into flour using the usual pastry method.
  • Adding buttermilk to the flour.
    Add buttermilk and mix with fork or hands.
  • Gently mixed into a dough.
    Mix into a light dough.
  • Kneading the dough.
    Turn dough onto a floured board and knead a couple of times.
  • Cutting the biscuits with a biscuit cutter.
    Pat dough to flatten to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into biscuits.
  • Cut biscuits in a cast iron pan.
    Place cut biscuits in the prepared pan.
  • Butter poured over the biscuits.
    Pour melted shortening/butter over each biscuit.
  • Biscuits baking in the oven.
    Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and place into a covered container and allow to steam for about 5 minutes. You may also brush melted butter over top prior to steaming (if desired).
  • Granny's Old Fashioned Biscuit with a pat of butter.
    Serve hot with butter, apple butter, jellies, jams, honey, or anything else that you like.
  • 12
    Special Note: I didn't have a biscuit cutter, so what I did was open both ends of a 4-ounce sized mushroom can, washed and removed the label and it works perfectly.