How to Make Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits: Tips and Recipe
The secret of light fluffy biscuits is to not over work the dough. Once the liquid is combined with the flour, stir only enough to form a cohesive dough. Most recipes call for a ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 for the flour: fat ratio. Being health conscious we tend to use the 4:1 ratio now. I would use the 3:1 if using milk, or 4:1 when using buttermilk. I prefer shortening or lard, butter can be used if necessary, but the texture is different and the color is affected. (Try butter flavored shortening if you like the buttery flavor).
Traditionally the biscuit is split and stuffed with butter or jam. Some cooks now brush the top of the biscuits with butter when taking out of the oven now instead. I can see how this might reduce the fat- provided that you don’t stuff them as well.
Buttermilk biscuits rely on the acid in the buttermilk to help in the rising process. If you do not have buttermilk, try my Self-Rising Biscuits or my Baking Powder Biscuits. Follow the links below for those recipes.
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons shortening or lard
1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl. With a pastry cutter or your fingers rub the shortening into the flour until the texture is like cornmeal.
- Form a hole or well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk into the well.
- Use your fork to stir the flour into the buttermilk, stirring in a circle so that a little more flour is incorporated with each pass.
- Roll out dough to ½ inch and cut with a 2 inch cutter, or pull off balls of dough and flatten with your fingers. (I prefer flattening the balls since it avoids additional working of the dough.)
- Place biscuits onto a greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.