recipe
Jan
06
2008

Recipe of the Day: Best Biscuits (so far)

Okay, I know some of you will scoff at this next sentence but I warn you, I have tested it extensively. THE BRAND OF FLOUR YOU USE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD IN HOW YOUR BISCUITS TURN OUT. I am not even kidding you.

biscuits1a.jpg

Here are the flours I have tried (all self rising): Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Wondra, Martha White, Sunflower and White Lily. So far HANDS DOWN the winner is WHITE LILY. I will keep testing flours but this flour is amazing. Sounds crazy??? It isnt. I can research why it is different another time but just trust me on this. It is. It is a Southern made flour and who knows a biscuit better than someone in the South. Sorry all you happy Northerners, but you and I both know it’s true. And there are plenty of things y’all (how you like that y’all thrown in) make better than us. Maple Syrup. Vermont Common Crackers. Lobster Bisque. Crab Cakes. The list goes on and one. But when it comes to biscuits. Well we all know how this story ends. And if you truly want to make biscuits that will make you slap yo’ mama…well Southern Flour is a starting point. And LOTS of practice.

Notice the layers in the biscuits in the picture above. Did you think that was possible with homemade biscuits? Me neither!! But you see them. Here is a list of other necessary things for good biscuits…from my experience:

  1. Buttermilk – and I don’t mean add some lemon juice or vinegar to whole milk. I mean real thick creamy, Bulgarian style buttermilk.
  2. Heavy Cream – NOT canned milk, or half and half. REAL heavy cream.
  3. Brace yourselves. LARD. Yep. It makes a HUGE difference. And since I am not eating these biscuits every day and or 15-20 at a setting then I am not going to worry about a little lard. I have made biscuits with shortening, butter and the combination of both…NOT EVEN CLOSE. Biscuits made with lard are light and fluffy and tender and PERFECT!
  4. Southern Self Rising Flour, preferably White Lily (now if you simply cannot find this flour we can make arrangements for me to send you some – when my shop opens back up I will be selling a Biscuit Kit and it WILL contain White Lily Self Rising Flour)
  5. All purpose flour for your pastry cloth or board where you will cut your biscuits
  6. ANY recipe you use if you don’t use this one, that calls for sugar – OMIT it. You are NOT making cookies, you are making biscuits and biscuits are not supposed to be sweet. Unless you spread them with jam or jelly or syrup.
  7. Chill everything, lard, flour, milk…it being cold is very important.

Okay here is the recipe.

  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lard chilled
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • all purpose flour for shaping biscuits
  • Melted butter for brushing tops after baking

Preheat oven to 475. Spray a pan with cooking spray. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add lard and crumble with your fingers until it crumbles with no pieces bigger than a pea. Just rub the flour/lard between your fingers.

Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and heavy cream all at once and mix with a fork until JUST MIXED. Do not over work. The dough will be very sticky, very wet…kinda like large curd cottage cheese.

Dust your hands with the all purpose flour and also your work surface…I use a pastry cloth. Turn out the dough onto the flour surface and work with it so it is just coated with a very light covering of flour. Pat it out…fold it over on itself from the right, turn a half a turn and pat out again…this gives you the layers. Pat out to a 8 inch by 6 inch rectangle and cut with a 2″ biscuit cutter – DO NOT TWIST the cutter. Cut straight down and lift up. Twisting will seal the edges and your layers will be gone! This should give you 10-12 biscuits…you can pat your scraps out once but no more. Re working will cause the dough to become tough.

Bake for 15 minutes more or less…watch them so they dont get too brown. Mine were so near perfect and then I over baked them maybe by a minute. So as soon as they are perfectly golden, take them out! Brush with butter and eat!!!

I know I dont need to say this but I am going to. Do not open your oven door to check them. Look thru the glass with the light on. Fast and hot is important in biscuit baking and opening the door cools off the oven and you dont want that!

Watch for my DVD’s later this year. NotQuiteJuneCleaver Makes Biscuits! NotQuiteJuneCleaver Bakes a Pie! You get the idea! Real LIVE tutorials!!!

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I will totally agree. White Lily is a super flour.

For those of us in the north that can not acquire White Lily, King Arthur makes an extremely comparable flour. Their pastry flour is about the same as White Lily.

I agree as well- it’s White Lily flour for biscuits here at my house too.

white lily flour is the ONLY way to go for real southern style bisquits! i can’t wait to try your recipe, the addition of heavy cream may be just what i need to edge my bisquits from dadgum good right into the sublime! thanks again for sharing your awesome recipes!

Awesome site, keep up the great work!!!

Those biscuits look fabulous. I have heard great things about White Lily flour. Too bad we can’t get it over here! For now I will have to content myself with drooling over your photo…sigh…

I am going to hide my head in shame because I have never heard of White Lily in all my years in the South. I can taste those yummy biscuits but they will have to wait. 3 things you cannot get in Korea; lard, buttermilk, & White Lily flour.

Nicole,
When you get home you are coming over and we are going to eat biscuits and drink GOOD coffee!!!

somepinkflowers

THE BRAND OF FLOUR!
who knew?

well, apparently
my grandmother was right all along…
[she usually was]
:-)

off to buy some ~~White Lily~~
which,
happened to be…
(( YES,
you got it! ))
happened to be,
what my dear sweet,
good cookin’ grandmother used…

oh*happy*day!
and thanks ever-so.

We saw an edition of “Good Eats”, and flour was given as one of the important factors. I can’t remember what type of flour the host recommended, but no doubt, there are several key factors. Ever since I saw that edition, my biscuits have improved drastically…I never bothered much making them before. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen White Lily Flour before, though. HMMMMM!

I will be giving this recipe a try. I’m always on the look out for a good biscuit recipe. I have one called “angel biscuits” that is pretty good but yours look flakier.

OMG!!! LARD and HEAVY CREAM and BUTTERCREAM!!! I am soooo going to make these!!! Hubby and I run the family’s gourmet shop, and he does just as much cooking as I. He’s KING of the BISCUITS when we cook, but if I make these perhaps I can steal the title from him! heehee. Those are ingredients we have in our fridge all the time (and YES! the type of flour you use does really make a difference — it’s just like using stale baking soda when it makes foods go flat).

Regarding lard, Rick Bayless claims in one of his cookbooks that it’s at least as *good* for you as shortening, if not better . . .

Oh! Those look yummy! I will try those!! Great Blog. Come by for a visit at my cottage. Connie

Chou is right – I’m starting to see new studies that pure lard is better for you than shortening because it’s not a chemically laden food.

Also, I don’t have access to White Lily here at stores, but I have ordered it from their website before. The shipping is very fast and the price very reasonable.

Mecky

Funny I came across this blog.
I LOVE White Lily. I came across it when it was sold at a local Wal-mart for a short time. I was hooked. I can no longer get it locally, except through a locally owned store who orders it for me! (In fact, I just received my order a few days ago) I have to pay 3.25 for it, but much more reasonable than what the website is asking for it now. 5.00 for 5 pounds plus shipping! Ask your local store if they can special order it for you, if you are not able to find it. It is worth it.

The reason that White Lily is so good for biscuts and pastry is because it has a lower protien than most, since it comes from soft wheat. It’s not good for bread, though. I believe you will need to use wheat gluten if you do decide to.

If you decide to sell the flour, I would love to buy some. I will keep my eye open here!!!

CLAPCLAPCLAPCLAP! I’m going to the store!!

MimiG

Oh, brings back memories of my mother’s stepmother’s biscuits. Only 2 differences – she used all buttermilk and cooked them at 500. And – I have her bread bowl! Wow! Now, guess what you’re making me fix for supper!!!
Thanks for the memory and putting real food out there. And yes, White Lily is IT….
MimiG

Ann in TN

White Lily is the best!!! Too bad I still can’t make decent biscuits. *sigh*

Ann in TN

By the way, I forgot to tell you that I really enjoy your blog. :)

Mecky

OK, I have tested these biscuts AND……they are the best I have ever made. No Kidding! This recipe is a keeper!!!
Thanks so much for sharing and also for being so clear on your instructions!Mecky

I am so going to try this. My husband is always talking about his grandma’s biscuits and how no one in the family ever learned how to make them before she died. Of course if I actually did learn to make a great biscuit he would probably slather them with butter and mayhaw jelly and he’d be in a sugar coma for a week. But he would sure be happy! :)

The episode of GOOD EATS you’re referring to, if you remember ALTON also had his Grandmother on this episode who taught him to make bisquits and guess what she used. You’re exactly right. White Lilly, Buttermilk and Lard.

For breakfast I made some biscuits using my Grandma’s recipe. I was thinking how my biscuits NEVER come out as good as her & started wondering if it could be the flour. SO I decided to see what type of flour other people use –& yours was actually the 1st site I came to. Your biscuits look the way my Grandma’s looks! When I make mine, the look like those cheap biscuits you buy pre-made. LOL!! Fortunately they don’t taste as bad. ;) Thanks for sharing your comment on the flour. I hope I can find that flour out here in Washington state. –I am from the South & there is a HUGE difference to the way buscuits AND Gravy are made here in WA & from where I was born & raised. Southern Buscuits & Gravy are definately the best! ;)

These ARE the BEST biscuits! I’m adding this recipe to my favories file.

Mele Charlotte

Ok, I made these tonight and made them precisely by the recipe. Used White lilly and lard, then I made a batch with the same ingredients, except I used Crisco.

We had a chef who really loves food over for a taste test. He loved them both, but I noticed he had seconds of the one with lard. We served ham,pepper jelly grilled onions and bell peppers, honey, butter, apricot jam. …

Yeah, lard rules. This is now my favorite recipe. The heavy cream adds a buttery taste. Very nice in both batches.

Sadly, I’m “Up North” where they’ve never heard of White Lily. I grew up in The South (capitalized for respect, of course), and I have to IMPORT it via my mom.

And I’m out of White Lily.

Now I can’t make these biscuits and I must. have. these. biscuits!!

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