Buttermilk Biscuits

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This recipe is from ‘Lone Star Legacy, A Texas Cookbook’ by the Austin Junior Forum (copyright 1981, purchase sticker 1991), page 210 contributed by Mrs. John Perkins (Sandy).

My friend Jeanenne had this cookbook and I thought I bought it before I moved from Austin back to California. On her last visit here she reminded me that she gave me the cookbook. I need to write something in the book so I don’t forget again.

I learned to make homemade buttermilk biscuits as a child, from my Paternal Grandmother (Edith Lytle) but she didn’t have the recipe written down and she didn’t really measure. She used a tin measuring cup for the flour but eyeballed the rest. The signature aspect of my Grandmother’s version was that she cooked them in an upside down cake pan (8×12 aprox) that was dark brown with a flower pattern in the bottom. She warmed it in the oven with a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat then each biscuit was set in the pan and turned over so that there was grease on both sides, before they were baked. They came out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

My mother made hers from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and for years I did the same. This version did not have buttermilk. It is more flaky like pie crust, it’s a stiffer dough. It was called Biscuits Supreme. Instead of soda (like in the buttermilk version) it has cream of tartar and a little sugar. My other friend Teresa, likes the saltiness of buttermilk biscuits and no sugar. One year she requested this version (she is mutual friend of Jeanenne’s and had her biscuits many times). So when Teresa would come to visit from TX I would make the same recipe Jeanenne made. It has now become our family tradition. I like both types of biscuits but the buttermilk ones are lighter, fluffier and less dense.

Click on more for the recipe along with the photos Teresa took the last time she was visiting. To see her blog to to http://picturelady.tumblr.com/post/457746261/biscuits-more-biscuits-please.

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

2 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl (I use a whisk). Cut in the shortening. Blend in buttermilk all at once, just until it sticks together, don’t over-mix. Put dough on floured board, but do not over handle (knead together gently just until it can be flattened to cut). Roll (or pat…I just pat so I don’t overwork or need to wash a rolling pin) to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out with a 2 inch biscuit cutter (or shape more like a square and just cut into several smaller square shapes so you don’t have to rework the left over scraps). Place on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper and bake at 450 degrees for 10-14 minutes. Watch carefully, if they are too brown they will be dry inside. Yields about 16. I usually double it if I have more than our 4 family members.

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