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There is nothing better than grandma’s comfort food to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. If you’re southern, try my grandma’s old fashioned biscuits to fill you full of love.
photos by Everchange Productions
The last meal my grandma made for me was her homemade biscuits. We were sitting at her little table with her husband George. My grandma was such a cutie and she married her second husband at the age of 82. Tee hee. She had been a widow for around 30 years.
Anyway, back to the biscuits. My husband, daughter, and I went to visit her and she made us breakfast. Her biscuits were always so good. I mean, how did she make them so good? No one had her recipe, so I worked for years to try to recreate it.
This biscuit recipe is as close as I could get to tasting as good as hers and I’ve used it to love my family for years now in her honor. When she passed at age 88, I got to have her canisters. She used little measuring scoops in them and they made scratch marks on the bottom. When I get to the bottom of my sugar, I get to see her legacy there at the bottom of the can.
There’s nothing better than grandma’s love, so if you still have yours, get over there as soon as you can and learn how to make her biscuits (or whatever reminds you of her). You’ll be so glad you did.
I grind my own whole wheat flour. If you want to do that as well, use soft wheat for biscuits and other baked goods that don’t contain yeast. Use hard wheat for yeast applications like bread and pizza dough.
Old Fashioned Southern Biscuits
Buttermilk is KEY for making the biscuits soft and tender. Grandma didn’t serve an old hard dry biscuit. Hers were tender. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can easily make it. She kept it around for drinking, but I sure as heck don’t do that. Blech.
Measure out the milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let it sit about 5 minutes. This will substitute for buttermilk just fine.
One more great secret that makes old fashioned biscuits light and fluffy is to keep everything COLD. I use my flour straight from the freezer and butter straight from the fridge. Handle your products and dough as little as possible to prevent melting it. If the butter stays super cold, it gives a flakier biscuit.
My grandma always taught me that. And if you mix or knead it too much, the biscuits will be tough, so that’s a second reason not to handle it too much.
Many old fashioned biscuit recipes call for shortening, but you never get the flavor from shortening as you do from real butter. I freeze my butter and grate it into the flour mixture and toss the flower over it so the butter stays in those small grates.
This secret is what sealed the deal on my old fashioned biscuits being like grandmas. My grandmas was known all around for her cooking. And the reason is that it was full of love. You can taste that in there.
Whole wheat biscuits
When I make baked goods, I use part or all whole wheat flour. We eat whole grains, but my grandma didn’t do that. So you can add some whole wheat flour or go all white as grandma did. For these, I used half and half so they would be more like hers than all whole wheat.
The very best part of making biscuits for me is having my mom’s biscuit cutter that we made biscuits with when I was a kid. I feel so blessed to have it and it still cuts perfect biscuits after all these years. Special cooking implements make cooking more fun!
It’s important to have a nice sharp cutter, so if you don’t have a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to use, cut them with a knife. Using a glass will not let your biscuits get as high and flaky.
Grandma’s Old Fashioned Biscuits
- 2 c flour can use half whole wheat and half white or all one or the other
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/3 c raw sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c butter
- 2/3 c buttermilk
- Mix flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt.
- Grate butter into flour mixture and toss to coat butter pieces.
- Pour buttermilk into mixture all at once and mix gently just until mixture barely holds together.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and pat flat with fingertips, taking care not to handle too much.
- Cut biscuits with sharp cutter and place, touching on baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cooking too long will dry them out.
You can substitute honey instead of sugar in your biscuits to make a delicious honey biscuit.
Don’t forget to check how to make the world’s very best sausage gravy for these biscuits on the ist below. You’re going to be overrun with grandma love if you make them both together. My grandma and my mom are world-famous for their gravy and after years of practice and learning all the tricks, I have finally mastered love gravy too. There’s nothing like it.
For more of my grandma’s recipes, check these out: