Buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits

By
From
Deep South
Makes
8-10
Photographer
Andy Sewell

You’re never too far from a buttermilk biscuit in the South. They feature in some of my earliest memories. Every year at the Mississippi State Fair in October, alongside the amateur country music acts and the saltwater taffy stand, there was a donkey driving a cane crusher to extract the sweet juices from freshly cut sorghum stalks. The juice was boiled down on site while volunteer mothers and grandmothers baked buttermilk biscuits to be served warm, filled with the fresh syrup. I preferred this treat to all the rest of the fair menu. You could eat as many as you wanted and they were completely free.

There are various types of biscuit, though all are built from more or less the same foundation of flour, lard butter, and buttermilk. These simple biscuits have a shorter crumb and are perfect for smothering with Sausage Gravy. The Angel Biscuits are lighter and flakier, perfect for building a breakfast sandwich.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
600g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light soft brown sugar
110g very cold lard, diced
110g very cold unsalted butter, diced
180ml very cold buttermilk
1 egg, beaten with 2 tbsp double cream, to glaze

Method

  1. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix together with a whisk. Rub the lard and butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Slowly stir in the buttermilk and bring the dough together.
  2. Turn out on to a floured surface and roll out to 2.5cm thick. Cut out the biscuits with a 6cm plain cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, spacing them 2.5cm apart. Gather the remaining dough together and roll out a second time, cutting out as before.
  3. Brush the biscuits with the egg wash and place in an oven heated to 200°C. Bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve straight away, hot from the oven.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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