2000s Recipes + Menus

Crusty Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes15 biscuits
  • Active Time:15 min
  • Start to Finish:30 min
January 2008
The cliché, in this case, turns out to be true: Biscuits benefit from TLC. Peacock recommends White Lily flour, one of the lightest available, along with lard for a flaky texture so fluffy and airy that the biscuits almost float off the plate. One bite may well move you to tears—either with memories of your southern grandmother, or with regret for not having had a southern grandmother.
  • 5 cups sifted White Lily flour or unbleached all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder (preferably homemade)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold lard
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken cold buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add lard, coating it with flour, then rub between your fingertips until coarsely blended with some 1/2-inch lumps.
  • Make a well in flour mixture, then add buttermilk, stirring just until a dough forms (it will be soft and sticky). Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round (1/2 inch thick) and, using a fork dipped in flour, prick all the way through about every 1/2 inch.
  • Cut out as many rounds as possible with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter dipped in flour (do not twist cutter).
  • Bake, almost touching, on an ungreased heavy baking sheet, rotating sheet after about 6 minutes if browning unevenly, until crusty and golden-brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter and serve warm or at room temperature.
Cooks' note: Flour mixture with lard can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
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