Edna Lewis' Hot Crusty Buttermilk Biscuits


Recipe courtesy of The Gift of Southern Cooking

Makes about 15 biscuits

  • 5 cups sifted White Lily flour (measured after sifting) 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 pound) packed lard, chilled 
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Edna Lewis' Hot Crusty Buttermilk Biscuits

Click image to enlarge



Preheat oven to 500°F

Put the flour, homemade baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, and whisk well to blend thoroughly. Add the lard, and, working quickly, coat it in flour and rub between your fingertips until approximately half the lard is finely blended and the other half remains in large pieces, about 1/2 inch in size. Pour in the buttermilk, and stir quickly just until the dough is blended and begins to mass.

Turn the dough immediately out onto a floured surface, and with floured hands knead briskly eight to ten times, until it becomes cohesive.

Gently flatten the dough with your hands into a disk of even thinness; then, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out to a uniform thickness of 1/2 inch. With a dinner fork dipped in flour, pierce the dough completely through at 1/2-inch intervals. Lightly flour a 2½ or 3-inch biscuit cutter and stamp out rounds, without twisting the cutter in the dough. Cut the biscuits from the dough as close together as you can, for maximum yield. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing them so that they just barely kiss. Don't re-roll the scraps. Just arrange them around the edge of the sheet, and bake them - cook's treat.

Put the baking sheet immediately on the center rack of the preheated oven.

Bake 10-12 minutes, checking after 6 minutes or so, and turning the pan if needed for even baking. When the biscuits are golden brown, remove from the oven and brush the tops with the melted butter.

Note: Homemade Baking Powder: purchased baking powder has chemical additives and will sometimes leave an aftertaste. Make your own: mix 1/4 cup cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons baking soda. No more aftertaste.


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