Anyway, I should say that these biscuits might not live up to anyone's expectations but mine. They aren't flakey-type biscuits. They are dense, soft on the inside, golden and crunchy on the outside, buttermilk biscuits. Grandma learned from her mom, who learned from her mom, and other than making the switch to self-rising flour, I doubt much has changed since then. I'm very excited to try and make these at home, and you can probably expect another post with my attempts too. This seems like such a simple thing--biscuits, but it's the quintessential thing that I think of when I think of my Grandma. She took care of us and loved us through good, homemade food. I make my pancakes with Biscuick because it's easy, but these biscuits... this is home to me. I don't know how else to say it. These biscuits are the cornerstone of home cooking.
Making biscuits with my grandma is one of my best memories of childhood. It isn't just one memory. It's lots of memories all rolled into one. Some of the details are mixed up. In my memory, the bacon drippings lived in a Yuban can above the stove. They actually have their own container with a strainer. Also, the way I remember it happening is that Grandma would pour buttermilk into THE BOWL until it made biscuits. Turns out, there are a few more steps than that. 10 steps to Grandma's biscuits--not too bad really!
Some things just don't change. For instance, this is THE BOWL. This bowl lives in this cabinet on this pull-out tray thingy. There's a cover for it, so it doesn't... go bad... however flour does that. Weevils I think. Anyway, this is where it lives, right next to the sifter. The sifter is probably as old as the bowl and both are older than me.
Step 1: Get out THE BOWL and a sifter. Sift some of the flour from the bowl back into the bowl--about two sifters full. Self-rising flour makes this much easier. If you only have regular flour, you'll need to adjust the amounts of baking stuff, but I'll get to that later. Now would be a good time to heat the oven to 375. Yesterday would have been a good time to have made some bacon so you would have some bacon drippings ready. They're the secret ingredient.
Step 2: Make sure you have buttermilk. We were out, so there was a trip to the store first. These are BUTTERMILK biscuits, so this is a very important step.
Step 7: Pour the batter back into the nest in THE BOWL.
Step 9: Pinch off a little bit of dough and, between two very well floured hands, "roll 'em up, roll 'em up, put it in the pan." You don't have to say that every time, but as kids, we always did. It gave Grandma time to watch us and make sure we were getting them smooth and pretty. See how wonderful Grandma's biscuit looks?
Then you bake for 23-27 minutes in your 375 degree oven. Set the timer for 23, then check to see if the biscuits are the right color. This is the right color, golden brown and AWESOME. Actually, while the biscuits are in the oven would be a great time to fry up some bacon (save the drippings for next time!) and make some eggs.
Alright, here's the whole shebang in one easy-to-read list-type format!
Grandma's Buttermilk Biscuits
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
- about 2 cups self rising flour, also sifted, for the nest
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Buttermilk--no clue on amount here. A cup? Cup & a half?
- Bacon drippings
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Grease your pan
- Mix all dry ingredients together
- Stir in buttermilk until batter is thick, but pourable. Similar to cake batter, not as stiff as brownie batter
- Put batter into flour nest. Fold in flour until dough is stiff enough to handle and roll
- Roll into palm-sized balls
- Pat each biscuit with bacon drippings, making sure to cover all exposed surfaces--corners, edges, cracks & crannies
- Bake for 23-27 minutes, until golden brown