It all started with my Mama's gumbo recipe!

Foolproof Biscuit Making 101

Foolproof Biscuit Making 101

 

biscuits

When a Cajun moves away from south Louisiana there is a need for much adjustment to the new culture. Being so satisfied with their surroundings right down to the climate, landscape, language, food, music, and its people can make a change to a new location a difficult task. Especially since there is no other place on earth like Acadiana and it’s Cajuns.

We are a people steeped in tradition with a love of living life to the full. I believe it comes down to a sense the Cajun people gained when finally finding a land to call their own. After being booted out from the northern French country our ancestors settled along beautiful south Louisiana. Only God could provide such a place for such a people. After all, He’s done this before, hasn’t He?

Culture Shock

Right after Steve and I married we lived with his grandparents in the country outside of Laurel, Mississippi. It was only for a few weeks until our apartment was ready to move into. Although I was still in the south it was a culture shock for me.

Living with Mamaw and Papaw helped me adjust to my new home. I’ll never forget the long conversations on the back screen porch in the dark after supper. We’d talk until it was time for bed. I learned a lot about my new family and their way of life. Another thing I’ll never forget is watching Mamaw cook in her kitchen. I especially found her biscuit making most fascinating.

Biscuit Making

Homemade biscuits were not common in our home when I was growing up. I think it was because my Mama’s dad preferred bread, therefore her mama seldom made biscuits. Plus, we had our couche- couche with coffee milk and toast made from that famous Evangeline Maid Bakery for our breakfasts. On occasion, when we did have biscuits at our house, they usually came from a boxed mix or from the kind you popped open on the edge of the counter. That’s all okay, but I sure have learned to enjoy a good homemade biscuit hot out of the oven.

Every morning in Mamaw’s kitchen she would take her wooden bowl filled with self-rising flour from the cabinet and add just the right amount of shortening and buttermilk to make the perfect biscuit dough. I can still see her forming those biscuits with her hands into thick round disks. She’d bake them in the oven in a cast iron skillet, but not before patting them with a little cooking oil from the backside of her fingers. After baking, she’d stick them under the broiler for a few minutes to get them nice and golden. We ate these with either homemade syrup mixed with butter or gravy made of fried chicken drippings from the night before.

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On a recent visit to Laurel, my Mother-in-law showed me Mamaw’s bowl. It’s beautiful in more ways than one.

Mamaw could make those biscuits in her sleep! The way she’d throw them out without having to measure any of the ingredients was intimidating. I never attempted to make them myself even when she offered to show me how.

Biscuit Lessons

Later, after moving back to south Louisiana, I met a lady from Monroe named Louise who has become a treasured friend. She gave me a biscuit 101, step-by-step lesson that eased my fears and gave me the confidence to make them for my family. I can still hear her say, “Now, you always bake your biscuits in a hot oven,” in her north Louisiana accent.

You may have your own biscuit making method, but if you don’t or want a foolproof recipe to share, here is the way I’ve learned to make them:

BISCUITS

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Foolproof Biscuit Making 101

A golden buttermilk biscuit recipe that’s easy to make and won’t fail you time after time. These biscuits are light and fluffy on the inside and make any meal or snack special.

  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 8 biscuits
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

2 cups self-rising flour, sifted

1/3 cup butter (cold and cut into cubes) or shortening

1 cup buttermilk

butter or oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut butter or shortening into flour in a medium bowl until it resembles cornmeal. You can pass your fingers through to press butter or shortening into the flour to make sure it’s incorporated enough before adding the buttermilk.

Stir in buttermilk and mix well into a ball. Knead wet dough in some self-rising flour on your counter-top until dough is no longer sticky.

Then pinch off enough dough to form into 8 biscuits. No need to roll out and cut.

Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking pan. Put a pat of butter or a little oil on top of each biscuit and bake for 12 minutes. Serving hot out of the oven is best!

 

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This is the flour that I get the best results from. Notice it’s pre-sifted.
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I like them best with butter, but shortening is just as good.

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Don’t wait any longer if you’ve not tried or been successful in making homemade biscuits before. Go ahead, it’s easy!

Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let’s go! We’re burnin’ daylight!”  John Wayne

 



12 thoughts on “Foolproof Biscuit Making 101”

  • I AM SOOOOO EXCITED TO TRY THIS! I never have been able to make biscuits from scratch, my in-laws make homemade biscuits all the time! It smells up the kitchen!! I am going to try this SOON! And use with homemade strawberry fig jam! THANKS, KAY!

  • My grandmother Breaux also made biscuits like Mrs. Busby. I wish I’d learned, too, because I love, love, love biscuits! I’m going to try these. PS: I have a handwritten kershaw pie recipe from Mrs. Busby. I’ll send you a copy of that. She offered me a slice after I’d helped Mr. Busby in the garden early one morning. It was the first time I’d eaten pie before noon as momma never let us have sweets before lunch (although she must not have counted sugary coffee milk as “sweets”).

    • Oh, what a treasure! Looking forward to getting that recipe. I often think of Mamaw when making biscuits. I remember you saying once how you’d gotten up early to pick peas with Papaw in his garden. So sweet!

  • My mother had one of those wooden bowls that she kept her flour in! I remember her making a well in the flour in that bowl and then pouring her buttermilk and “grease” in that well. Then she would take her fingers and work around that buttermilk adding flour until she had her dough mixed. She would knead her dough and then pinch off those biscuits and work them around in her hands until she got them smoothed out. Into the iron skillet and she would grease the tops and put them into the oven.
    I tried ONCE to make biscuits like she did but I failed miserably and had an awful mess! Now I mix them in a bowl and turn them out on a floured surface and knead them. I can still see her making those biscuits in that wooden bowl.
    Janice Ware

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