These biscuits are the ones I grew up eating, doused in gravy or with a piece of ham or fried chicken in between the crispy sides. These aren’t your normal fluffy biscuits you buy in the store – these are heavier, a little saltier, and have a good browned outside layer. They’re old fashioned, taught to me by my grandmother- and include only three ingredients – all of which are probably in your pantry right now!
The interesting part is that there isn’t really a recipe – I was taught how to make these biscuits using a set of directions, which is what I’m going to share with you today! Don’t go clicking away on me just yet! You don’t need one for these biscuits. It’s all about feel and intuition and they’re just so easy, you don’t need one.
1-2 Tablespoons of Crisco
Self Rising Flour (3 cups makes about 12-15 biscuits)
Milk (I use 2%)
An Aluminum cake pan or a large cast iron skillet.
A biscuit cutter or a drinking glass
A pastry mat
Important Notes : So. Let’s start with the important part. The pan. I use an aluminum cake pan or a cast iron skillet. These two work the ABSOLUTE best. For the Self Rising Flour – I use GOLD MEDAL. It truly is the best out there.
Random Fact : Want to know why SRF (Self Rising Flour) is the best for these biscuits?! It’s salty. SRF is regular flour with salt and baking powder added in. That’s the secret. Well, Gold Medal add it in JUST right because it’s the absolute best SRF I’ve found. Otherwise, they just don’t taste right.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In your aluminum pan or cast iron skillet, put 1-2 Tablespoons of Crisco in and set it in the oven. I let it melt while the oven preheats. This will coat the bottom of your pan, but you also want to have about 1/4 inch of liquid fat once it’s melted. I leave it in my oven until I’m ready for it. I know, I know. This is crazy sounding. Just trust me.
I usually start with 3 cups of SRF in a large mixing bowl. Because I know that 3 cups of the SFR yields about 5 biscuits per cup, give or take on how thick you lay them out. My pan hold exactly 15 biscuits so that’s the reason I start with 3 cups. You’ll figure out how many biscuits your pan will hold – but that gives you a number to help you gauge how many cups of SRF with how many you need to prepare. If we have company, I double mine and make 30, using 6 cups. Yikes. Well, we go through a lot of SRF. The fun part, is that I wasn’t given the math. I was just told to take “some SRF” and “some milk” and mix until thick. I figured out the math myself. It took me at least a year.
There isn’t a good measurement for the milk. I know this seems hard, but I promise, it isn’t. I start with about a 1/4 cup pour of milk into my SRF and mix with a spoon. This step really depends a lot on the weather, sometimes it takes less milk, sometimes it takes more. But you want to mix in your milk slowly and keep adding milk until it makes a dough. The secret is to keep mixing until the right consistency. The right consistency is doughy and it’ll stick to itself. Meaning you won’t be left with any particles on the side, it’ll all gather around your spoon in the middle of your bowl and make a ball. (See next photo below for consistency)
This dough is very sticky, so I flour my pastry mat or cutting board and dump it out of the bowl onto a nice blanket of flour. I sprinkle flour over the top and mash it out with my hands until about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. The thicker you lay them, the fuller they are in the middle. You don’t want thin biscuits so be careful not to get them too thin. You don’t want to kneed it or over mix it, it’ll create folds in your dough. Cut your biscuits with your biscuit cutter or drinking glass and lay them aside. Without doing it too much, roll your dough back up and mash it out again and cut. Repeat until all your dough is cut.
Take your pan out of the oven. All the crisco should be a nice thick layer of liquid. Be careful not to slosh it, it’ll burn you really bad. #notthatidknow
Here’s where it gets weird again. Take your cut biscuits and place them one at a time in the crisco, coating both sides and lay down in the pan. Don’t drain the extra crisco – your biscuits will use it up as they cook. Your biscuits SHOULD touch (don’t worry they won’t stick together but they like each other while they rise so make them be friends).
Bake in the oven uncovered until golden brown on the top. There’s no time for these. It really, like the milk has a lot to do with the weather. Sometimes they cook 10-12 minutes and others they take a solid 15-20. Just keep an eye on them.
Pull out and enjoy! We especially love these biscuits with homemade fruit jams like blackberry and strawberry, they’re excellent with butter and honey or as part of a breakfast sandwich. They also SLAY with gravy, and I’ll be sharing my gravy recipe next week!