Virginia Willis is one of the South's most significant chefs and cookbook authors. For Mother's Day 2017, she wrote an article for Southern Kitchen in which she shared memories of learning to cook with her mother and grandmother, along with a fantastic buttermilk biscuit recipe.
She was also kind enough to offer five helpful tips for making biscuits at home — use the advice below with her recipe or any other great biscuit recipe you keep handy, and make your next batch your best batch.
1. Cut the butter into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Cold bits of butter or fat will melt during baking, creating pockets of steam that give biscuits their flakiness.
2. Dip the cutter in flour.
Cut the biscuits smoothly and cleanly straight down without twisting. Twisting can seal the dough and prevent the rise.
3. Handle the dough as little as possible.
You don’t want to make the biscuits tough by overworking, and you want the fat to stay cold until the biscuits bake.
4. The perfect biscuit should be golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside, with a light, airy interior.
For a flaky, tender biscuit, don’t overwork the dough and activate the gluten: gently combine the ingredients until just blended.
5. A very hot oven is essential.
The steam interacts with the baking powder to create the biscuit’s ideal textures inside and out.
If you suddenly happen to hanker for a batch of biscuits, use these tips and make Virginia Willis' buttermilk biscuits. We've got the recipe.