Hand-Selected Recipes and Stories Straight to Your Inbox

Buttermilk Biscuits

Cathead Buttermilk Biscuits

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


4 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 1/2 to 2 cups chilled buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing


Heat the oven to 425 degrees. 

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and stir until combined. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Work as quickly as possible to keep the fat cold. 

Use your hands to make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add 1 cup of the buttermilk. Gently fold the flour mixture into the buttermilk until a tacky dough has formed. Gradually add more of the buttermilk, if needed, to form the dough, but take care not to overwork the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly dust the top of the dough with flour and fold the dough over on itself five or six times. Use your hands to press the dough into a 1 1/2-inch-thick round. 

Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to punch out rounds of dough and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently work the remaining dough scraps into a ball and press into another 1 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut out biscuits from the remaining dough and add to the baking sheet. Do not re-roll the dough again.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and bake until risen and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot.

About the recipe

Keeping your fat and liquid, as well as your equipment, cold will ensure a fluffier biscuit with a greater rise. Use full-fat buttermilk for a richer biscuit, as well. White Lily flour is milled from soft winter wheat, and also contributes to a fluffier, more tender biscuit. You can also use regular all-purpose flour if that is all you can find.