How to Make Biscuits Like Grandma Used To

We don’t know about your grandma. Maybe your grandma was the kind to just mail it in and stir up some Bisquick. When we say “Grandma,” we’re talking about the archetype, the type who made pies from scratch on week days and had blue hair.

Anyway, Grandma made biscuits, because biscuits are easy and buttery and flaky and, holy smokes, biscuits.

And here’s the thing: Making biscuits from scratch is one of the easiest things you can do in the kitchen. Biscuit mixes are solving a non-existent problem, and not doing a particularly good job of it. So do everyone, including yourself, a favor, and make biscuits from scratch. Here’s how:

A biscuit is nothing more than the baked combination of flour, butter, salt and either buttermilk or baking powder. We’re going to go with baking powder in this iteration, but it really doesn’t make that big of a difference. You’re using those to cause a chemical reaction, so anything that will cause that reaction will render a perfectly wonderful biscuit.

So preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Combine two cups of flour, a tablespoon of baking powder, a teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of sugar in a bowl. Stir it up real good with a fork. Now, start cutting in some slices of cold butter. You’ll need to use your hands for this, so just get in there and squeeze and mix and fold and press until all the pieces of butter are no bigger than a small pearl. The mixture will be crumbly and not at all a complete dough at this point.

To turn it into a dough, you’ll need to add liquid. You can use water, but why use water when you can use milk? Put, oh, maybe about three-quarters of a cup of milk in the bowl and mix it all up and knead it until you have a dough, then stop. Unlike a pizza crust or some kinds of bread, you’re trying to create that great buttery flakiness that makes the biscuit what it is. The more you knead it, the less light and airy the final product will be.

So you’ve got a lump of biscuit dough. Do not, under any circumstances, pull off a piece of that biscuit dough, roll it in some granulated sugar, and pop it into your mouth, because that would be irresponsible, indulgent and selfish.

Instead, turn it out onto a floured surface and press it into a slab about an inch thick. Grab a pint glass and use it to cut out the biscuits. Now place those biscuits on a on a greased pan and bake for 15 minutes.

That’s it. You’re done. Pull them apart, observe their butteriness, their flakiness, their warmth. Spread more butter on them, add some local honey. Do you have bacon? That’ll work, too. Serve them to your family and feel their love.