Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
PREP TIME: 30 Minutes
MAKES: 10 Biscuits

Most cathead or drop biscuits in the Old South were made with clabber or buttermilk, because of the high acidity that reacted with the baking powder or soda to create a flakier, more tender biscuit. However, in today’s modern world of self-rising and soft winter wheat flours most cooks love buttermilk in their biscuits simply because it tastes so doggone good!


  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Butter or margarine, melted

Cut 1/3 cup butter into flour with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times. Roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2 ½-inch round cutter, and place on a baking sheet. Bake biscuits at 425 for 12 to 14 minutes. Brush with melted butter.

Cornmeal-Jalapeno Biscuits:

Substitute 1 cup self-rising cornmeal for 1 cup self-rising flour. Add 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers or 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese and 1 unseeded, chopped jalapeno pepper. Bake as directed.

Beer-and-Cheese Biscuits:
Add 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese and 1 teaspoon dried whole leaf or rubbed sage. Substitute 3/4 cup beer for buttermilk. Bake as directed.

Country Ham Biscuits:
Reduce butter to 1/4 cup and buttermilk to 1/4 cup. Add 1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream and 1 cup finely chopped cooked country ham. Bake as directed.

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