This is our favorite recipe for Southern buttermilk biscuits. The biscuits are made with shortening and butter, along with buttermilk and other ingredients. Soft wheat flour will make these even lighter, but any all-purpose flour will be fine. The key is in how much you handle the dough. Knead and roll gently and as little as possible.
I like to make square biscuits because I can cut them out all at once — no re-rolling scraps When you cut out round biscuits, the scraps are rerolled to cut out additional biscuits, and they will be a bit tougher.
- Heat oven to 450 F. Adjust oven rack to center position.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Cut in chilled shortening and butter until you have pieces the size of small peas. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients; pour in buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, gently blend dry ingredients into the buttermilk, just until mixture is clumping together. If necessary, add a few more teaspoons of buttermilk.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough out into a circle about 8 inches in diameter and 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out and place on ungreased baking sheet. Gather the scraps and pat into a round and repeat.
- Bake on the center oven rack for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops of the biscuits are lightly browned.
- Makes 10 to 12 biscuits, depending on the size of your biscuit cutter.