Friday, July 9, 2010

Grandma Lenhart's Biscuits

I spent all of my childhood in the southern portion of the states, mostly in Tennessee. However, as my parents are Northerners, there was no family biscuit recipe. Unless you want to count Bisquick, because that's as close as we ever got growing up.

Except one year our 4-H group was hosting baking competitions for each grade level. 6th grade's category was biscuits. So, for the first time in my life, I made biscuits. And for reasons I'll never understand, I beat out all my cute southern fellow 6th graders to win the competition!

And then I lost the recipe.

Anyhow, over the years I've tried many many many recipes trying to find the one. But they all tended to be too dense and bland. Biscuits should be fluffy, light with a golden buttery bottom.

Today, my friends, I'm here to tell you that I've found the one. It's a recipe I lifted from my Mother-in-law after she made them one morning and I suddenly realized that homemade biscuits really can be fluffy. And perfect.

I make these at least twice a month. I'm convinced that my abs would be nicely toned if it wasn't for this recipe. But these are so good that I'm willing to do a few extra hundred crunches.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and cream of tartar.

The cream of tartar is essential. I left it out once and the biscuits didn't come out near as yummy.

We'll need 1 stick of butter. I like to slice it up like this so it blends into the flour quicker. I get impatient when it comes to biscuits.

Add butter to the flour mixture and have at it with a pastry blender. Or a fork.

When the butter is combined it should look like this. Very crumbly.

Pour in nice cold milk.

Stir to combine quickly.

Briefly knead the dough slightly on a floured surface (adding more flour if dough is pretty wet feeling). We're just trying to get it all to come together.

Press out dough to 1/2" thick. Cut out biscuits with a round cookie cutter. Or you can flour the end of a glass and use it as your biscuit cutter. I often do the latter because my darling daughter loves to steal my cookie cutters for her play kitchen.

Place biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Or an ungreased one. I've done both and it doesn't really matter.

Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes.


Now, what you can't see in this photo is that the bottom of the biscuits gets really golden, slightly crisp, and buttery. I already mentioned how perfect they are...

If you love the Griddle Cakes recipe, these are a must. Is it bad that I have memorized the recipe for both?

Grandma's Biscuits (printable recipe)
Yields 10

2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 c. milk

Preheat your oven to 425.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar. Slice butter into the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or fork, smush the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in milk. Stir quickly to combine.

On a floured surface, briefly knead the dough (adding more flour if it's too wet) to get it to the point where you can roll it. Roll or press dough out to 1/2" thick. Use a round cookie cutter, or a drinking glass dipped in flour, and cut out biscuits. Place biscuits on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.


  1. I don't make biscuits too often either, or I would eat them all ;-) These look really yummy. Before I came to the US I didn't know what a biscuit was... you dip it in your tea where I come from! Hubby had to try and explain the difference before I actually saw one or tasted one. The first I ever had was at Popeye's with fried chicken, I thought it was weird that he put honey on his and ate it with chicken... but now i love it :)

  2. We are biscuit people so I fully intend I making these--in Oct when P90X is done!

  3. Ah, just what I was looking for--a reliably delicious biscuit. Thanks, Sarah!

  4. @ Denise - And Southerners would probably wonder why in the world you would dip a biscuit in their super sweet tea? :)

    @ Reagan - I'm impressed with you P90X committment. I have a hard time going one week without baking...I've been toying with the idea of swearing off it for a month though.

    @ Felicia - You're welcome! Glad I could come to your aid. Everyone needs a good biscuit recipe in their life. :)

  5. Love it Sarah- thanks for sharing! Kate and I need to try it in the continuation of our eternal search for the perfect biscuit!


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