Every Southern woman has a good biscuit recipe, and this one is mine.
My Mima, my great-grandmother, was a hell of a lady. She stood at 5'10'' and brought 7 children into this world, loved life, gambling, cooking, and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have been truly blessed to get to know and love almost all of my great-grandparents for lots of my life.
Mima died at 93 in 2013, and though I'd tried (and failed) to make these biscuits many times before that, it was only after she passed away and I inherited some of her cast iron cookware that I nailed it. My first round of successful "Mima Biscuits," as they're known in our family, was on her very own cast iron. Now how about that?
Like all great recipes, this one is simple. But like all simple recipes, it takes precision. I can guaran-damn-tee you that your family and guests will have seconds (and thirds).
(And if you're counting calories...well, you better just stop.)
- 2 cups of self-rising flour
- 1 egg-sized (maybe a little more) ball of Crisco
- 3/4-1 cup of cold buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Cut flour and Crisco together with a pastry cutter until it forms pea-sized balls. Make sure to scrape the sides of your bowl to incorporate all the Crisco and flour. If you notice you have an abundance of flour, add a bit more Crisco.
- Slowly pour buttermilk into the mixture and toss with a fork to moisten. You want the whole ball sticky and gooey, but definitely forming one giant mass.
- Flour a wooden cutting board and turn your dough out onto the flour. Gently turn the dough ball over until all sides are covered with a light dusting of flour. You want your ball to be coated, no longer sticky, and not overworked.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it's about 3/4'' thick. Use a biscuit cutter, not a floured glass (okay, okay, a floured glass in a pinch, but biscuit cutters are the old-school way to go) to cut out your biscuits. Re-shape and gently re-roll dough trimmings to get extra biscuits!
- Arrange your biscuits in a cast iron skillet or on a cast iron pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Immediately after taking them out of the oven, butter those thangs. As my mother says in her recipe posted here, "Hot knives go through butter quickly, so be prepared to get a little messy." SO worth it.
I truly can't count the number of lazy weekend mornings, "breakfast suppers," or fried chicken dinners that have been accented with these biscuits as I've grown up. They're a staple of my childhood, and every time I serve them, I know I'm serving decades of family history. I hope you'll make them part of your family's tradition!