Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes approximately 30


2¼ cups sifted cake flour, or 2 cups sifted all purpose flour, plus more for your work surface and hands
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cold unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
2 tablespoons cold lard or vegetable shortening, cut into several pieces
¾ cup cold whole or low-fat buttermilk (preferably whole)


Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients thoroughly with a fork. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Add the butter and lard and pulse the mixture in 2-second increments until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces, about 5 pulses. (If you don’t have a food processor, cut the fat into the dry ingredients in a bowl by mashing with a fork, or a pastry blender; it will take about 3 minutes).

Transfer the mixture back to the bowl, pour the buttermilk over it, and mix with the fork for about 1 minute, until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured board, knead with floured fingers once or twice, and pat into a rectangle about 6 by 10 inches and 1 inch thick. Fold the rightmost third of the rectangle over the center third and fold the left third on top. Turn the dough a quarter turn, pat it into a 6 by 10 rectangle, and fold it upon itself in thirds again. Repeat one more time, and then pat the dough into a 6 by 10 rectangle about 1 inch thick.

Using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter (or an upside-down shot glass), cut the biscuits from the dough (DO NOT TWIST THE CUTTER!). Cut the biscuits with a straight up-and-down motion; twisting will reduce the biscuit’s ability to rise. Place them about 1½ inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops just begin to brown.
Serve warm.

Recipe from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook”