Old-Fashioned Biscuits

Total Time:
45 min
25 min
20 min

about 10 biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold lard (or unsalted butter)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan and biscuit tops
  • Combine the dry ingredients: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl with a fork.

  • Cut in the lard: Cut the chilled lard into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients.

  • Use a pastry blender (or two forks) to cut the lard into the flour, pressing and twisting until the lard is in pea-size bits.

  • The mixture is ready when all the lard has been broken down into flour-coated bits and the mixture resembles coarse meal.

  • Add the milk: Make a well in the flour-fat mixture and slowly pour in the milk. Mix with a fork until just combined, then knead gently with your hands until the dough comes together into a sticky ball.

  • Roll out the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and pliable; do not overwork. Roll out into a 1/2-inch-thick round, flouring the rolling pin and dough as needed.

  • Cut out the biscuits: Smear a 10-inch hoe cake pan or cast-iron skillet with softened butter. Cut out 2-to-3-inch biscuits using a clean empty can, the mouth of a glass or a biscuit cutter. Put the biscuits on the pan. Reroll the scraps and cut out more biscuits. Make a fist and mark the top of each biscuit with your knuckles. Dot with softened butter. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Photograph by Squire Fox

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