Old-Fashioned Biscuits

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: about 10 biscuits
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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


  1. 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. 
  2. Cut in the lard: Cut the chilled lard into small cubes and add to the dry ingredients. 
  3. 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. 
  4. The mixture is ready when all the lard has been broken down into flour-coated bits and the mixture resembles coarse meal. 
  5. 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. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.