Growing up, we spent the holidays at my grandmother Jeannie’s house in Lago Vista, which is about 45 minutes outside of Austin. (Jeannie insisted that we call her by her first name, not “granny” or “nana” or “mee-maw” or “bobo.” So we did.)
Jeannie made a lot of good food—roast turkey, honey-glazed ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, and the best apple pie I’ve ever had. No matter what was on the menu, we could always count on her legendary buttermilk biscuits.
They were passed—warm—in a little woven basket lined with a clean dish towel. (You were supposed to only take one at a time, but my brother Jim always snuck an extra :)
Although we usually enjoyed them with lunch or dinner, they’re perfect for breakfast, too! Top with honey or jam and a little more butter; they’ll absolutely melt in your mouth.
Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 15 2-inch biscuits
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour; plus more for shaping the dough
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
Heat the oven to 450°F. Line baking sheet with parchment.
Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor; process for 5 to 10 seconds to distribute dry ingredients evenly. Add butter; pulse just until combined (the mixture should resemble cornmeal). Add buttermilk and pulse again just until combined; do not overmix.
Dust a work surface with flour and dump the dough onto the floured surface. Dust the top of the dough and your hands with flour, and press the dough into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Fold dough in half, and then gently press dough back into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat the process two more times, sprinkling a small amount of flour on the top of the dough before folding each time. (This is a fun activity for kids … just be prepared for a giant mess. My daughter had flour between her toes, if that gives you an idea!)
Using a rolling pin (or just your hands again if you want!), roll or press the dough until it is about ½-inch-thick. Dip a 2-inch round biscuit cutter in flour and cut out biscuits (press straight down and lift straight up; don’t twist), dipping the cutter in flour between each cut. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet about ½-inch apart. Gather together scraps of dough with your hands, roll out dough, and cut more biscuits.