Homemade Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (3 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk or buttermilk or yogurt

First get out your big bowl. Put the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl. Drop in the shortening and use your fingers to casually mix it in with the dry ingredients. Don’t get too serious about it because it is better to under mix at this point than over mix. There should still be a few lumps of shortening, the size of peas, or even a little bigger. Two minutes or less of mixing should do it. Next add the milk. Stir it up into a soft dough. On dry days you may need another spoonful or two of milk. Form the dough into a soft ball. Get a piece of waxed paper and lay it on your counter. Sprinkle the waxed paper with a little bit of flour. Place the dough ball on the flour and knead it exactly 10 times. No more, no less. This activates the gluten in the flour just enough, but not too much. Next flatten out the dough with a rolling pin or your hands so it is about 3/4″ thick. Cut into biscuit shapes with a biscuit cutter, or the rim of a clean cup or can. I use a tomato paste can for small biscuits and a tuna can for large biscuits. Works really well. Lay the biscuits onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan and bake them at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on their size. Makes about a dozen medium sized biscuits. You can brush them with melted margarine when you take them from the oven if you want them to look pretty when they arrive at the table.

Cheese Biscuits: These are made simply by adding a cup of cheese to the flour after you mix in the shortening, right before adding the milk. Cut into smallish biscuits and cook as directed. They are really good with spaghetti or lasagna.

Bacon Biscuits: Add 1/3 cup of soy bacon bits to the flour right after adding the shortening. Cut into small circles and bake as directed. These are good for snacks or as a quick breakfast on the go.

Drop Biscuits: Substitute melted shortening or oil for the solid shortening. Increase the milk to almost a full cup. Stir it into the flour making a sticky dough. Drop the biscuits by small spoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet. Bake as directed. These used to be called Emergency Biscuits, in my grandmother’s day, because they could be made in such a hurry. They still make their appearance most often when I have forgotten to plan a hot bread to go with lunch or supper.

Biscuits are one of my favorite breads. For a little change, try this whole wheat flat bread recipe.

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  1. Ron Shear says:

    I tried your homemade biscuits recipe, they turned out great we love them. They are perfect for strawberry shortcake.

  2. PamAlabam says:

    I haved used canola oil instead of shortening in my biscuits for years. They taste just fine and should be healthier than those made with solid shortening. Even a relative who hates the taste of canola oil eats my biscuits and is very complimentary of them.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I really love these biscuits! We use them for breakfast, dinners and desserts but mainly I prepare them drop style with a cup of cheese. I’ ve tried different cheeses and it has always turned out great. My family loves them and now my mom makes them for her residents. Great recipe! And so easy!

  4. caitlin says:

    Love these biscuits. Perfect recipe, Really fluffy and delicious. I like putting about a tsp of sugar in my biscuits to give them a little sweetness.

  5. john miller says:

    Thanks for the recipe I found on this site and gave to my wife they are great. Brings back a lot of childhood memories. When mom used to make them for us every morning.

  6. Can I make the batter the night before and leave in the fridge? I don’t think I’ll have time in the morning to do more than bake.

  7. Natalie Elders says:

    I found this recipe a couple months ago, and I have been asked a dozen times or so to make them – they are that good. Made the smallest cutter and the medium size but was asked again tonight to make the bigger ones. The recipe is so perfect – my husband said it’s a shame that I had to wait until I was 50 to learn to make biscuits, but my cornbread is the best he has ever had. Now so are my biscuits. Thank you so much. Now, for trying to decide which cookbooks to buy from you…..

  8. Tried this recipie, and its realy good! Gonna have it with my chilli for lunch. Also, I used this recipie and rolled it our extreamly thin, like 1/8 in or so, and baked it into crackers, I just baked them for about 10 min or so and they taste great!

  9. The regular basic biscuit recipe… If you had Cheddar Cheese, Garlic Powder and then bruch them with Garlic butter while they bake and after they are done baking they are amazing and if you have ever eaten at Red Lobster then you will love these……

  10. If It's FREE! says:

    I have tried a few other biscuit recipes, and none seemed to work out right. Most were sticky dough or tasted floury, but I love yours!

  11. I have got to try this recipe. I am a Georgia girl at heart so have the cornbread down to a T, but biscuits have eluded me. This is so simple, I just might be able to pull it off by crackety..hehe.

  12. I replace the fat with bacon grease then add cheese and ham. My son takes them as the main food staple when camping in the hills, especially when fires are not allowed.

  13. Thank you so much for this recipe! I was looking for an old-fashioned drop biscuit recipe and all of them used butter. I think people are scared of shortening anymore, but my grandmother mad hers with lard, and we’re all still alive. Everybody lived to at least 90 in my family.

    • Lard is an all natural product, it is animal fat. That is very different from shortening. Shortening is hydrogenated (processed) oil which is very bad for your health. It is the definition of “trans fat”.
      ” The term shortening generically refers to any baking fat that’s solid at room temperature, like butter and margarine. But more often, it describes a semi-solid fat made from hydrogenated vegetable oil that’s used in baking to achieve a “short,” or flaky, texture.”

      Butter is healthier and tastes better, why not just use butter?

  14. sheila scott says:

    I am diabetic. I have to work with the carb content and change some things. I use 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of wheat germ. If u use 1 cup of cake flour inplace of bleached flour it makes the biscuits flackier. Ive used bacon fat and butter in place of shortning and heavy cream in place of milk. I use sea salt and sometimes I add honey. They are much healthier. :)

  15. DSchafnitz says:

    I was looking for a recipe for biscuits this morning and at the top of the search results were some of the “Bigs” like Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, etc. Your site was not very far down the list and I decided to give your recipe a try. I will be using it this morning for a quick breakfast.

    The only thing I would like to add is that you can use softened butter in place of shortening or oil. I think that it tastes better than the others. But I am a butter girl anyway, lol. I used to use margarine a lot, but discovered from some reading that it is one molecule short of being plastic! So I quit using it. :P

    I also wanted to add that the “cook once eat twice” principal is huge in our house. We try to buy turkey and ham when they are on sale as we can get 3 or 4 meals out of them, and we have a large family! 2 meals of ham followed by one or two of ham and potato soup. For the turkey we have 2 meals of it along with fried turkey for breakfast and turkey sandwiches. Turkey soup is also very good.

    Anyway, thank you for posting and have a great day!

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