Retro Saturday: Biscuit Baking

Retro Saturday is a chance to see a blast from the Home Ec 101 past and gives Ivy and I a chance to relax.
Heather says:

I searched high and low. I tried at least a dozen recipes people swear were from Grandma and now I have it. This is the one I recommend to biscuit novices. This is my choice for those who are scared of rolling pins and feel unsure about kneading.

Basic biscuits:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (COLD)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (COLD)+ 2 TBSP
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Melt the 2 TBSP unsalted butter and pour into a 10″ square cake pan. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening and grate in the butter. If you have a pastry cutter you can work it in that way, but for novices I find a grater simplifies the process. Do not worry about the little bit that sticks to the grater.

Using your fingers work the shortening and butter into the flour mixture. When it is thoroughly combined it will resemble coarse crumbs.

Add the milk and stir until just combined. The dough will be VERY sticky, that is exactly how it is supposed to be.

Heavily dust your work area and hands with flour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Fold each side toward the middle. Pick up the dough, redistribute the flour on your work surface, turn the dough over, and set back down. Once again fold each side to the middle. Pick up the dough and turn it over. Set it down and using your hands, gently press it out until it is about 3/4″ thick.

Using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut the dough into 2″ circles. Push the cutter straight into the dough and pull it straight out. It sounds silly, but do not twist the cutter. You can push the scraps together to salvage the last biscuit. One at a time, set each biscuit into the buttered cake pan, then turn over, this gives them a nice buttery topping without having to use a pastry brush.

Bake 15 minutes or until golden.

Yields ~ 9 biscuits


  1. on October 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    For all out there who wants to learn baking here’s a <a href=””>Basic Baking Program</a>at

  2. Sarah on June 4, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I love biscuits!

  3. Mike on January 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I've yet to try to make biscuits. Might give this a try.
    My recent post Make Brownies Last Longer

  4. cake pans on February 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I’m actually a novice baker, and I’ve never actually attempted baking biscuits from scratch. The most I’ve done is the pre-made stuff you get from the store which has been good enough until now. I’ve been looking for a biscuit recipe I can use to make fresh bacon and egg biscuits. This recipe you’ve provided sounds like it’ll do the trick. Plus, sometimes I’m just in the mood for good, old fashioned home made biscuits. Thanks.

  5. Lisa on September 14, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I will have to try this recipe! My mom was a horrible biscuit maker growing up. She rolled it out with to much flour and then cut them with a drinking glass. Ugh.. I hate rolling out and cutting with a drinking glass and then have to roll out the rest again over and over again. So I roll once into a rectangle and then just draw my knive through them as though I was cutting a cake so i have nice square biscuits. Every one talks about my square biscuits.. nice flaky and buttery.. and not so much work!

  6. Baking Pans on August 20, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for your recipe ……Thanks for your details…

  7. EarthlyJane on June 29, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I made these last night for dh and I.
    I made bacon, egg and cheese biscuits!!

    They were fabulous!!

  8. Heidi @ Carolina Dreamz on June 28, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Biscuits are the one thing that I buy frozen, that makes me crazy. Nothing is ever “acceptable” to the picky biscuit lovers in my home.

    Can’t wait to try this!

  9. Heather on June 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    By rubber, I mean any pliable spatula versus a wooden one. Silicon will work just fine. 😉

  10. Heather on June 28, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    @Silver – Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl and generously dust your hands with flour before handling any dough.

  11. Linda on June 28, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I am going to give this one a go!

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. silver on June 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    I have such a hard time with biscuits, because of how sticky the dough is. With my last attempt, I probably had two biscuits worth of dough on my hands and left in the bowl. How do you keep from making a mess?

  13. rapunzel on June 28, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Despite repeated attempts over the years, I have never perfected the fine art of biscuit-making! I’m not giving up, though, and this recipe sounds like it just might be perfect, will give it a go and let you know!

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