One of my fondest childhood memories is of my mom or dad baking homemade biscuits on Sunday mornings. Biscuits and gravy were a Sunday morning breakfast staple, and, over time, my older brothers also starting baking homemade biscuits. However, I don’t remember any of them ever reading a recipe, so it must have been a technique that they learn from our parents. Or perhaps some secret family recipe. You never know.
Sadly, for whatever the reason, the recipe was never handed down to me. So, after I moved out, I made my biscuits from the Bisquick box. Don’t get me wrong, Bisquick is a very good product, and the biscuits you make with it are far better than the pre-made biscuits found in the refrigerated section at the grocer. But they were never quite the same as those homemade biscuits mom and dad made from scratch.
So fast forward a few years, (well, maybe more than a few years.) I’m testing recipes for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, the updated version of Anna’s Kitchen, a historic cookbook I self-published back in 2005. There are about a half-dozen biscuit recipes in Anna’s Kitchen, so what better reason was could there possibly be to recreate those happy childhood memories than by baking a batch of homemade biscuits from scratch. And you know what? They were exactly the same as the ones I grew up with. Aha! The secret family recipe finally revealed.
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- ¾ cup sour milk or buttermilk
Mix and sift dry ingredients. Work in margarine with a fork, add the sour milk gradually to make soft dough. Roll to ½ inch thick, cut, place on baking sheet; bake in moderately hot oven, (400 F) until done and brown. Yields 16 biscuits.
Modern adaptation: To turn plain milk into buttermilk simply place a scant tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and fill with milk until it reaches the ¾ mark. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using. Prepare as directed above. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Yield will vary, depending on the size of the biscuit cutter used.