Susan's Recipes

Smoky Mountain Buttermilk Biscuits

I was hankering for a biscuit after having a really bad one, with gravy, in a promising looking roadside cafe in Jackson, California. The food did not live up the external appearance of the cafe. Oh, well. They did, at least, serve Coca Cola. But, I knew I was in trouble when the short order cook put the biscuits in the microwave. Pretty scary stuff!!!
Oh, to give credit, the recipe is from the Sacramento Bee. Their recipe called for 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour and 1/4 cup cake flour. I asked a friend of mine who gives cooking classes and is a great baker about the cake flour. She said it wasn't necessary. She said that cake flour has cornstarch in it. The idea is to reduce the gluten in the flour as gluten is the sworn enemy of light, flaky biscuits.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I used Crisco, which I refrigerated)
  • 3 tbs. sweet butter
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Milk or melted butter to brush the tops of the biscuits (I used buttermilk for this)


  1. Fire oven up to 425F. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar in mixing bowl. Cut in shortening and butter until mix is coarse and grainy (don't overwork it). Splash the buttermilk over the dry stuff and mix lightly with a fork, just to pull it all together.
  2. Dump out onto a floured surface; knead 8-10 times, just enough to pull it all together. You don't want to over work it or you'll form gluten and the biscuits will be tough. Roll it out, or pat it out, to 1/2" thickness. Cut out biscuits. I used a dinosaur (brontosaurus) cookie cutter, although I know this isn't traditional. Paint the biscuit tops with milk, butter, or buttermilk to get a brown top. Bake on lightly greased baking sheet for 12 to
  3. 15 minutes, until just golden brown. Eat while hot, with butter, honey. Yummy.
  4. If you use the traditional 2 inch round biscuit cutter, the recipe says you'll get 18 biscuits with the following nutritional breakdown: 84 cal; 2 g pro; 11 g carbo; 4 g fat; 6 mg chol; 129 mg Na+.

Some helpful hints:

  1. Use fresh baking powder
  2. Use cold shortening and cold liquids
  3. Cut in the shortening by working the shortening into the flour with your hands to get a mix with the
  4. consistency of coarse meal. you can use 2 knives to do this, too.
  5. Moisten the mix with the liquid. Don't pour it all in, add it bit by bit.
  6. Don't overwork the dough when you knead it. it melts the shortening and wrecks the texture.
  7. When you cut the biscuits, don't mush the mix by twisting the cutter - this flatten the layers.
  8. Bake biscuits in a hot oven and eat them right away (shouldn't be a problem).
  9. If you're watching your weight, biscuits are deadly.....

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