A few weeks ago I posted an article about cast iron cooking. While replying to comments, I reminisced about my grandmother’s homemade biscuits that she cooked in her decades old Cast Iron.
Afterwards I was amazed that I had so many of you ask me for her recipe. Unfortunately I had to decipher measurements like a pinch, dash, and handful; this is not an easy task since she knows from feel alone what the right texture is for the biscuits.
After speaking to her at length and making them alongside her for the first time since I was a little boy, I finally got the basics of the recipe down. For a treat that is so much a part of my childhood I was shocked at how easy they were to make. Find the recipe below and take it with a grain of salt (pun fully intended) as you may need to alter the amounts slightly to get the right consistency.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2-3 tablespoons Oil/Grease
and a Cast Iron Skillet
Preheat your oven to 425°.
Heat your skillet on medium high heat with your oil in it. Nana recommends using left over bacon or sausage grease to add to the flavor. You want enough to fully coat the bottom of the skillet and lightly fry the dough.
Mix all of your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl don’t forget the baking powder, otherwise your biscuits will fall flat. They will still taste great but they will not be fluffy at all.
Add half of the buttermilk to the mixture and mix well. You do not want to add all of the buttermilk at once simply because you are looking for dough that sticks to your spoon and takes a good shake to knock it off. If it runs like pancake batter you have added too much buttermilk and need to add more flour.
This is very important: Make sure that the skillet is very hot; otherwise you will have a pan of bread instead of biscuits.
Take a dollop (think an overfilled tablespoon) of the dough and “drop” it into your skillet. Nana doesn’t actually drop them as this will cause the grease to splatter and burn you. The technique for this is to use your index finger to slide the dough off of the spoon and lay it gently in the hot grease. You should immediately hear the dough sizzle in the oil.
You will want to wait a few seconds before you drop each additional biscuit. This will allow the bottoms of the biscuit to crisp up and helps to separate them after cooking.
You should be able to get between 5 and 9 biscuits depending on how big your skillet is.
Once the skillet is full you want to place it in the oven and bake until the top has a nice golden brown color.
Once they have gotten the correct coloring take them out of the oven.
You need to remove them from the skillet to stop the cooking process.
If you properly greased your cast iron you should be able to just flip the biscuits out of the skillet onto a plate.
The only step you have left is to decide how to eat them. I typically grab that trusty cast iron and whip up a quick batch of sausage gravy with extra black pepper, or I’ll grab some fresh butter and slather it in some of Nana’s home canned grape jelly.
Do you have a different recipe? I’d love to hear about it.