Bill Neal's Buttermilk Biscuits


Recipe taken from Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie, © 1990 by Bill Neal, originally published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and currently available from University of North Carolina Press. Great Comfort Food Recipes

1 dozen biscuits


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons cold lard or butter (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Work the lard in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough forms a ball.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over onto itself 10 times. Pat the dough out to an 8-inch square. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, stamp out 12 biscuits; reroll the scraps and stamp out more biscuits.

  3. Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 8 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot.

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