Every Tip A Little Old Lady Told Me About Making Biscuits
My grandmother’s had different styles of making biscuits but both were very good. My mother’s buttermilk biscuits are good. For clarity’s sake, I’m talking about the kind of biscuits people in southern USA make. I’ve tried prepackaged British biscuits, and those are good too.
For whatever reason, at some point in my life I started asking every little old lady I was around what her tips for making biscuits were. This is a list of what they said.
1 A towel for after baking
Right after you take biscuits out of the oven, you’ll want to cover them, and let them rest a few minutes with a clean towel covering them. I guess it keeps the moisture from evaporating and leaving them with the consistency of a dry hockey puck. A towel helps with canned biscuits or even cinnamon rolls. To me, this is the most important tip.
2 Let the dough chill overnight
Now, this one’s a matter of preference, and also works for dumpling dough. If you want the dough to be soft and brittle, just go ahead and cook. The biscuits will tear apart easily, and so will dumplings. But, if you want them to be a bit stouter, place the dough in the freezer overnight. They’ll hold together better when you cook them the next day. I don’t know why.
This might only work with homemade biscuits, although it’d be interesting to see what’d happen to biscuits taken out of the can. My wife’s grandma Brewer told me this tip.
3 A Pan With Edges
To keep the biscuits from spreading out, on say a large flat pan, a smaller pan with edges is helpful. It’ll help the biscuits rise, rather than spread thin. I guess they sorta brace each other. This one too, is just a matter of preference.
If you’re going to make biscuits from scratch, really the only way to do them well is from experience; but they honestly aren’t that hard. If I remember correctly, my late pastor, Rev Dr. Todd Morris said he asked his grandmother one time, when younger, why her biscuits were so good, and a younger family member’s biscuits weren’t.
She replied that she grew up making biscuits every day, since she was little, so had had a lot of experience, whether she had wanted it or not. Most women nowadays don’t make biscuits every day, like they used to. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s just the case. People have different tastes. I like them for sure, but even I wouldn’t want to eat biscuits every day.
Back then, during the time he was talking, it was a cheap staple of everyday living.
If you’ve read this far I’ll tell you another little story, just to show you how good we’ve got it nowadays. One man I knew grew up during the depression with 13 other brothers and sisters. I don’t know if they were share croppers too, but people in these parts (Kershaw County, SC) often were. He said their family was so poor, he didn’t know bananas were yellow until he was a grown man. His dad had always bought them when the grocery was about to throw them away because they’d changed color. That’s how poor they were.
Anyway, his mom and sisters made two pans of biscuits every morning, and I think for lunch or dinner too, since they had such a large family. So, that’s the long story for why little old ladies were so good at cooking biscuits.
Here’s a link to a ladies site that gives instructions for biscuits made from scratch. I don’t know this lady, nor was I paid to promote her site. It just happened to show up at the top of Siri’s search, I liked it, so I shared it. I actually haven’t seen them made this particular way but it definitely sounds worth a try.