It is minus 1o F. in Chicago, I’m staying in. The only reason to go out is to walk the dogs and even they are walking a little faster to get back into the house. Minus 10 is the perfect time to bake a few biscuits and cook a comforting sausage gravy, all food that speaks Southern comfort. A biscuit is a traditional Southern bread, usually made with rendered lard; a time-honored recipe going back many years. This is a very easy and traditional recipe made with self rising flour, milk, distilled white vinegar, and rendered lard. There is a lot of advice out there about baking biscuits, the most important thing is whatever you do, don’t overwork the dough. The rest is simple and is all about good execution.
Finding rendered lard (that is lard that has not been hydrogenated) can be difficult to find sometimes. So I cook my own rendered lard using Kidney fat from Mint Greek Farm. As a matter of fact, you will always find a jar or two of rendered lard in my refrigerator. There is and always will be the great fat debate: rendered lard, butter, or shortening? I think I will stick with tradition and bake with lard. There is a reason that so many cooks believe baking with lard gives you the flakiest biscuit or pie crust out there.
Biscuits are a staple in the South, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and make a Southern meal complete. Southerners like to use self rising flour in their fried chicken breading, cornbread biscuits, and in their cakes, pancakes, and cobblers.
Self-rising flour is basically what it sounds like. It is an all-purpose flour to which baking powder and salt have been added. The first time I heard of biscuits and gravy was in Kansas City and I thought of biscuits and gravy as the original frontier food that conquered the wild west.
I love to eat a biscuit fresh out of the oven, still warm with a little butter and jam along with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Or serve with a side of sausage gravy for a satisfying traditional Sunday morning Southern breakfast.
Praise the Lord, pass the biscuits
- 3 cups self rising flour
- 3/4 cup rendered lard
- 2 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3 tbsp white distilled vinegar
Mix the dough
- In a bowl combine milk and vinegar. Stir together and set aside for 10 minutes.2 1/3 cup whole milk, 3 tbsp white distilled vinegar
- Into a large bowl sift the flour. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the lard until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.3/4 cup rendered lard
- Add the milk to the dry ingredients stirring gently with a wooden spoon until it all comes together. Flour the surface of your table then turn out the dough and knead 10-15 times, adding a little flour so it's less st2 1/3 cup whole milk
Bake the biscuit
- Preheat oven to 475 F. Roll out dough to 1/2" to 3/4" thick and use a 3" biscuit cutter to cut circles. Place on a baking sheet 1/2" apart and bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and serve.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate