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GRANNY GOAD’S BISCUIT RECIPE

  • 3 min read

About a year ago our Newsletter marked Granny Goad’s Birthday by publishing her legendary Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe in the Carolina Alumni Review. (July/August 2018, for subscribers available at @http://CarolinaAlumniReviewBiscuitRecipe  and reprinted below)

We have been pleased to receive notes from so many of our Customers who have enjoyed making Granny Goad’s biscuit recipe.  Karen W. recently wrote: “I could hardly believe I could create something so magnificent!”

However, perfect, light and fluffy, homemade buttermilk biscuits are as much the result of the baker’s technique as the ingredients. We want to share with you some baking tips only briefly referenced in Granny’s recipe.  

GRANNY GOAD’S BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

4 cups all-purpose soft white winter wheat flour (White Lily Flour is soft white winter wheat with low protein that makes fluffier biscuits.)

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups buttermilk, cold

¼ cup lard, cold 
(Lard is rendered pig fat — not Crisco — and now in disfavor despite lard having 20 percent less saturated fat than butter, being higher in monounsaturated fats and without the trans fat of shortening. Hispanic grocery stores carry lard, usually sold under the name Manteca.) 

  • Preheat oven to 500 F
  • Prepare baking pan with light lard smear
  • Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl for lard 
  • Work lard into flour with fingers until pea-size bits
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl for buttermilk 
  • Lightly work buttermilk into the mixture, handling dough as little as possible 
  • Remove dough to a lightly flour-dusted surface
  • Dust top of dough with flour
  • Use a rolling pin to shape dough to ¾-inch thick
  • Cut biscuits using a dusted 2 ½-inch biscuit cutter, pressing without twisting.
  • Gently move the biscuits to a baking sheet with edges touching
  • Bake until golden brown (8-plus minutes)

Granny probably never heard of the White Lily flour brand. However, it is the Southern soft white winter wheat with low-protein that gave birth to the Southern Buttermilk Biscuit. This was the wheat she baked with and now available from WhiteLily. 

Until about ten years ago White Lily had been milled in downtown Knoxville since 1883 and was distinguished from other flour for its exclusive use of local soft white winter wheat with low protein. Generations of Southern bakers have known it to be the secret for making light and fluffy biscuits.  The White Lily’s distinctive white bags (extra tall because the flour weighs less per cup than other brands) has traditionally been distributed almost solely in Southern supermarkets. However, the Self-Rising White Lily Flour pictured here can now also be found online at Walmart: http://bit.ly/WallmartWhiteLily

It should be noted that Self Rising Flour already has the baking powder and salt added during milling, considerably simplifying Granny’s Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe. However, it does not have the teaspoon of baking soda found in Granny’s recipe which you could add. This is known as the 3-Ingredient Southern Buttermilk Biscuit recipe.

THREE-INGREDIENT SOUTHERN BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

Sift cold flour into a large cold bowl as a critical first step. Then make a well in the center of the bowl with your hand for the lard and buttermilk. Place chilled lard and cold buttermilk into the well. Attention to sifting the flour and starting with cold ingredients is the #1 secret to success. 

Use fingers to squeeze the lard and buttermilk into the flour until it forms into small lumps. Then stir up from bottom in a circular motion. After a few minutes of stirring you will have a ball of dough. Sprinkle a little of the excess flour over the ball and gently move to a flour cover surface.

Gently knead the dough as needed to remove the wet tackiness of dough but limit handling to keep the dough cold. After quickly kneading, push the dough into a rectangle and fold the short sides in toward middle one on top of the other. Turn the dough, shape into a rectangle again and repeat. Repeat this folding once more for a total of three times and roll the dough out into a thickness of 3/4 to 1/2 inch. When cutting biscuits do not twist the cutter.  Keep hands dusted with flour to move biscuits to a greased sheet pan arranging the biscuits in the pan so that they slightly touch.

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