As many of you know, I live in upstate New York. (And yes, the temperature here dropped to below freezing last night. In May.) Prior to moving here a couple years ago, I had lived my entire life in the South. In fact, I lived all over the Southeast. I was born in Texas, but I grew up in the Carolinas, and I also spent time in Louisiana and Georgia. People often ask me what I miss the most about the South, and I must admit that biscuits are at the top of the list. No matter whether you’re in North Carolina, Georgia, or Louisiana, Southern chefs and bakers are rated on their biscuit-making ability. Every family has a secret biscuit recipe that is passed down through the generations. While the North certainly has a number of redeeming culinary qualities (ahem,the farm-to-table way of life in Vermont), it’s still pretty darn hard to find a good biscuit up here!
As a young boy, I remember spending the summers with my grandparents in a small town in upstate South Carolina. Every weekend, the entire family would gather for Sunday dinner, which typically consisted of fried fish (caught fresh the day before), fresh greens and beans from the garden, homemade ambrosia…and of course biscuits! This simple recipe produces biscuits that remind me of those Sunday family dinners in Belton, South Carolina. I often make a batch of these on a weekend morning and serve them with jam or honey for breakfast. Then I just lightly toast any leftover biscuits for lunch or dinner depending on the occasion. I hope these biscuits help create many wonderful memories for you just as they did for me when I was much younger!
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined.
Cut the butter into small pieces (~1/2" cubes) and add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until butter pieces are pea-sized.
Add the buttermilk and stir until absorbed. (This dough will be somewhat sticky, but if it seems overly sticky, then just add more flour one tablespoon at a time until it becomes less sticky.)
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured countertop and shape into a rough square. (You will likely need additional flour here to keep your hands from becoming too sticky from the dough.)
Cut the dough into 12 evenly sized pieces.
Using your hands, shape each piece of dough into a rough circle about 1/2" thick. Place biscuits on a lined sheet-pan. (If you desire crispier edges to your biscuits, then space them further apart on the pan. If you desire softer edges, then place them closer together.)
Bake at 425 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until tops are golden in color.