My grandparents taught me how to make biscuits. My grandfather taught me the basic recipe, and my grandmother taught me how to cheat. She’d tell me “oh, he says to cut the butter up real small. Let’s just cheat and use the box grater.” When we were rolling out the dough, she’d say, “oops, we rolled it out too thin. Let’s just cheat and double it up and over and no one will ever know.”
Shred two sticks of unsalted butter on your cheese grater. I do mine on a cutting board, then stick it into the freezer until I need it. Save the wrapper from the butter to use to butter the pan before you put the biscuits on it. It there wasn’t enough butter on the wrapper, I spread bacon grease on the pan with a brush.
Mix 4 cups whole wheat flour, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add frozen butter to flour mixture with a fork, tossing lightly to coat butter
Add 1-1/2 cups buttermilk and stir until mixed and no more
Turn out onto floured surface and roll to 1/2 inch thick
Fold dough over on itself, so that it is now 1 inch thick
Cut out biscuits and place just touching in 9 inch round pan
Bake for 14 minutes at 450°F.
The key seems to be the shredded butter and the fold over. I don’t know why it works, but my biscuits always have a very distinctive middle, it’s the only way I get them to be light and fluffy. Rolling it out thicker gives me hard biscuits every single time, so I just always do the fold over. If I’m cutting them out in shapes, like hearts or whatever, I sometimes just stack two layers, and brush some butter or bacon fat to seal the layers together.
I don’t always use whole wheat flour. If I want a sweeter biscuit, I’ll add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey and use a little less buttermilk. Or use heavy cream. Yum. Sometimes I use lard instead of butter, or a combination of both fats. Yummier.
We try to eat a tablespoon of our own honey every day to help with our seasonal allergies. This is sure a nice way to get that spoonful in! What a hardship.
I’ve always called my biscuits “cheater biscuits” because you can always tell I did the fold-over. My biscuits always have that split in the middle. I don’t care, though. It’s the only way it works for me, and I like light and fluffy biscuits.
I read all sorts of recipes for biscuits. I try them all, but I make sure to shred whatever fat the recipe calls for on the box grater, and freeze it. And I always roll it out too thin, and double it over. I’m so glad my grandma taught me how to cheat!