Made with just 3 ingredients, this classic Southern biscuit recipe is a staple in Southern homes. Soft and scrumptious, they’re delicious to eat from breakfast to dinner.
You’d be hard-pressed to visit the South and not see homemade Southern biscuits at many meals. We have them for breakfast, as the base of a sandwich at lunch, and often as the main bread at dinner. Many restaurants you visit are likely to plop down a plate of warm biscuits before even taking your order! My grandmother grew up during very difficult times, and often a biscuit and some gravy were all that kept them from starving.
Recognizing the beloved heritage of delicious flaky biscuits among Southern families, White Lily created a wonderful campaign to encourage folks to get back to basics and share the easily acquired skill of biscuit making with others. I’m honored to have been chosen as a White Lily Ambassador to help do just that.
Today I’ll be sharing White Lily’s classic, 3-ingredient Southern biscuit recipe with you and I’d like to hear your biscuit memories, too! Who taught you how to make biscuits? Who made the biscuits in your family? Maybe you’ve never had a biscuit or to you, a “biscuit” is what we think of like a cookie – that’s just fine, too.
Let’s hop to it!
- Milk or buttermilk
How to Make This Classic Southern Biscuit Recipe
Place the flour into a medium bowl and add the shortening. Cut in with a fork or pastry cutter.
It will look like this when you are done.
Not incredibly different but you won’t be able to really see the shortening anymore once it is incorporated into the flour.
Most recipes will tell you to cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles peas. I’ve never, in my life, seen peas that look like this, or a flour/shortening mixture that looked like peas. It must have been a high imagination day when that analogy was thought up.
Add in your milk.
Stir that milk in until your dough starts to stick together good.
Sprinkle flour onto a surface. I like to lay out a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle it on top of that for easy clean-up later.
Dump your biscuit dough out onto the floured surface.
Now you need to knead it.
However, you don’t want to over-knead it or you’ll end up with my Daddy’s hockey pucks.
I tell my kids “In biscuits, as in relationships, it’s never good to be too kneady.” LOL
Then, I cut your Southern biscuits.
Cut your biscuits with a biscuit cutter or small glass that has been dipped into flour to keep the cut biscuits from sticking to it.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and place your cut biscuits in it, making sure the sides touch. This helps them to rise because they support each other as they bake and rise up.
I tell my kids “You want them touching because biscuits are like good friends, they help each other rise up.”
Bake these at 500 for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
Remove from oven and brush tops of these classic southern biscuits with melted butter, if you’d like. Enjoy all the delicious .
- Store leftover biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in a low oven or in the air fryer.
- You can also freeze the baked biscuits or unbaked for up to 3 months. Thaw both the and overnight in the fridge before reheating as above or following the instructions.
- Here are some fun variations to make with this Southern biscuit recipe:
- For a savory alternative, add shredded cheddar cheese, chopped chives, or chopped bacon to your dough.
- For sweet, sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar into your dough.
- To make a scone-like biscuit, add dried fruit.
- These pair best with your favorite Southern . This might be fried chicken, , pimento cheese dip, or bacon, egg, and cheese for the ultimate breakfast sandwich.
Why does the recipe have such a large range for how much milk to use?
Sometimes, your flour will need a little more, sometimes a little less. I could have used a little more in this tutorial but it’ll turn out just fine. Biscuits are really hard to mess up, so if yours end up a little dry, no worries, they’ll still be delicious! They’ll actually absorb honey and butter a little better. My daddy used to make hockey puck biscuits on Sunday morning but they still tasted good and we gobbled ’em all down! What’s even better, if there were any left we could use them as weapons on each other out in the backyard. Always a plus side!
How do I avoid over-kneading my Southern biscuit dough?
To avoid over-kneading, I press my dough into a ball and then press it out flat. I do this no more than two or three times. The dough should still stretch. If it rips or tears then it’s probably over kneaded. So once the dough is soft and springs back a little, it’s done.
You may also enjoy these other Southern biscuit recipes:
Easy Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
Easy Chicken and Dumplings (With Canned Biscuit)
Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
- 2 cups White Lily self-rising flour see notes if using all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 2/3-3/4 cup milk
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place flour into a medium bowl and cut in the shortening until well incorporated. Stir in just enough milk until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.2 cups White Lily self-rising flour, 1/4 cup shortening, 2/3-3/4 cup milk
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead two or three times. Roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter or small glass that has been dipped in flour. Place the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Who taught you how to make biscuits? Who made the biscuits in your family? Maybe you’ve never had a biscuit or to you, a “biscuit” is what we think of like a cookie – that’s just fine, too.
My Mama made the best biscuits that I’ve ever had. But then again, Mamas’ always do. My Granny told me the story about my Mama’s first pan of biscuits that she made at the ripe old age of 5. My Mama was the oldest of five children. Back then in the 20’s, kids had to grow up much faster. Alot of them had to go to work in the cotton mills at ages 8-9 to help their Daddy’s with the large families. One day while everyone was working, and Grand-Mammie was watching over the younger ones, my mama slipped back into the house and as Papa put it “she made the prettiest pan of biscuits that he had ever seen”. Mama, being a kid, was suddenly scared that she would get into trouble using the wood stove to cook her biscuits,so she hid them under Granny and Papa’s bed. Children are so innocent, not realizing the wonderful aroma rising from under that bed, she thought she had hidden her secret. Well, Papa noticed, and that aroma led him straight away to find those wonderful gems. Mama didn’t get into trouble, Granny and Papa were so amazed at her skill, they enjoyed the whole pan and after that, she was allowed to make biscuits whenever they were there to supervise the wood stove of course. Mama continued to make those wonderful biscuits throughout the years, she rolled the dough with a smooth soft drink bottle that was her special rolling pin and she cut them with a jelly jar. It wasn’t just the dough, it was the love that she put into each batch Mama is in Heaven, but I still have that old “rolling pin” that helped shape those tender gems and fill not only my belly, but my heart as well. She passed her knowledge of bread baking to me, but, If I close my eyes for a minute, I can still smell her biscuits baking!!!!
The desire to participate in the 4-H biscuit and cornbread contest when I was in the 5th grade speared my interest in learning to bake biscuits! Of course, my mother was right there making sure I was being safe with the stove!!
I always buy White Lily. I love the cornmeal. My sister lives in TX and cannot buy White Lily products, so I buy it for her here in Alabama. Love your site!
A warm hello on a cold Monday morning and I just may beat out the drawing time. I so meant to comment the other day but was on my phone and it is so much easier on the computer. Well I wanted to add my earliest memories of biscuits was at my grandmother’s house in the hills of TN. A home so far back that for years you had to take a path to get back to it. My grandfather didn’t want to be stuck with a set monthly bill so when they did run electricity in the Big Ivy community, he passed on it. Years later you would have to pay for the poles and wires so it was never put in. They did have a phone as that line was run underground and many times when my grandmother had her road graded they would cut the line and have to have Bellsouth come out and fix it. What a novelty, a real phone company that had a local office to even pay your bill not an 800 number to call for service. Well I digress…. cooking was done on a cast iron wood cook stove. She had this white cabinet that had a bin for flour and the sifter was built in but since she no longer lived there all the time flour was kept put up in a plastic sealed container. Who knew it would be an antique and called a Hoosier cabinet? In the mornings mom and grandmother would go in the kitchen to make breakfast. From the days when my mother lived there and all of my grandmother’s life, breakfast was a meal that was prepared, it never came out of a box, dumped in a bowl and add milk. It was the meal to provide the energy needed to work the farm. So my grandmother had been making biscuits her whole life. My mom, the youngest of the five girls I have to say never did learn to make good biscuits, they would pass but mom wasn’t happy with the way the came out so she rarely made them at home. We most likely had the canned variety and that has been my favorite but as I get older, I’m thinking I want to find a good recipe for a biscuit I’d love made from scratch. So I’ll be giving yours a try Christy. Well the ones my grandmother made I’d eat as they were quite large and filling and my dad loved them and other family members always commented on how good a biscuit my grandmother could make. It was always weird to me but then again being a kid born in the 60’s and high school was at the height when preppy was cool the language and ways of Big Ivy seemed so distant and foreign to me that admittedly I didn’t embrace it as I should and you can’t ever go back in life. But my grandmother and everyone else always called her biscuits cat heads. I assume from their size. And her biscuits always had the little points of dough you only get from spoon dropped biscuits and cooking in a wood stove you just winged it when baking as you couldn’t set an exact temperature. So things baked fast and browned on the outside. So the biscuits would be fluffy and moist inside and from a white to the golden brown tips on the outside. You never had any worry over if the butter was going to melt in one and I loved to put a good dab of jelly on mine and close it back up. I ate it to be polite but I was thinking boy I wish I had the canned ones we got at home when visiting down there. And that was funny to as TN is north of AL but we never said we were going up to TN it was always going down to grandmother’s. As the years went by, my grandmother didn’t stay in her home and she finally sold the farm off. Her oldest daughter she lived with at times also baked them cat heads in the morning too when we’d visit, but they just weren’t the same as my grandmother’s.
My grandma in Red Bay, Alabama! What wonderful memories of watching her make delicious biscuits to cook in her cast iron skillet, while the sun shined in her kitchen window! We were lucky to visit every summer, and only wish it could have been more often!!
My Mother in Law is the Biscuit Queen! I have the good fortune of marrying into a family where I receive biscuits on my birthday, not to mention that these biscuits are heart shaped and filled with country ham and cheese. I am very lucky and I thank God for my Biscuit baking Mother in law, Martha Walker.
My wife makes the most heavenly of biscuits and I treasure them both!