Mama’s Biscuits

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if these “how to make biscuits” instructions span more than six generations. My great-grandmother taught my grandmother who taught my mother who taught her daughters who taught their children and who now feed their grandchildren with these light, tender, flaky, delicious biscuits.

Mama baked biscuits almost every single morning before school. Can you imagine heading off to school with from-scratch “hot biscuits” in your tummy?

When I moved away from home and tried to make biscuits, they always seemed to taste like raw flour. Went home for a refresher course in biscuit-making. Found out that using flour made from soft winter wheat is the key and that the brand of flour I remembered from my childhood no longer was made from winter wheat. White Lily is the brand Mama had transitioned to (unbeknownst to me). White Lily then became the only flour I would use for biscuit making. I had a mission after all.

I was dating a man from the MidWest and Southern foods were something brand new to him. You’ve heard that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. These biscuits are one of the Southern foods that won my Mid-Western man’s heart.

Mama’s Biscuits

A true Southern biscuit handed down through six generations. Light, tender, flaky – family favorite.
Course: Bread and Pastries
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Heritage, Southern
Servings: 8


  • 8 x 8 inch glass pan


  • 2 cups self-rising flour For a true Southern, tender and flaky biscuit, best results come from using a flour made from soft winter wheat. White Lily is a brand, readily available in the South, that makes PERFECT biscuits!
  • 1/4 tsp banking soda (scant) Too much soda and the biscuits will be a bit yellow.
  • 1/2 cup Crisco (heaping) yes, a rounded over measuring cup of Crisco
  • buttermilk whole milk – not reduced fat


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Add some Crisco (or vegetable oil) in an 8 x 8 inch glass pan and place pan in over while it preheats. (You want the Crisco melted and hot before adding biscuits to pan.)
  • Cut in shortening – just enough to leave small lumps of Crisco.
  • Stir in enough buttermilk to create a wet and sticky dough – don't stir too much.
  • Turn out on floured surface. Sprinkle flour on top and lightly knead just until bottom is smooth.
  • Pat out (don't roll) until dough is approximately 1/2 the height you want your biscuits to be. Cut out with a can (or biscuit cutter, I suppose 😀 )
  • Remove pan from oven. Tilt the pan so that all melted shortening flows to one corner of pan. One at a time, dip top of biscuit in melted shortening and place in pan, sides touching.
  • Bake at 450 until golden brown on top.