The Great Biscuit Debate #2 No Laziness Allowed

biscuits 2

Okay, are y’all ready for some more biscuits?

This is the second batch I made in my ongoing quest for the perfect buttermilk biscuit.  You can find Batch Number One, made with unbleached all-purpose flour and shortening here.  Batch Number Two was made with bleached, enriched flour and shortening, and actually turned into sub-batch a & b (how disturbingly obsessive is this?).

For these, I bought some White Lily flour, which is an enriched bleached flour that has lower protein and gluten than regular all-purpose.  This makes the flour finer, whiter, and silkier and gives biscuits a softer texture.  I had not used White Lily before so I wanted to try it, since it’s the most talked about flour surrounding biscuit making in the South.

Here’s a little confession – I like to try new things, but only if it’s my idea.  I had heard the hype about White Lily flour, but I grew up with Red Band and just couldn’t believe it was all that much better.  (Some people might call that stubborn, I just call it old-fashioned.)  But I finally came around and decided it was time to try it.

The reason I ended up with ‘sub-batches’ is because I wanted to try not sifting the flour vs sifting it.  And that’s just because, well, I’d rather not sift if I can get away with it.

So, the ones I made first in Batch Two (pictured above) weren’t sifted.  They had a softer texture and were lighter than Batch One made with unbleached all-purpose, and were flakier, but didn’t rise quite as high.  When I made Batch Two again (pictured below), I sifted the flour and got much better results – higher, lighter and even flakier.

biscuit 2b

What I’ve learned so far is:  1) bleached flour (White Lily) gives a lighter, softer, and fluffier biscuit texture, 2) if using a soft bleached flour, sifting is essential, and 3) make sure your dough is still pretty sticky, so the biscuits don’t end up too dry and crumbly.

Buttermilk Biscuits #2

makes about 14 biscuits


  • 5 cups White Lily flour, sifted before measuring
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 485 degrees.
  • Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it is in pieces the size of large peas.
  • Stir in the buttermilk with a fork until the dough starts to come together. Using your hands, knead the dough to incorporate all the flour. The dough should be sticky; add more buttermilk if it is too dry.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold over itself 3 or 4 times to make layers.
  • Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin to 3/4 inch thickness, or pat with hands.
  • Cut out rounds of dough with a 3 inch biscuit cutter (don’t twist!) and place on a baking sheet so they almost touch.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, checking about halfway to rotate pan.
  • Brush biscuits with melted butter right after removing from the oven. Serve hot.

Next on the list – White Lily with half shortening and half butter.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl


3 thoughts on “The Great Biscuit Debate #2 No Laziness Allowed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s