When I was growing up, there was never a supper without bread. I have wonderful memories of visiting my Grandma Dot, and seeing her come to the table with a basket of warm “cat head” biscuits. In the South, the term “cat head” describes biscuits so big, they resemble the size of a cat’s head.
Now, in Statesboro, Georgia, I realize I’m singing to the choir. However, I was recently speaking to a good friend of mine who lives in New York, and I mentioned cat head biscuits in casual conversation, and he looked puzzled. I said, “Are you familiar with that term?" to which he quickly replied, “I had no idea what you were talking about.” And we both had a good laugh.
The nice thing about biscuits is, they are welcome at any meal. To me, there’s nothing better when freshly baked biscuits are slathered with butter, local honey or homemade jam. I love a good biscuit for breakfast. Biscuit making is an art, and there are entire cookbooks dedicated to the practice. It’s actually pretty easy, with a few helpful hints.
You only need three ingredients: Self-rising flour, unsalted butter and full fat buttermilk. Self-rising flour includes all-purpose flour, baking powder (to help the biscuits rise), and salt. It’s a triple-whammy ingredient that saves time and effort! Three tips to remember when you set out to make my recipe: 1) While your oven is pre-heating, also pre-heat your baking sheet or cast iron skillet. A really hot pan will help the biscuits rise. 2) Use super cold butter, and 3) Don’t over mix the dough. It should resemble cottage cheese and will be sticky when cutting into biscuits. Serve these for breakfast with butter and syrup, or with dinner to round out the meal.
If you enjoy Southern food and reading stories like these, I hope you’ll check out my best selling memoir, Some Kinda Good. You can pick up a copy at Georgia Southern University store in Statesboro or online wherever books are sold. Have a happy Memorial Day weekend!
3-ingredient Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 9 Biscuits
2 1/4 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup cold buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a small baking sheet with butter spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, place flour. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut butter into flour by working quickly with a snapping motion until mixture resembles pea-size crumbles. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and pour buttermilk. Gently fold the milk into the flour mixture, just until combined. The mixture should resemble a cottage cheese-like texture.
Dust a clean work surface with flour. Dump mixture onto surface and knead by turning dough onto itself 3 to 4 times. Pat the dough out into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 9 squares and place on a greased baking sheet so that biscuits are touching slightly. Brush tops of biscuits with butter. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until biscuits are golden brown on top and bounce back when poked. Serve with honey, jam or syrup and butter.
Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is the author of the best-selling memoir “Some Kinda Good.” Featured in Forbes, on Food Network and ABC, she writes about Southern, coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Connect with her on social media by liking Some Kinda Good on Facebook, or follow @SKGFoodBlog on Instagram and Twitter. To learn more, visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.