I have watched my Mom make biscuits many, many times. It was so frustrating to try to get her recipe. Mom would say add enough flour to make enough biscuits for your family. Add enough milk to make a soft dough. My sisters and I did get her recipe written down with measurements. No matter how hard I try they never tasted as good as hers.
Mom would go to her huge flour bag and get her bread making bowl. She never measured anything, but would scoop out flour with a big spoon into her flour sifter. Then she would sprinkle a little baking soda into the flour and sift it into the bowl.
Then she would go get home churned buttermilk or sour milk. She would sit
these things on her kitchen counter. Next she would get out her bucket of
lard and scoop out a huge spoon full. My Mom would put this lump of lard in the middle of the flour, having first scooped a hole out in the center of the flour. She poured the buttermilk into this depression in the flour and worked it and the lard into the flour.
When the dough was mixed, she would start pinching off big pieces of dough
and rolling them in the palm of her hand. Then she would place the newly formed biscuit in a cast iron pan that was blackened from many years of use. She would place the pan in her wood cook stove oven and remove it at just the right time so that the biscuits were golden brown, never burned. Those biscuits were always light, fluffy and soo good.
Mom changed her recipe when she realized lard was not a healty choice.
2 cups self rising flour
1 teaspoon active yeast
pinch of baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Crisco (This has to be at room temperature to blend smoothly into the dough.)
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, yeast and baking soda. Push the flour to the sides of the bowl to form a depression in the center. Place the shortening and a little of the milk in the center and start stirring with a big spoon. When the shortening is blended, add the rest of the milk, mixing just until blended and the dough forms a ball. The dough will be a little on the moist sticky side.
Place wax paper on a flat surface, sprinkle flour on it. Roll the dough out on the wax paper. Do not handle the dough any more than necessary.
The less you handle it and the more moist the dough, the better your
biscuits will be. Just pat the dough gently until it's about an inch thick.
Then cut out the biscuits. I use a tin can that I cut both the bottom and
top out of and removed the label. I have several old soup cans that make
perfect biscuit cutters. Cut out your biscuits and place in a greased cast
iron pan, biscuits bake with their sides touching, you can pull them apart
easily, but those sides will be very soft and tender, not hard and brown.
This is a very important part of making good biscuits. Also Mom would melt a little butter and pour over the biscuits before she bakes them.
Bake in a hot oven 400 degrees just until the biscuits are light brown.
Here is a picture of my Mom with a pan of her wonderful biscuits.
This is a recipe for some easy drop biscuits that I make often. It actually is my sister's, Fern, recipe that I tweeked a little.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup oil
1 cup goats milk
Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil and milk, stir just until all ingredients are mixed. Spoon batter into a lightly oiled cast iron skillet. (I put my skillet in the oven while it is preheating)
Bake 14 to 16 minutes until tops are lightly brown.