Caitlin & I have been dreaming of hosting a dinner party together from the time we met, quite literally. After we started working together last fall, our shared love for cooking & hosting started a beautiful chain of Instagram messages to inspire a spring dinner party.
The culmination of our recipe sharing resulted in a delicious dinner party we hosted last month. (You'll see it here on the blog in a couple weeks!) But before you see *everything* we made at our southern supper, here is one of the most special recipes we served. This recipe for buttermilk biscuits has stood the test of time in Caitlin's family — she even called her mother-in-law the morning we tested this family recipe to make sure we got it just right! Read on for the full biscuit history from Caitlin.
"Have you ever tasted something that reminds you of a certain moment? The instant these flaky biscuits hit my lips, I’m transported to my in-laws’ kitchen in Ekron, Ky., waking up to a Southern breakfast.
This specific buttermilk recipe has strong family ties. My mother-in-law, Diana Greenwell, adapted her biscuit recipe from her mom, June Bagwell. June, known by my husband as Granny, was an extraordinary painter who lived in the mountains of Tennessee. She always used White Lily self-rising flour and never used a recipe, yet her biscuits always left the oven flawless.
Though the recipe may be simple in nature — just flour, shortening, buttermilk and butter in the mix — the tools used to create these biscuits are storied."
"Diana always uses a pastry blender handed down from her husband’s late Grandma Greenwell. Humble yet sturdy, this trusty pastry blender has cut shortening into many a biscuit.
My husband Zach remembers his great grandmother as feisty and unintentionally hilarious. One Christmas, Zach recalls Diana asking Grandma about an old tin ornament that adorned her Christmas tree, pondering when it was bought. Not missing a beat, Grandma replied, “Well, how long has the war been over?”
I’ll leave the interpretation of which war up to you.
Diana also always uses the same biscuit cutter to craft her round, buttery creations. She received the biscuit cutter as a gift in her stocking one Christmas morning, placed in there by her husband Mike. Over the years, this cutter has tirelessly formed more biscuits than it or Diana can remember."
"Thankfully, the first time I whipped up some biscuits, Diana lent both the pastry blender and biscuit cutter to me. As I picked up each tool, I could almost feel years of baking seeping into my green hands.
While I’m relatively new to the biscuit game, I certainly always become a flour monster and my loving pup, Anna, always ends up with powder on her wet, black nose. Though my attempts at biscuit-making glory have had a different outcome each time — some flatter, some much more risen much like Diana warned me of previously — I know I will never come close to touching Granny’s tried and true recipe.
With every pat of butter I place atop a biscuit before it enters the oven, I know I’m getting just a bit closer to Southern Buttermilk Biscuit perfection."
* Download a printable PDF version of the recipe here!
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Butter metal baking dish or cookie sheet.
- Measure flour into large bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until crumbs are size of peas. Blend in just enough buttermilk with fork until dough leaves sides of bowl.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Gently knead two to three times. Roll dough out to ½” to ¾” thickness. Cut using floured biscuit cutter. Place on prepared baking sheet, touching for soft sides. Place a pat of butter on each biscuit.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.