Virginia Willis's Cathead Biscuits

Virginia Willis’s Cathead Biscuits on pan

Angie Mosier

Ingredients

Directions

  1. 1 of 8 Heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. (You can also bake the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.)
  2. 2 of 8 In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in the buttermilk and mix until just barely combined. It will be a shaggy mass. (Alternatively, you can mix the dough in a food processor: Pulse to combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.)
  3. 3 of 8 Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in the buttermilk through the feed tube and pulse until just barely combined. (It will be a shaggy mass.)
  4. 4 of 8 Turn the shaggy mass out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, using the heel of your hand to compress and push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself. Give the dough a small turn and repeat four or five times. (It's not yeast bread; you want to just barely activate the gluten, not overwork it.)
  5. 5 of 8 Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out 1 inch thick. Cut out rounds of dough with a 3 1/2-inch round cutter dipped in flour; press the cutter straight down without twisting so the biscuits will rise evenly when baked.
  6. 6 of 8 Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. If the biscuits are baked close together, the sides will be tender. If the biscuits are baked farther apart, the sides will be crisp. (I always say biscuits are like people: If you are close to your neighbor, you will be tender, and if you aren't close to your neighbor, you will be crisp!)
  7. 7 of 8 Once you've punched out the first round from the dough, you can reroll the scraps. However, do not simply roll them into a ball; this will create a knot of gluten strands. Instead, place the pieces one on top of the other in layers. Then roll out and repeat punching out the biscuits.
  8. 8 of 8 Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool just slightly. Serve warm. Makes about 9 biscuits. CATHEAD BISCUITS is excerpted from SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE © 2018 by Virginia Willis. Photography © 2018 by Angie Mosier. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Nutrition Information for Virginia Willis's Cathead Biscuits
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