Mary Leigh’s Buttermilk Biscuits

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Editor's Note: When it comes to Southern side dishes, the humble biscuit is one you can't ignore. In this recipe for Mary Leigh’s Buttermilk Biscuits, it can't get any easier to make these delightful biscuits, either. You'll use only three ingredients to bake this delightful quick bread. Whether they're used to accompany gravy or slathered with a generous dollop of jam, these buttermilk biscuits will quickly become part of your repertoire. While you can never go wrong with serving these biscuits for breakfast, you can also serve them with this recipe for Root Beer-Glazed Ham, which is also by the same author.

Homemade buttermilk biscuits are our favorite breakfast at the Cool Water Ranch. For years we’ve made them almost every weekend. When my daughter Mary Leigh was still very small, she started helping me. Now she’s completely taken over the job. The recipe is not revolutionary. There are only three ingredients: self-rising flour (White Lily is by far the best), buttermilk, and butter. (We used to use Crisco, but what we now know about trans fats made me convert to butter as the shortening.)

Makes6 to 10 biscuits

Cooking MethodBaking



Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get Together

Recipe CourseSide Dish, Snack, Starch

Five Ingredients or LessYes

MealBreakfast, Snack

Taste and TextureButtery, Crisp, Light

Type of DishQuickbreads


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1½ cups buttermilk


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Cut the butter into the flour with a wire whisk until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. A few small lumps are okay.

  2. Blend in the buttermilk with light strokes of a kitchen fork. Continue lightly blending until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little more milk, if necessary, to work all the dry flour at the bottom into a sticky, thoroughly damp dough.

  3. Lightly grease a baking sheet or pizza pan with butter or shortening. Spoon out the dough with a large spoon into lumps about 3 inches high and 3 to 4 inches in diameter and drop them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet or pizza pan. Dip your fingers in water and mound the dough up a bit if necessary.

  4. Bake until the little peaks on the biscuits start to brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Don’t aim for a dark overall brown; that indicates overbaking.


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