Edna Lewis-inspired Biscuits

by Chef

Serves: 12 dozen biscuitsPrep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 15 minutes


For the biscuits:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup good lard
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 450° F. Mix together sifted flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add lard and blend with your fingertips until mixture has become the texture of corn meal. Add milk all at once and scatter it all over the dough. Stir vigorously with a heavy-duty wooden spoon. The dough will be very soft in the beginning, but will stiffen in 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to stir a few minutes longer.

After dough has stiffened, scrape from the sides of the bowl and create a ball. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out biscuit dough. Dip hands into flour and flatten dough by hand. Form a round cake and knead for a minute by folding the outer edges of the dough into the center of the circle. As you fold, overlap the dough ends. Turn the folded-in side face down. Lightly dust with more flour and use a rolling pin to roll dough 3/4-inch thick. Dust a 2 ½-inch diameter biscuit cutter with flour. Make cuts straight down; do not wriggle the cutter. Cut as close together as possible to utilize all the dough. Use a heavy-duty cookie sheet or baking pan. Place the biscuits next to each other, just touching. Bake at 450°F for 13 to15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t re-roll dough trimmings. Bake them along with the perfect biscuits.

Note: Select a good-quality butter or lard, use fresh baking powder or make your own. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Don’t twist the biscuit cutter as you cut, make them with love, bake them, and last, brush ’em with salted soft butter as you pull them from the oven.