My grandmother often used lard in her buttermilk biscuits, but on occasion she'd use bacon grease. The latter preparation is my favorite because it adds depth of flavor and smokiness. She always used self-rising flour (specifically, White Lily brand), but all-purpose flour can be substituted with the addition of 4 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Rendered bacon grease will contain a little salt, but not enough to season the entire batch of dough. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt along with the leaven. —Heather Baird
- Makes 12 biscuits
cold bacon fat
cold buttermilk (full fat)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place flour into a large mixing bowl. Fluff it gently and very briefly with a whisk.
- Add cold bacon fat and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender until pea-sized crumbs form. If you don't have a pastry blender you can quickly rub the fat into the flour with your fingers.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk.
- Mix with a fork until the liquid and dry ingredients are just combined and a sticky dough is achieved. If your dough is too stiff, add 1-2 more tbsp. buttermilk.
- Turn the sticky dough out onto a lightly floured surface and then lightly sprinkle the dough with additional flour. Knead 5 or 6 times and pat dough out flat with well floured hands to 1 1/2" thickness.
- Cut dough into rounds using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter; re-roll scraps and cut more biscuits until all of the dough is used. If dough wants to stick to the cutter, lightly flour it between cuts.
- Place biscuits, just touching, on a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 -20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the biscuit tops with the 2 tbsp melted butter. Serve warm