Next time you make bacon, make these three-ingredient, couldn’t-be-simpler biscuits too. They hinge on rendered, chilled bacon fat, which delivers a fluffy-tender texture and smoky-rich flavor.
The number of slices you’ll need depends on how thick and fatty they are to begin with (the thicker and fattier, the better). Start by cooking four, pour the sizzling fat into a measuring cup, and go from there. Maybe you’ll have to cook another slice or two. Who’s going to complain about that?
You could serve the bacon with the biscuits—plus a sunny side-up egg if you’re me, or a giant pour of maple syrup if you’re my husband. But if you want bacon one day and biscuits another? No problem. Stick the fat in the fridge, where it will keep for at least a week, or in the freezer, where it will keep for months.
Now about the self-rising flour: The leavener and salt are already in there. And the low protein content is what promises such a tender, ethereal baked good. White Lily brand has become synonymous with Southern biscuits. I use whatever I can get my hands on (King Arthur’s is great too). Do you have a strong preference? Let me know in the comments. —Emma Laperruque
- Prep time 35 minutes
- Cook time 28 minutes
- makes 5 biscuits
4 to 7
(255 grams) self-rising flour
(184 grams) buttermilk
- Add 4 slices of bacon to a cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered, 7 to 9 minutes, shuffling and flipping the pieces along the way so they cook evenly. (If they start to brown too quickly, lower the heat.)
- Transfer the bacon to a plate and pour the fat into a heatproof liquid measuring cup. It should yield between 1/4 and 1/3 cup fat—if you’re short, just cook more bacon (never a bad thing).
- When you’ve got the right amount of fat, place the measuring cup in another bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. Let this chill out, stirring occasionally, until the fat is opaque and thick, like sour cream or shortening. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450°F. (And no need to wash that skillet, we’re using it in a bit.)
- Add the flour to a bowl. Add the chilled bacon fat and use your fingers to pinch it into the flour—stop when the biggest pieces are pea-sized and the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the buttermilk; the dough should be sticky but not soupy.
- Return the skillet to medium heat. When it’s hot, use a 1/3 cup to scoop and drop 5 biscuits into the skillet (you can grease the measuring cup for easier release). If you want a flatter biscuit, you can dampen your fingers with buttermilk and slightly pat down the tops of the biscuits. Turn off the stove and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for about 14 minutes, until bouncy to the touch. Remove from the oven, position a rack in the top quarter, and turn on the broiler. Broil the biscuits, watching them closely, until their tops are toasty and browned. These are best warm.