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"My perfect last meal would be: shrimp cocktail, lasagna, steak, creamed spinach, salad with bleu cheese dressing, onion rings, garlic bread, and a dessert of strawberry shortcake."
Joan Rivers (1933-2014) American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and television host

The Kitchen

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The key to perfect Southern biscuits is using a soft, winter wheat flour, like White Lilly. Also it is crucial to use chilled shortening and butter and whole-milk buttermilk. Just as important is that you do not over work the dough and bake them in a very hot oven. It takes practice to be able to consistently turn out the perfect Southern biscuit.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes    Serving Size: 8 biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising soft, winter wheat flour (White Lilly)
  • 1/4 cup chilled shortening
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup whole-milk butter milk
  • additional butter: 2 tablespoons melted and butter for finished biscuits (optional)
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Heat oven to 500°. Measure flour into a large wide bowl and place in the refrigerator along with the shortening and a pastry cutter, fork and cookie cutter. Chill all for at least an hour. Measure 1/4 cup shortening and 1 tablespoon cold butter and place in flour. Cut with pastry cutter until the flour looks like coarse sand. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in 2/3 cup buttermilk. Use your fingers to begin bringing the flour into the buttermilk from the edge. Feel free to use a fork if it is easier. Add more buttermilk if necessary to form a sticky dough. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Meanwhile melt 2 tablespoon butter in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly. Remove the chilled dough and gently turn out onto a lightly floured board. Pat the dough out with your fingers into a round shape about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Fold over onto itself and pat back out in the same sized shape. Do this a few more times, working the dough as little as possible. Have an ungreased baking ready and use a cutter to make biscuits. Gently gather and pat the dough between cuts to make all the biscuits. Place on baking sheet and brush the tops with the cooled melted butter. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown, but do not over cook. Slice in half and butter if desired as soon as they come out of the oven.

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