Feather-Light Biscuits


    • Vegetable Oil Cooking Spray - As Needed
    • 1.5 Cups Soft Wheat Self-Rising Flour - Preferably White Lily*
    • 1/8 Tsp Baking Soda
    • 1/4 Tsp Fine Salt
    • 1 Tbs Granulated Sugar
    • 3 Tbs Vegetable Shortening - Preferably Zero Trans-Fat; Chilled
    • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk - Very Cold
    • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream - Very Cold
    • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour - For Shaping
    • 1/4 Stick (1-oz or 2 Tbs) Lightly Salted Butter - Melted

*Soft winter wheat is a variety of wheat with a low protein and gluten content. It is the type of flour recommended for cakes, biscuits, and quick breads. We recommend the White Lily brand. If not available at your local grocery store, it may be purchased online at Smucker's. If you do not care to source soft winter wheat flour, you may substitute 1 cup national brand self-rising flour combined with 1/2 cup cake flour plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Do not use self-rising flour for shaping biscuits because the leavener will give a bitter taste to the outside of the biscuits.


    1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Adjust an oven rack to just above the middle position. Spray an 8" round cake pan with cooking spray.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the shortening into the flour mixture until there are no shortening lumps larger than a big pea.
    3. Stir in the buttermilk and cream, and let stand for 2-3 minutes. This dough is so wet that you can't shape it in the usual manner.
    4. Pour the cup of all-purpose flour onto a plate or pie tin; flour your hands well. Spray a 2" ice cream scoop with cooking spray. Scoop a biscuit-size lump of wet dough into the flour, and sprinkle some flour over the wet dough to coat the outside. Pick up the biscuit and shape it roughly into a round; at the same time, shake of the excess flour. The dough is so soft that it will not hold its shape. As you shape each biscuit, place it in the pan. Push the biscuits tightly against each other so that they will rise up and not spread out; continue shaping biscuits in this manner until all of the dough is used.
      • To make a large batch of biscuits in a hurry, spray a 2" ice cream scoop with cooking spray. Cover a jellyroll plan with all-purpose flour. Quickly scoop biscuits onto the flour pan, sprinkle with flour, then shape and place in small pans to bake.
    5. Brush the biscuits with the melted butter, and bake until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Cool for 1-2 minutes in the pan, then dump out and cut the biscuits apart. Butter while hot, and eat immediately.