Food & dining

Recipe for buttermilk biscuits

Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff

Makes 12

Jim Willis makes biscuits from a cookbook he and his wife received as a wedding gift in 1962. Kneading the dough gently for only about 10 strokes keeps them from getting tough in the oven.

2cups flour
¼teaspoon baking soda
3teaspoons baking powder
¼teaspoon salt
6tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
cup cold buttermilk, or more to taste
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Have on hand a baking sheet and 2½-inch plain round cutter.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or blunt knife, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.


3. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. With a fork, stir quickly only until the dough follows the fork around the bowl. Add more buttermilk, ½ teaspoon at a time, if necessary, so the dough holds together.

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4. On a lightly floured counter, knead gently for 10 strokes. Roll or pat the dough to a ½-inch thickness. Using the cutter dipped repeatedly in flour, cut the dough straight down without twisting. Set on the ungreased baking sheet. Reshape the scraps and reroll to make 12 biscuits total. For crusty biscuits, space the biscuits ¾-inch apart; for softer biscuits, bake closer together.

5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Jim Willis. Adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook”