Makes 12


  • 3 c. unsifted self-rising flour
  • 6 t. vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 c. buttermilk


1. Position oven rack in middle of oven, then preheat to 425°. Put flour into a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to work shortening into flour until it resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; stir with a wooden spoon until mixture just holds together.

2. Gather dough into a rough ball, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust hands with flour and gently knead dough 4–5 times. Roll dough out into a 12″–13″ circle about 1/2″ thick, dusting rolling pin and dough with just enough flour to keep dough from sticking. Cut out 12 biscuits with a cookie cutter or the rim of a juice glass and place in a well-seasoned 12″ cast-iron skillet. Biscuits will fit snugly.

3. Bake until just beginning to color, about 15 minutes, then switch oven to broil and bake until tops are lightly browned, 1–2 minutes longer.