When the weather turns cooler, and the leaves on the trees begin to fall, I hear the tall pine trees of memory swaying in the autumn breeze at MawMaw’s house in Mississippi. I smell the aromas of cooking that warmed the house over while MawMaw was in the kitchen, whipping up whatever concoction struck her fancy.
MawMaw and her house are gone now. But time has not stolen the memories I hold of a grandmother whose presence and home in the country erased the sadness of my childhood heart.
So when autumn returns and I miss her most, I whip up a batch of MawMaw’s biscuits. Just for old times’ sake.
Yield: 8 biscuits
- 2 c flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 stick of butter (1/2 c)
- 3/4 c milk
- extra flour for rolling
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Then add the stick of butter. Mash it in there good with a pastry blender. Mine is packed somewhere and crossing the ocean, so I used the next best thing – a potato masher. If you don’t have that even, use a fork. That’s what MawMaw used to do.
Blend until the pieces are the size of pebbles.
Add the milk.
Mix with a fork until the milk is absorbed and you have this sticky mass of dough.
Dust your surface with a little bit of flour. Dump the dough on the floured surface. Dust the dough with a little bit of flour and knead. To do this, pat it down, fold it, repeat until the dough is no longer sticky.
Cut your biscuits out with a biscuit cutter or a glass. As I’ve said – I have no idea where my stuff is, so I’ll use what I have on hand – a glass. Roll out the scraps to get another biscuit or two.
Place the biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet. I like to put them close together so that they bake into one another and have soft sides. If you like them crispier, place them about an inch or two apart.
I don’t know how MawMaw got her biscuits to rise, honestly. But I got this tip from Suzanne, and it works: Pop the pan of biscuits into the fridge for 10 minutes. Then put it into the oven.
Bake the biscuits for 12-14 minutes until they are a nice golden color on top.
I always sneak one while they’re still hot – no butter or jam necessary.
For a real Southern treat, serve them with gravy. (Recipe here.)