Grandma Ellen’s Buttermilk Biscuits
With a little preparation at home, these biscuits can easily be made while RVing
Two steps past the screen door slam, I was in Ellen’s farmhouse kitchen smelling buttermilk biscuits and hugging my new mother-in- law. We ate them fresh out of the oven with salted butter, cheese whiz and strawberry jam, which she made from berries hand-picked from her own patch.
These are simple to mix up for camping. Just put all the dry ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag with the recipe card, and make sure you have oil and buttermilk in your cooler.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cake flour
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk
- 1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
- Coconut oil, butter or lard for greasing the bottom of the Dutch oven
- Preheat the oven to 230 C (450 F) or get your coals lit and ready for your cast iron Dutch oven. My Dutch oven is 12 inches in diameter so I use 33 coals in total: 22 on top and 11 on the bottom. (See your own Dutch oven owner’s manual for specific advice.)
- Measure and mix dry ingredients.
- Cut chilled butter into niblet-sized chunks and rub into the flour with your hands until the mix is the texture of dry oatmeal.
- Add shredded cheese and toss to mix.
- Measure and add buttermilk.
- Stir with a few aggressive strokes to bring the soft dough together.
- Turn the whole sticky mess on a floured board; sprinkle the top with flour.
- Press the dough evenly with your palms until almost two-centimetres (3/4-inch) thick (instead of rolling).
- Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter, the rim of a glass or a tin can with both ends cut out.
- Place rounds on a baking sheet if you’re using a regular oven, or grease the bottom inside of your Dutch oven and preheat top and bottom with briquettes for five minutes before adding the biscuits.
- Cook 12 to 15 minutes until caramel coloured on top and bottom.
I miss Grandma Ellen but eating these biscuits brings me back to happy conversations at her farm kitchen table. She would be pleased for you to have her recipe and enjoy a well-buttered biscuit and conversation at your table.