Wednesday, July 3, 2019

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 | Make Mama's Biscuits

Mama's biscuits are one of my very favorite foods, a comfort food that can fix almost anything. However, I've never learned to make them really well. In fact, I debated putting this item on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 List because part of the appeal of the biscuits (besides their absolute yummy-ness) is the fact that I don't make them for myself. Either Mama or Robbie (or my sister Brenda on occasion) makes them for me. I've always known that if I started making them for myself, they might not be quite as willing to make them for me. (big grin)

In reality, I've tried making these biscuits before with some limited success - because following Mama's "recipe" is simple yet complex.

*Sift some self-rising flour into a large mixing bowl.
*Make a hole in the middle of the flour & add a dollop of Crisco (shortening).
*Pour in some cold water.
*Mix together, adding in flour until it's all the right consistency (!!??!!).
*Form biscuits & place in iron skillet.
*Bake at 425 degrees until done.

Years ago Mama taught my friend Elinor how to make the biscuits ... and you can tell by this photo that finding the "right consistency" is the trick!

When Robbie and I became engaged and I was going to move away from my family for the first time, my sister told him he better learn how to make Mama's biscuits. Once he got the gist of it, he actually created a little more defined recipe that he follows.

*Sift 2 cups self-rising flour & 1 tablespoon baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
*Cut in 1/4 Crisco & stir in 3/4 cup cold water. (Add more water if needed to make dough stick together.)
*Knead a bit, but not too much.
*Make biscuits.
*Bake at 425 degrees for 20-22 minutes.

I decided to take a hybrid approach by using Robbie's measurements (without the baking powder), making the hole in the flour (like Mama) and working toward finding just the right consistency. For my first attempt, I created a half batch and baked them in the small iron skillet. They tasted just right, although they were not quite as fluffy as Mama's.

Mama said I needed a little more water and maybe a little more Crisco, and my next batch came out perfect!

They were fluffy and yummy ... although they didn't have the "extra special ingredient" that Mama and Robbie put in when they make them just for me!  However, they certainly tasted good with a dab of butter!

Of course, I want to make it clear that while I now know that I can get them just right, I will always enjoy them more when someone else makes them! But I am thrilled to check another item on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 List completed!


  1. Yeay, well done for persevering! I am fascinated by the simplicity of the recipe and the ways the biscuits are cooked - do you cook them on the top of the stove or do you put the iron skillet inside the oven? They look a little like our 'scones' but ours are usually made with milk not water ... And a great page to document your success!

  2. I think the term biscuit has lost something in translation ... they do look good, though, and well done for persevering!

    1. Ruth, I think British scones are probably the closest thing. The most important thing to know is that they are extremely yummy and not at all good for you when done correctly. Those look very yummy, Melissa.

    2. Thanks Susanne! Yes, Ruth, our biscuits are more of a bread item. What y'all call biscuits are what we call cookies, sweets for snacking. :)


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!