Boardinghouse Biscuits Recipe

Southern bread from Texan food writer Robb Walsh. "These biscuits are easy to make and come out perfect every time. Be sure to crowd them close together in the cake pan. You can use self-rising flour, if you like. Just be sure to omit the baking powder and baking soda. White Lily is the favourite low-protein biscuit flour in the south."


1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
3 cups pastry flour, preferably White Lily brand
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups buttermilk, or more as needed
Cane syrup or fruit preserves, for serving


Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a 9″ cake pan.

Step 2: Cut 1 tbsp off the stick of butter and set it aside. Cut the rest of the butter stick lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into small cubes.

Step 3: In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Put 1 cup of the flour mixture into a pie pan and set aside. Scatter the butter cubes over the remaining flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, work the butter cubes into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and stir with a fork to mix. The dough should be wet. Continue to stir until the dough resembles cottage cheese, adding more buttermilk if needed to achieve the correct consistency. Do not overwork.

Step 4: Butter an ice cream scoop and scoop up a ball of dough. Plop the wet ball of dough into the flour in the pie pan. Roll the ball in the flour, gently shaping it, then pick it up and roll it gently in your cupped hand, shaking off any excess flour. Place the ball in the prepared cake pan. Repeat until all of the dough is used, arranging the balls very close together in the cake pan. You should have 10 biscuits.

Step 5: Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, melt the reserved 1 tbsp butter. When the biscuits are ready, remove from the oven and immediately brush with the melted butter. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Invert the pan onto a flat plate, then lift off the pan, releasing the biscuits. Place another plate on top of the upside-down biscuits and turn the plates over again so the biscuits are right side up on the serving plate. Serve immediately with cane syrup or preserves.

See more recipes from Robb Walsh.

Reprinted with permission from Robb Walsh’s Texas Eats (2012 Ten Speed Press).