Until I tried these biscuits, my biscuit experience had been far from satisfying. In fact, biscuits were not something that I ever would have chosen to eat. But when my husband's Aunt Norma made these Baking Powder Biscuits for us, I couldn't get enough!
These are, by far, THE BEST biscuits I have ever eaten! They are soft and fluffy and are so good that we can't even keep them in the house beyond baking day. You'll want to eat them with everything and I mean EVERYTHING!
This easy Baking Powder Biscuit is made with shortening, no butter and bake up super soft and fluffy. They are the BEST biscuits you'll ever try! I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while now but I have my usual problem - too many great recipes and not enough time!
This another one of those recipes that has been around for many generations. I'm so grateful to Aunt Norma for sharing this gem with me so I can pass it on for generations to come. This was my husband's grandma's homemade biscuit recipe (Grandma Gilson) and probably the grandma before her.
There are a lot of biscuit recipes out there, but not all of them have been around this long. There is just something that's so comforting and reassuring about cooking the very same things, with the exact same ingredients, that generations before you were cooking nearly 100 years ago! This was being made by Grandma Gilson back in the 1930's and '40's and it's still amazing. My Date Nut Loaf is another one of those recipes; a recipe that has been passed on through my family for many generations.
Baking Powder is Magic
I see why Kraft Canada calls their baking powder Magic Baking Powder; baking powder really is magical! Before baking powder was invented in the mid 1800's your options were fairly limited. You could use yeast but if you didn't want that flavor of fermentation, there weren't many alternatives, aside from Pearlash. Pearlash was a purified form of potash but it's preparation was very time-consuming. These days we take baking powder for granted, but the introduction of baking powder was revolutionary in minimizing the time and labor required to make bread goods. And it led to the creation of new types of cakes, cookies, biscuits, and other baking. You can read more about the history of baking powder HERE.
For this recipe, you'll need simple ingredients, most of which you'll find in your pantry:
- baking powder
- all-purpose flour
- cream of tartar - see substitutions below
- white granulated sugar
- shortening - you can substitute lard
💭What is Cream of Tartar?
This easy biscuit recipe calls for cream of tartar, which technically, is an acid—specifically, tartaric acid. It’s a byproduct of wine production; the residue left on the barrels. Most commonly, cream of tartar is used as a leavener, because when it’s combined with baking soda, together they produce carbon dioxide gas. That’s the same gas that’s produced by yeast in bread baking. You can read more about that You can read more about cream of tartar HERE.
📖Substitutes for Cream of Tartar
Cream of Tartar is something that I have always kept in my pantry. Although it's pretty old skool there's quite a few baked recipes that still call for it and since I like to make a lot of vintage recipes, I find myself using it on a semi-regular basis. I do recommend following this recipe exactly to get this effect, but if you don't have cream of tartar, no need to worry. You can find simple substitutions for Cream of Tartar HERE.
📖 Substitutions and Variations
- Cream of tartar (see above)
- Cheese biscuits - simply mix in 1 cup of cheddar cheese before you roll out the dough
- Milk - I use 1% but you can use 2 % instead
- Dairy-free or Lactose-free- use a dairy-free milk or lactose free milk
- After you make the dough, roll it out on floured board.
- Roll out the biscuit dough to ½ an inch.
- Cut in rounds with a 3 inch round cutter. * you can use a mug or a glass if you don't have a cutter
- Bake on 375 degrees F/190 degrees F for 12 minutes on parchment covered baking sheet.
(See recipe card for FULL instructions)
🥗What to serve with biscuits
These simple biscuits are great on their own or with jam. My daughter even likes to use these biscuits instead of bread for sandwiches. They also go great with lots of soup, stews and chilis, such as:
- Aunt Norma's Homemade Chili
- Hamburger Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe (with whiskey)
- Slow Cooker Chicken Stew (shown)
- Beer Cheese Soup Recipe
For this easy biscuit recipe, you'll need a baking sheet, a mixing bowl, a cutting board, a rolling pin and a 3 inch round cutter (you can use a mug or a glass if you don't have a cutter) to make these fluffy biscuits. A pastry cutter (affiliate links) also comes in handy, but if you don't have one, you can cut the shortening in with a knife.
Store leftover biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. You can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can also freeze them in a Ziplock freezer bag.
👪 Serving Size
This homemade biscuits recipe makes 16 servings. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Baking powder allows biscuits to rise and makes them fluffy.
Why are my baking powder biscuits tough?
If your baking powder biscuits are tough, you've likely added too much flour. If you live in a very dry climate, you many need to reduce the amount of flour in your biscuit a little recipe to achieve tender biscuits (start by reducing it by 2 tablespoons).
Your baking powder biscuits won't rise if your baking powder has expired or if your oven is not hot enough.
Even if you don't think you're a biscuit lover (like I used to think) give these baking powder biscuits a try because they will definitely make one out of you!
Did you make these easy baking powder biscuits? Please RATE THE RECIPE below
📋 The Best Baking Powder Biscuits Recipe
- 3 cups sifted all -purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar *see substitutions above (in post)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- ¾ cup shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. *if you don't have any parchment, use an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Mix flour, cream of tartar, salt, baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender and mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix eggs with milk and whisk together.
- Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and knead 3 minutes. * I set the timer on the stove for this part.
- Roll out on lightly floured surface.
- Roll dough to ½ inch thick.
- Cut in rounds with a 3 inch round cutter.
- Place biscuits on parchment covered baking sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes in preheated oven. *They will be golden brown on the bottom.
- Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer warm biscuits to cooling rack. Serve and enjoy!
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