Femme Brûlée: My Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

It’s time for another biscuit recipe, and this one is very special because it was made possible by an incredible queer angel of the world named Letitia. You may remember that in my previous biscuit recipe I mention that White Lily flour is the best biscuit flour in the universe, and one of my biggest complaints about Los Angeles is you can’t get it here so my biscuit game has suffered as a result.  I wrote that last May then went on living my White Lily-less life with far fewer biscuits than I liked.

Fast forward to A-Camp X a month later. I’m walking out of the dining hall and a ray of sunshine walks up to me, introduces herself as Laetitia, and says she reads and loves Femme Brûlée. I got super excited because I remembered her name in the comments on my recipes, and having the chance to meet one of my awesome readers in person was so special and exhilarating. I can’t lie, it made me feel super cool, I was hype! I thought I was already the most excited about this interaction I could be, but then Letitia told me she had a present for me. I was immediately a combination of touched and confused — I had no clue what this gift would be or how I was lucky enough to be receiving one from someone I’d never met. The next thing I knew, she presented me with a bag of White Lily flour! I truly almost cried. She mentioned that she’d read my aforementioned biscuit post lamenting the absence of White Lily in my life and since she lives in the southern U.S. where it’s sold, she BOUGHT ME SOME AND FLEW TO A-CAMP WITH A BAG OF MY FAVORITE BISCUIT FLOUR. I talked about this for the entirety of camp. I told all my editors, all my friends; I was in total disbelief! I still can’t even believe this story is real, but it is. It HAPPENED, and as a result so did this recipe happened. So everyone say a big thank you to Letitia in the comments, because she brought this dynamic biscuit recipe into your life!

I meant to share this sooner, but I was so busy enjoying my new and improved life with access to White Lily flour that I kept forgetting to get around to it. I also wanted to make sure this recipe was exactly what I wanted in a biscuit, so it took many many rounds of taste testing. Practice apparently does makes perfect when it comes to biscuits, and so does this flour. It’s softer than most, which means biscuits made with White Lily can be magically flakey and cakelike, light and substantial all at once. I use these biscuits in all the ways. They’re my favorite vessels for breakfast sandwiches and swiping chili bowls but I also eat them hot and plain straight from the pan, or smothered in jelly. They’re my go-to for impromptu brunches and cozy cabin weekends, cause everyone loves a good biscuit, and making them just makes me happy.  Especially in my cast iron skillet. It reminds me that my southern roots are still strong and the food they bring into my life is a gift. Now thanks to the gift I was given, I gift this recipe and so many happy buttery biscuit moments to you. You’ll just have to get your hands on some White Lily first!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (180g) White Lily brand all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425° F  

2. Add the flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and whisk together for about a minute to make sure the ingredients are evenly combined, then place the cubed butter in the bowl. 
3. Using your fingertips, smoosh the butter into flat, thin pieces like little ribbons throughout the flour. 
4. Now add the buttermilk and stir just until the dough starts to stick together and set aside. 
5. Lightly flour your counter (I usually put down parchment paper as well), transfer the dough to the counter and pat the dough into a rectangle. 
6. Now, fold the rectangle of dough over onto itself into twice, pushing down a little each time. 
7. Make one more fold in half.  
8. Then press the dough back out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick, an cut the biscuits. If you prefer round biscuits, you can use a 2-inch cutter to yield about 8 biscuits, but I Iike to just cut these into six big beautiful rectangular biscuits using a sharp knife. It’s quicker, and bigger biscuits means more surface area for toppings and fillings!
9. Arrange the biscuits on your baking sheet, or if you have one in a cast iron pan, and bake for 12 minutes (but check on them after 10!) or until the tops are lightly browned. 
10. Optional step that I didn’t go for this time but often do: you can melt a tablespoon or two of extra butter to pour over the tops of the biscuits the minute they come out of the oven. Highly recommend. 
11. Buttered or not your biscuits are now ready to be eaten! 

Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 78 articles for us.

20 Comments

  1. That is the sweetest story! Wow! Those biscuits look amazing!!!!
    I wonder, in the absense of wonderful flour gifts from Laetitia, if you could find the flour online. I use a special flour for my pizza dough that is hard to find, but I’ve been able to order it online when I haven’t been able to drive to Seattle to the one store I know that carries it.

    • I’ve heard people try to get it online with mixed results. Trying to buy online from their page inevitably directs you to a page on the Smuckers website that doesn’t exist. There is now ONE specialty food/restaurant stocking store in LA that sells it, so maybe see if there’s anything like that in your area or Seattle?

      • I hate to even suggest this site, buuuuut all the White Lily varieties are available on Amazon. I’m too rural to have any experience with Amazon Grocery (that’s a thing, right?), but I think they have it in LA. Maybe they’ll bring it to your door in lieu of me.

  2. Ok, so now I’m crying!! Especially since I can’t make A-Camp this year and bring you another bag of flour, Reneice. Please, wear that cupcake crop top again in my honor though. (Everyone else: I promise you will thank me.)

      • On the name front: A) it’s been almost a year. You remembered that weirdsmobile name of mine, so that’s just damn impressive, And B) this is one of the most respectful and elegant misspellings I’ve ever received, so it feels like a compliment really.

  3. White Lily is excellent but I like Southern All Purpose Flour. Which is another one you probably can’t get. I use my biscuit dough for my chickin n dumplings. They make nice fluffy clouds of dumplings.

    That is a sweet story. I would probably cry if somebody did something that thoughtful for me.

  4. It’s just Pavlovian at this point: load AS front page, see new Femme Brûlée posting, ramp up saliva production rate. And biscuits! Woman, do you have any idea how badly you make me want biscuits!

    Letitia, you’re marvelous, and I am only sorry I did not jump on signing up for A-Camp fast enough and will miss out on the cupcake crop top.

  5. Yum! I was just in the store yesterday, eyeballing the White Lily and wondering if it would work for what we baked last night. My southern grandma used it for biscuits. She cut them into circles – always with a Mason jar. Such good memories. I love biscuits

  6. As a Southerner who has definitely taken my access to White Lily for granted (I am…very much a “whatever store-brand all-purpose flour is cheapest” kinda babe, whoops), I’m SUPER excited to try this out!!
    And my partner’s first reaction to this recipe was “OOH BISCUITS! And I have a cast-iron pan!!”, so I have a feeling these are very near in my future!

  7. Reneice!! First off–your article started the Great Biscuit Debate of ’19! My girlfriend is born and raised in Mississippi (Granny’s biscuits and tomato gravy are a thing of legend) and I am a poor Yankee (though I moved to Texas at six and Mississippi as a teenager) to be pitied forever for the food of my youth. Then I made your biscuits this morning and you have healed our world. One bite and Cathy said “oh, that brings back memories.” Second bite elicited a long sigh and “now those are the biscuits dreams are made of.” So delicious. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  8. Continuing the biscuit debate of ’19 from the land of scones (pronounced skonnz) ThIs is the first ever receipe for biscuits I’ve ever made. And damn they are delicious! So lovely! I gave some to my neighbour just out of the oven and she popped back over at dinner with fresh basil and home grown tomatoes asking for your receipe. Thank you so much Reniece!

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