RECIPES: Sour Cream Biscuits



Cold, rainy mornings and biscuits belong together. Cold you ask? In SoCal? Come on! I reckon it’s all relative, but it was supposed to hit freezing last night, which is why our mighty Meyer Lemon Tree got to spend the night indoors.


I blame this cold snap for my bready cravings. We don’t have working heat in our Townhome (our fault) so I’m sure my body is screaming, Fatten me up!! 

Or maybe it’s because I talked to my hillbilly daddy on the phone this morning. My daddy grew up at the head of Millstone Holler in Eastern Kentucky with his nine brothers and sisters; a region where biscuits were a morning staple. (My daddy’s in the back row without a shirt.)


Mamaw (my dad’s mother who I sadly never got to meet) was legendary for her biscuits. Tall. Fluffy. Delicious. To this day, her children speak of her biscuits with yearning. So really… biscuits are in my blood.

mamawWhatever planted the seed, all I knew is that I HAD to have biscuits for breakfast.

While no hillbilly, my mom–a New Jersey native who spent her high school years sneaking off to Greenwich Village to hang out at Club Wha?–makes a mighty good biscuit. I’ve been making her recipe for quite some time, but since I had leftover sour cream from our post-Thanksgiving Turkey-with-Homemade-Noodles, I figured I’d try my hand at a sour cream biscuit instead. My mom does a milk based biscuit, and while good, I really like the sourness of a buttermilk or sour cream. I figured it was time to find my own place in the biscuit world, to discover the perfect combination for myself.


After reading a few recipes, I came up with a plan. I dropped the baking soda from my mom’s recipe and used just baking powder (if you’re curious about the purpose of each, Joy the Baker has an outstanding explanation in her Baking 101 series).


I used sour cream instead of milk or buttermilk, although  it didn’t make a soft enough dough so I added some milk as well. Deciding on the butter amount was tough, but somehow I landed on just the right amount. Some recipes suggested sugar, but I prefer a salty biscuit, so skipped the sugar and brushed the tops of the raw biscuits with bit of butter and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt.


Quite simply, I made my dream biscuit.




  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces (plus another Tablespoon to melt in the pan)
  • 1 cup sour cream (we use Daisy brand because it has NO additives or stabilizers like carrageenan)
  • Enough milk to bring the dough together
  • Coarse Sea Salt for the top
  1. Pulse together flour, baking powder, and salt in food processor and then add in the butter and pulse until pea size sandy mixture. (The Dirty Biker would do this all by hand, but I like the consistency of the food processor.)
  2. Pulse in sour cream. If the dough does not pull away from sides, slowly add a bit of milk until it does.Bis7
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead a few times until dough comes together and is smooth. That was something new for me. I have never kneaded biscuits (I mean I needed them, but...). My old technique was to pat into a circular dough and start to cut, trying to handle as little as possible, kind of like pie crust. One recipe I read said to knead three to four minutes, which freaked me out a little, so I went until it felt right. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Do you really need to do that? I never used to, but lately I’ve been letting all my dough rest in the fridge to let the butter get super cold again and make for extra flakey stuff. So yeah… I’d say refrigerate.Bis8
  4. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 400F with a cast iron skillet inside and about a tablespoon of butter.
  5. Roll dough out until it is 1 inch thick. Using a round cutter, push straight down through dough, then flip biscuit upside down, dip top in melted butter, and place in the cast iron skillet.Bis9
  6. Gather up any excess dough, roll out again and repeat. (The ugly ducklings, but they still taste awesome.) Next time I need to grease my nasty old cutter. The dough stuck to it and made for some pretty funky shaped biscuits.Bis11
  7. Nest the biscuits nice and close together for mile high biscuits.Bis10
  8. Bake for 17-20, until tops are golden brown. (I halved this recipe since it was an experiment and there was the possibility they’d be terrible. Notice how ugly the scrap biscuits are! Ha!)

Sour Cream Biscuits
Truly, I should have made the full recipe because these babies were SUBLIME. I’m in biscuit heaven.

Until next time…

Later gators!




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