Shirley Corriher's Touch-of-Grace Biscuits Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Genius Recipes



10 Ratings

  • Makes 12 to 14 medium biscuits

Jump to Recipe

Author Notes

A genius technique for guarding against dry biscuits. Food scientist and baking expert Shirley Corriher says the dough "should be a wet mess" -- a moist dough steams up into fluffy biscuits in a hot oven, and a low-protein self-rising flour like White Lily will make them extra tender, if you can get it. Note: Corriher, ever the scientist and tinkerer, published one version of this recipe in CookWise in 1997, and a fairly different one in BakeWise in 2008. We tried and loved both, the newer one edged out. Note: If you can't find self-rising flour, substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, and increase the salt to 1 teaspoon. This version is adapted slightly from BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking (Scribner, 2008). —Genius Recipes

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • Butter for greasing, or nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups(9 ounces/255 g) spooned and leveled self-rising flour (preferably low-protein Southern U.S. flour like White Lily)
  • 1/4 cupsugar (or less, if you prefer your biscuits less sweet)
  • 1/2 teaspoonsalt
  • 1/4 cupshortening
  • 2/3 cupheavy cream
  • 1 cupbuttermilk, or enough for dough to resemble cottage cheese (if you are not using low-protein flour, it will take more than 1 cup)
  • 1 cupplain all-purpose flour, for shaping
  • 3 tablespoonsunsalted butter, melted, for brushing
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven. Butter an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the self-rising flour, sugar, and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the cream, then some of the buttermilk until dough resembles wet cottage cheese. It should be a wet mess -- not soup, but cottage-cheese texture. If you are not using a low-protein flour, this may take considerably more than 1 cup of buttermilk.
  3. Spread the plain all-purpose flour (not self-rising) out on a plate or pie pan. With a medium (about 2 inches, #30) ice cream scoop or spoon, place three or four scoops of dough well apart in the flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn a dough ball in the flour to coat, pick it up, and gently shape it into a round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place this biscuit in the prepared pan. Coat each dough ball in the same way and place each shaped biscuit scrunched up against its neighbor so that the biscuits rise up and don't spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all dough is used.
  4. Place the pan on the arranged shelf in the oven. Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with the melted butter. Invert onto one plate, then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately. "Butter 'em while they're hot."
  5. Note: Do not use self-rising flour for shaping, as the leavener will give a bitter taste to the outside of the biscuits.


  • Biscuit
  • Bread
  • American
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Buttermilk
  • Grains
  • Summer
  • Memorial Day
  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • Thanksgiving
  • Fourth of July

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ellen Daly

  • tanya

  • Elaine Lowery James

  • Amy Viny

  • Heidi Vaught

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

Popular on Food52

40 Reviews

ebrown39 November 22, 2023

When I die I want this biscuit in my casket with me.

MarkT April 15, 2023

OMG. I remember watching Shirley’s cooking show on tv when I was a little boy. (Before cooking shows became a dime a dozen.) I began cooking meals for my family when I was 7 years old but I’ve never felt I made a very good biscuit so I recently Googled Shirley bc I knew she would have the perfect recipe. And indeed, this is the PERFECT biscuit. Fortunately, I live in the south and have never bought any other flour than White Lily. I must admit I was skeptical about the unorthodox method and it was a bit daunting but they are actually very simple and gratifying to make. I will NEVER use another recipe and will ALWAYS have self rising flour on hand. TY, Shirley. Finally, at 70 years old, I can make a GREAT biscuit.

clickmichelle October 27, 2022

This is a crazy recipe that works so incredibly well. I do not add any sugar, and I use butter instead of shortening. It works with milk and with half and half, but heavy cream does work the best. Leftovers reheat beautifully in the oven or split in a skillet. I've even made a batch of these in the afternoon and reheated in the morning for breakfast and they were still amazing.

Ellen D. January 23, 2022

I’m writing this review in a state of disbelief, how can something that’s laced with heavy cream and shortening, be as light and fluffy as a cloud? I’m not American, I never really got the whole biscuit thing, until now that is! I will definitely be making these again.

Anne N. January 10, 2022

This recipe is fantastic! I followed the recommendations to use use less sugar and I smothered them with Shirley Corriher’s recipe for Cherry Chambord butter.

Tashie March 17, 2021

This is such an unusual way of making biscuits. They come out super soft, almost like cake. Luckily I reduced the sugar level based on the comments below and "only" added 2TB of sugar rather than 1/4 cup. My 11 year old said that I could have reduced the sugar further down to 1TB because this seriously tastes like dessert with 2TB. I didn't have white lily self-rising flour, but the substitution of 1 tsp of salt instead of 1/2 tsp and 2 3/4 tsp of baking powder did the trick. No, these are not your high flaky type of biscuit, but they are so incredibly soft and delicious. I highly recommend giving these a try.

tanya April 1, 2018

I only added a heaping tablespoon of sugar, these were lovely to go alongside bacon and eggs. My daughter's new favorite biscuit. My happy liked them, but he prefers the flakier traditional biscuits. These are special though, tender and delicate. I used all butter, and 1/2 and 1/2 (no cream in the house) along with buttermilk.

Katie P. January 31, 2017

I've made these biscuits twice in one week. New favorite recipe! Thank you for including the weights for ingredients. I made them a little too wet the first time but they still turned out great! Cut the sugar a bit. I find they store well at room temperature lightly covered (not tightly wrapped). Can't wait for summer to try them with the corn butter!

Elaine L. November 13, 2016

Scones have sugar, biscuits don't. Angel biscuits may, but they are a cross between a biscuit and a roll. BISCUITS DON'T HAVE SUGAR IN THEM, UNLESS BEING USED FOR SHORTCAKE.

Paige A. December 29, 2016

Did you even bother to make them before you made your judgment?

Elaine L. April 3, 2018

I grew up in Georgia. We had biscuits every meal. They are traditional there. Biscuits DON'T have sugar, unless they are being used for shortcake.

Paige A. April 5, 2018

I also grew up in GA. Some recipes call for sugar and some don't. The ones that do call for sugar taste NOTHING shortcake.

MarkT April 15, 2023

Um. You said that already……5 years previous. We get it. But in the sticks where you probably live I doubt they’ve ever even heard of scones so how would you know what they taste like or how they are made?!? As the recipe says, if you don’t want sugar in your biscuits, leave it out! Nobody cares!!!

T November 13, 2016

I'm always in search of a good biscuit. This one is the best I've come across so far. I didn't have the good self rising flour, I just used Washington. I had to add more buttermilk to get the right consistency. But they were across bit tangy. Next time I'll use a little more half and half/whole milk so I can use less buttermilk. I also did 1/8th sugar and had cooked them for 30 minutes. Deliscious.

T November 13, 2016

**they were a little bit too tangy

Jane October 4, 2016

Good thing you mentioned the "cottage cheese" point because honestly this looked like the craziest mixture! Turns out these are the most delicious and easiest biscuits ever. I made them with butter, not shortening and they were absolutely the moistest and tastiest biscuits ever! Served them with butter and maple syrup and they were heavenly!!

Amy V. November 15, 2015

I don't have self rising flour. Can I use all purpose with the addition of baking soda and or powder?

jifferb November 23, 2015

I was just going to ask that - see answer in Author's Notes above.

sfmomma October 24, 2015

These biscuits turned out great. I ended up using half the amount of sugar and double the buttermilk probably due to the brand of self-rising flour I used. I froze the dough in the pan earlier in the week and thawed in the refrigerator for a few hours before putting them in the oven. I then brushed the top with a garlic mixture I made (room temp butter, garlic, italian parsley, etc). They came out amazing. Putting a parchment round at the of the pan really made a huge difference when baking from frozen. The only issue I had was the overpowering buttermilk flavor because I had to add so much extra to bring it to the proper consistency. Regardless, this is a keeper recipe!

Heidi V. April 15, 2015

This was my first time making biscuits. These were incredibly easy and delicious! My partner and I were both very impressed. The biscuits are, as others have mentioned, very sweet. If you know you like to slather on jam or honey reduce the sugar. If you enjoy being able to eat a biscuit without having to put anything on it keep the sugar as is. Either way, do yourself a favor and make this quick!

taxidog February 3, 2015

I must try these soon-they are guaranteed to work! If you are not familiar with Shirley, she is a biochemist specializing in all things food. She is fascinating in her explanations of how cooking and baking works. She authored 2 genius books on the how's and whys of cooking. They are good reads.

thebutterlab April 15, 2014

I'm excited to try these! I was just wondering if I could make the dough and then freeze the biscuits, shaped in the cake pan? Thanks!

EFF April 13, 2014

Can this be made with any of the non-gluten flours?

juicyrebound1 January 8, 2014

I agree with Elaine, these ain't my Granny's biscuits, but they are tender, light and quite delicious. Shortcake is a good call with fresh berries.

Sarah J. January 3, 2014

These are the most insane, heavenly biscuits I have EVER tried. I made them to bring to a dinner party. I did all of the steps up to the baking ahead of time, then brought them to my friends' house and baked them there. Perfect, melt-in-your-mouth, light as air biscuits.

Katie July 11, 2013

These are my new go-to biscuits. I've made them three times in the past few weeks and still can't get enough. Genius, indeed.

Shirley Corriher's Touch-of-Grace Biscuits Recipe on Food52 (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Last Updated:

Views: 6766

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (73 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner

Birthday: 1994-06-25

Address: Suite 153 582 Lubowitz Walks, Port Alfredoborough, IN 72879-2838

Phone: +128413562823324

Job: IT Strategist

Hobby: Video gaming, Basketball, Web surfing, Book restoration, Jogging, Shooting, Fishing

Introduction: My name is Rev. Porsche Oberbrunner, I am a zany, graceful, talented, witty, determined, shiny, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.