Cornmeal-Crusted Buttermilk Biscuits

Photo: Brown Cannon III

"I have a husband who wants bread with every meal," Fernald says. "I can never plan far enough in advance for bread, so I make biscuits." These can also be shaped ahead and baked at the last minute.

Yield: Makes 12 (serving size: 1 biscuit)
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 268
  • Calories from fat: 44%
  • Protein: 4.5g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Carbohydrate: 33g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 421mg
  • Cholesterol: 19mg


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted fresh lard* or butter, cut into cubes, plus butter for tops of biscuits
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup cornmeal or polenta


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 500°. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. 2. Add lard and rub into flour mixture with your fingertips, or use two knives to cut it in, until flour looks like fine meal with some pea-size lumps.
  3. 3. Make a well in flour mixture and pour in 1 cup buttermilk. Blend flour into buttermilk with your fingers. Mixture should be quite moist; add a little more buttermilk if you need to (with lard, it's likely).
  4. 4. Spread half the cornmeal on a work surface and turn biscuit dough onto cornmeal. Sprinkle with rest of cornmeal and pat into a 10-in. round, pressing in the cornmeal. Grease a large cast-iron skillet.*
  5. 5. Cut dough into 12 wedges. Using a spatula, transfer wedges to pan, spaced slightly apart so edges get crisp. Top each biscuit with a dab of butter.
  6. 6. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. *Order fresh lard from your butcher, or buy at a farmers' market. You can also bake biscuits on a baking sheet, spaced a little apart, if you like.
  8. Make ahead: Through step 5, 2 hours.
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