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Photo: Brown Cannon III Photo by: Photo: Brown Cannon III

Cornmeal-Crusted Buttermilk Biscuits

"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.

Sunset DECEMBER 2012

  • Yield: Makes 12 (serving size: 1 biscuit)
  • Total: 45 Minutes


  • 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. Preheat oven to 500°. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and sugar together in a large bowl.

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. 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. 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. 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. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

*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.

Make ahead: Through step 5, 2 hours.

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

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Cornmeal-Crusted Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe