Southern biscuits require self-rising flour, butter and buttermilk. Soft wheat flour provides the best texture for these biscuits. Adding 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt for each cup of flour and mixing well provides a substitute for all-purpose flour.
Freezing the butter until it is hard and then using a cheese grater makes incorporating flour and butter easier. This cold fat spreads through the mixture to ensure each bite contains the buttery flavor and that the biscuits remain flaky. It allows the cook to avoid over mixing the ingredients, which forms gluten and makes biscuits tough. If there is no time to freeze and grate the butter, a pastry blender is useful for incorporating it into the flour.
Southern biscuits usually have several layers. Folding the dough and rolling it several times helps to create these layers that allow splitting the biscuits by hand to add butter, jam or a sausage patty.
The baker should cut biscuits with a 2-inch cutter by pressing straight down. Twisting the cutter reduces the height of the finished biscuit and disturbs the layers.
When transferring them to the baking pan, the baker should ensure the sides touch. Spreading the biscuits apart allows the rising action to spread the dough, resulting in short, dry biscuits.