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Jo Rooney’s Buttermilk Biscuits

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Biscuits are easy to make, as long as you follow two basic rules: don’t overwork the dough, and have the oven quite hot. This recipe comes from an early mentor of mine, Mrs. Jo Rooney, a wonderful home cook I met years ago in Bakersfield, Calif. Rather than double the recipe, she always said it was better to make another batch while the first one was baking. Also, that way there’s a constant flow of hot biscuits.


  • 260

    grams all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)

  • 8

    grams baking powder (2 teaspoons)

  • 1 ½

    grams baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)

  • 3

    grams kosher salt (1 teaspoon)

  • 6

    tablespoons cold unsalted butter, lard or shortening

  • 1

    cup buttermilk

  • 3

    tablespoons melted butter, for brushing
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (17 servings)

      113 calories; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 12 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 0 grams sugars; 2 grams protein; 16 milligrams cholesterol; 108 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
      Powered by Edamam

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  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut butter into small chunks. Use your fingers to work butter into flour mixture until mixture has texture of coarse sand with a few stray pebbles.
  2. Make a well in center of mixture and add buttermilk. Stir in circular motion with a fork until dough forms a rough ball. Dough will seem a bit moist and sticky. Turn out onto a floured board, dust top lightly with flour, then knead until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Gently roll or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into 2-inch-diameter circles. Alternatively, use a sharp knife to cut dough into diamond shapes. Pat scraps together and form a few more biscuits (these scrappy ones will be somewhat less tender). Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Prick each biscuit with tines of fork and brush lightly with melted butter. Bake until nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm.


  • Measurements for dry ingredients are given by weight for greater accuracy. The equivalent measurements by volume are approximate.
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