Mama’s Southern Pinch Biscuits

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Preserving a Legacy of Family, Faith, and Food – November 1 – December 31

When I was growing up, my mom made the best biscuits. She still does! I don’t know anyone who’s tried her biscuits that didn’t love them!

She uses a recipe that not many women use any more. They’re called “Pinch Biscuits.” My dad’s mother, “Granny,” showed my mom how to make these biscuits when they got married.

I remember eating them with a lot of meals. She would serve them with gravy or pancake syrup, butter, alongside supper. I used to love to eat them with sauteed squash. Or with a thick slice of home grown tomato and butter. My mouth waters just thinking about it! But I think my favorite way to eat them is with tomato gravy.

My mother has a very large Tupperware bowl that has a snap on lid that she keeps her self-rising flour in. She makes the biscuits in that bowl. However, you can still make Pinch Biscuits even if you don’t store your flour in a bowl.

Southern Pinch Biscuits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl put about 6 cups of self-rising flour. White Lily flour makes really good biscuits I also love King Arthur flour.

Make a well in the center of the flour. Measure out 1 cup milk (mom prefers powdered milk, reconstituted) and 1/4 cup vegetable oil and pour into the center of the well.

Begin working the flour into the liquid with your fingers, gently pulling it together. You should not pull all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You want to work it together just enough to make a nice soft dough, not heavy and dry or wet and sticky. You will NOT use all of the flour. In fact, you’ll probably have about half of the flour left over to use again later.

Oil the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Pinch off pieces of the dough, about 1/3 – 1/2 cup or so, and gently shape into a biscuit form. Place each biscuit into the skillet and bake until golden brown.

A few years ago, while visiting my parents, I took some photos of my mom making the biscuits and created a scrapbook page in honor of her biscuits.

The photo of the biscuits took center stage.

You can lift the photo of the biscuits and find more journaling and a photo of my mother making the biscuits underneath.

You can read all of the posts in the Preserving a Legacy Series here.

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  1. My mother-in-law taught me how to make these pinch biscuits but I can’t seem to get it quite right as I stopped making them probably 20 years ago. Is there anyway you would consider making a video so we could see how your hand works to incorporate it without making it too dry or too sticky… I would love to see a video I learn better by seen and my mother-in-law is not with us any longer, please and thank you