National Homemade Bread Day

While biscuits are an undeniable staple of Southern appetites, their presentation and accompaniments come in many forms. Most commonly found at breakfast, biscuits may serve as sufficient nourishment alone, or complemented by basic condiments like butter or preserves. For a heartier meal, one might enjoy biscuits with sausage (or other meat) gravy. Ever more popular is the chicken biscuit: a fried chicken breast served on a buttery, flaky biscuit, a staple of most Southern-style fast food joints. However, for lunch and dinner, biscuits are generally relegated to side dishes, rather than serving as the main course.

Southern Biscuits

Here we’ve included the recipe for Willard’s Biscuits.

Makes 12 or so 2½-inch biscuits


3 cups soft white flour

1 heaping tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

12 tablespoons cold shortening, cubed

1⅓ cups cold buttermilk

softened butter


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Sift dry ingredients with a pastry blender in a large bowl. Cut in cold

shortening until completely incorporated and the mixture resembles

coarse meal.


Stir in buttermilk with a spatula until a loose ball forms. Do not overmix.

Turn onto a floured board and knead 4 times, turning 90 degrees each

time. Add flour to the surface and board as needed.


Pat into a circle ¾-inch thick and cut with a well-floured 2½-inch

sharp cutter, or whatever sized biscuits you prefer. Dip the cutter into

flour after cutting each biscuit. Cut the biscuits as closely as possible to use

all the dough possible from the first batch. Gather scraps, knead a couple

of times and cut again.

Place biscuits close, but not touching, on a parchment-lined sheet pan.


Bake for 15 minutes, or until nicely browned on the top and bottom,

turning the pan halfway through baking.


Brush with soft butter and serve immediately.




Another popular bread commonly found at any Southern table is cornbread. In fact, “Famed New York Times food critic and Mississippi native Craig Claiborne once said, ‘There are more recipes for cornbread than there are magnolia trees in the South.’” [Southern Breads] Cornbread is so widely popular not only for its tastiness, but also its versatility. Though frequently served as a complement to chili, cornbread is delicious alongside almost any dish!

Jalapeno Cornbread

                                                                            Jalapeno Cornbread - Photo Courtesy of Closet Cooking

We hope you enjoy these Cornbread Cakes as much as we do!


Serves 8


1½ cups coarse yellow cornmeal (stone ground)

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 cup corn, about 2 ears cut from the cob

½ cup chopped green onion, white and green parts

¼ cup diced pickled jalapeño

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 large egg

1½ cups buttermilk

¼ cup butter or bacon drippings


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the corn, green onion,

jalapeño and cheese.


In a small bowl, or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and buttermilk.


Pour into the cornmeal mixture and stir until just blended.


Put fat in a 9-inch skillet and melt in the oven until hot.


Remove the skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. Bake until

brown and crispy and a tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes.




Our final feature for this post is fondly, and perhaps nostalgically, considered a quintessential bread to be served at any holiday table: Crescent Rolls. No doubt generations of families have enjoyed crescent rolls with their Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham, and Easter Crown Roast of Lamb. While speculation abounds as to the origin of crescent rolls, the authors of Southern Breads suggest Southern Living magazine circa the 1960’s or 70’s may have had a hand in the rising popularity of this light, flaky, buttery roll.

Refrigerator Crescent Rolls

Photo Courtesy of Barbara Bakes

Make sure to savour these Ice-Box Crescent Rolls at your Thanksgiving feast this year!

Makes 2 dozen


1 package instant yeast

4 cups warm water

4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, softened

2 eggs

¾ cup warm milk


Dissolve yeast in warm water.


Combine 4½ cups flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in

¾ cup butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine eggs, milk and yeast mixture and add to flour, stirring well.


Dough will be sticky. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight.


Punch dough down and divide in half.


Roll each half into a 12-inch circle and divide into 12 wedges. Roll up

each wedge tightly beginning at the wide end. Seal points and place rolls,

point side down, on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Curve

rolls into crescent shapes. Brush with melted butter. Cover rolls and let

rise about an hour or so until doubled in volume.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, until nicely browned.


Brush with additional butter, if desired.


For more, check out Southern Breads: Recipes, Stories and Traditions, publishing early December (or pre-order now!)