Great-Gramma Wolfe’s Buttermilk Biscuits

I always remember my Gramma Kolb’s biscuits. She inherited the recipe from her mother, Great-Gramma Wolfe, who made them on the family farm in Gibson County near Princeton, Indiana. Gramma Kolb taught my mom, Mary Lu, to fix them, often serving them with her fa-mous fried chicken. Mom fixed them so often, she never measured a thing. I’m so happy I got to bake them with my mom enough to get the unmeasured recipe. Great-Gramma and Gramma Kolb are gone now, but they live on through my memories brought to me by the buttery smell of these freshly baked breakfast favorites. Now you can pass them down to your family!  ~ Chef Daniel Orr, FARMbloomington 
By | January 05, 2017


Sift dry ingredients into a stainless steel bowl and chill in the freezer.

With a dough cuter, large fork or in the bowl of a food processor cut the butter into the dry ingredients, being careful not to overwork the dough. The butter should remain visible in the dough.

Pour out the mixture and form a well in the center. Put ¾ of the buttermilk in the well and quickly incorporate it. Add more liquid if needed until the dough holds its shape.

Press out to an even 1-inch thickness and cut into desired shape. 

Bake in a pre-heated 400° oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until golden brown and light to the touch.

* Use sour milk, or fresh milk with a little vinegar in it, when buttermilk isn’t available.

These are great as the base for biscuits and gravy, but try them with FARMbloomington apple butter, peach and lavender preserves or strawberry rhubarb jam.

They make great country ham sandwiches with good stoneground mustard. 

Leftover biscuits can be sliced and baked as savory biscotti to go with cheese and sliced charcuterie, or add a little extra sugar and some sweet spices for wild berry shortcake with a dollop of whipped cream.

Leftover biscuits can be split in half and crisped in a slow oven for great croutons.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup butter, cut into pea-sized pieces and chilled well (or grate the chilled butter on a box grater just be-fore needed)
  • ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk*
  • Optional: Add dried raisins or currants to the mix, turning these biscuits into scones, or season the mix with grated Parmesan, scallions or cracked pepper for a savory biscuit.
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