How to Make Biscuits – Sour Cream Biscuit Recipe from 1940

By Andrea Sabean | How to articles

May 24

Ever wanted to learn how to make biscuits like great-grandma? This sour cream biscuit recipe is straight from the 1940’s, when folks knew how to stretch ingredients and what they had to make a meal. And, after all, who can resist a fresh-baked biscuit?

How to Make Biscuits

Especially when there are so many ways to eat homemade biscuits: for breakfast topped with preserves, served alongside soup or stew for dinner, cut in half and toasted with cheese, or, of course, topped with fresh berries and whipped cream for a delicious dessert! The humble biscuit was the star of almost every meal.

I discovered this recipe among my great-grandmother’s recipe collection,  taken from a drugstore pamphlet dated 1948.  The small amount of butter used and lack of sugar are quite possibly a reflection of the rationing that would have been a regular part of life in the years prior.

The original recipe called for all-purpose flour, but the recipe also adapts well to both  spelt and gluten-free versions.  If you are used to a sweeter biscuit, or plan on using the biscuits for dessert, a little sugar, maple syrup, or honey is easily added in with the sour cream.  If using maple syrup or honey, add a little less sour cream to make up the difference in moisture. This is a biscuit recipe with butter though you can substitute coconut oil if you’re dairy free.

One of the things you’ll find in older recipes is real cultured items. Cultured sour cream would keep much longer than regular milk, especially if you didn’t have a refrigerator, and many recipes would use sour cream or buttermilk. Though the sour cream does mean these contain dairy, this recipe shows you how to make biscuits without milk, aka milk free biscuits.

Great-Grandma’s Sour Cream Biscuit Recipe (1948)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour blend, or spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1  – 6 tsp sugar, maple syrup, or honey (optional)
  • additional sour cream or milk, if needed
  • 1/2 tbsp butter

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Cut in butter or coconut oil until the mixture looks crumbly.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the sour cream, mixed with sugar, honey, or maple syrup (if using).  Stir lightly until the dough comes together.  If the dough is dry, add more sour cream or milk, a tsp at a time, as needed.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently about 20 times.

Roll out until 1/2″ thick.  Cut out biscuits with a floured biscuit cutter and place on greased baking tray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Brush with melted butter.  Serve warm.

Makes 12 biscuits.

Sour Cream Biscuit Recipe

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Great-Grandma's Sour Cream Biscuit Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, gluten-free flour blend, or spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 - 6 tsp sugar, maple syrup, or honey (optional)
  • additional sour cream or milk, if needed
  • ½ tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cut in butter or coconut oil until the mixture looks crumbly.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the sour cream, mixed with sugar, honey, or maple syrup (if using). Stir lightly until the dough comes together. If the dough is dry, add more sour cream or milk, a tsp at a time, as needed.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently about 20 times.
  5. Roll out until ½" thick. Cut out biscuits with a floured biscuit cutter and place on greased baking tray.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
  7. Brush with melted butter. Serve warm.
 

Biscuits will keep for several days, on the counter, in an airtight container. There you have it, how to make biscuits with great-grandma’s easy sour cream biscuit recipe from the 1940’s. Have you ever made sour cream biscuits before?

About the Author

Andrea is an artisan and teacher trying to live a handmade and homemade lifestyle with her husband in Eastern Canada. She is passionate about growing her own food, cooking healthy meals, using herbs for healing, nurturing creativity, and finding joy and blessings in the every-day moments of life. She writes about all of this, plus her adventures in sewing, crafting, and pattern design at http://www.artisaninthewoods.com/

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