Cathead biscuits have been around for years and is an old-fashioned recipe.

Cathead Biscuits - The Southern Lady Cooks

My mother never made any kind of biscuits except what we called “cathead biscuits” and she made them almost every day.  I have seen her make biscuits twice in one day because every kid in the neighborhood loved her biscuits.  We never had chips, cokes or junk food in our house back then.  We did have lots of sweet tea, fresh milk right from the cow and plenty of biscuits slathered with real butter and homemade blackberry jam.  Honey from my Daddy’s bee hives was always on the breakfast table to go along with our biscuits.  The neighborhood kids called my mother, “Parker”.  We would hear a knock at the front door and one of our little friends would be there.  The first thing they always asked was, “Does Parker have any cold biscuits and jam?”  A cold cathead biscuit with blackberry jam was a real treat when I was growing up.

I am sure there are lots of different ways to make these biscuits but the recipe below is the way my Mama always made hers.  I watched her many times when she got out the big, old crock and added flour, buttermilk, and lard.  She always mixed them up with her hands and pinched off the biscuits.  Mama never rolled them out and she put them in a round pan.  Somehow, her biscuits always came out uniform without using a biscuit cutter.  She greased the pan with bacon grease, too.  The biscuits were always touching in the pan to make them rise up higher instead of spreading out and being thin.  Memories of Mama in her “house dress” and apron always flood my mind whenever I make these biscuits. Oh, how I would love to have one of her cold biscuits with blackberry jam!

Cathead biscuits got their name because they were said to be big as a cat’s head. Ingredients needed for Cathead Biscuits:

Self-rising flour

Shortening at room temperature, (Mama used lard and about the size of a walnut)


Salt, Optional

Recipe Notes:  This recipe only makes 8 biscuits if you make them as I do. These biscuits are wonderful with a big old piece of country ham on one. They got the name “cathead biscuits” because they are supposed to be as big as a cat’s head!

You can also make them using all-purpose flour but you will need to add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. You can brush melted butter on the tops once cooked or even before cooking if you like.
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Sour Cream Biscuits.

Cathead Biscuits - The Southern Lady Cooks

TIP: For taller, lighter and flakier biscuits, cut straight down with the cutter.  Twisting makes biscuits uneven. For crusty edges arrange 1 inch apart, for softer edges place close together.

This recipe has so many incredible comments. Here are a few of our favorites:

“My husband LOVES this recipe! I went searching for an easy recipe to use to make him some biscuits that reminded him of his childhood. 1 batch and he was hooked! He said it reminds him of his grandmama’s biscuits and even his mother likes them!!”-Bethenny

“I so enjoyed reading all of the comments and memories of those on the cathead biscuits. It took me right back to Maytown, KY to my Mamaw Jones home. I can see her now standing in front of her stove. I’m so glad I found your blog.”-Becky

Cathead Biscuits - The Southern Lady Cooks

Print Recipe
5 from 23 votes

Cathead Biscuits

This Old Fashioned Recipe for Cathead Biscuits is delicious. 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cathead biscuits
Servings: 8 biscuits


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons shortening at room temperature (Mama used lard and about the size of a walnut)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt Optional


  • Work the shortening into the flour until it’s like coarse crumbs. (I use a spoon to do this). Add the buttermilk and stir until makes a ball in the bowl. You can either pinch off the dough or cut it with a biscuit cutter. I use a tin can because I like to make these biscuits good size like my mama’s biscuits.
  • Grease or spray pan. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until brown on top.
  • This recipe only makes 8 biscuits if you make them like I do.


You can also make them using all-purpose flour but you will need to add 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. You can brush melted butter on the tops once cooked or even before cooking if you like.

“I don’t know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it’s something that anyone can make – pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad – but it carries a certain taste of memory.” ― Mitch Albom

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5 Secrets to Old-Fashioned
Southern Cooking

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Recipe Rating


  1. My momma made these too only she did hers a bit differently. She always used oil instead of shortening and she put the oil in the bottom of a cast iron frying pan before adding the dough. Amazing how the biscuits sucked up the oil (evenly) as they cooked. She also made her own buttermilk by adding a bit of vinegar to whole milk. I never asked for her measurements so I came looking today for something similar. Thank you for sharing…I’m sure these will be just as good.5 stars

  2. Sharon Milbauer says:

    My dad was one of 13 children. My Graddmother made 100 Cathead biscuits every morning and she put them in the top warmer of an amazing oven from the 20,s. Everyday after school he would grab 3 of those Catheads and head straight out to her garden. He said nothing better then green onions out of the earth and his mother’s biscuits.This recipe brings me back to that story every time I see it. Thank you. I love your blog.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much for sharing! Love reading this and we are thrilled you enjoy the recipes.

    2. Doug Tipps says:

      Sharon, Thank you for your reminiscence of your mother’s love of biscuits and green onions. My mom, passed away just this past week. She was 101+ years old. She lived here in Ledbetter , Texas on the farm with us in a little house I built for here. I didn’t know anyone else in the world did this but she would tell of coming home from school and getting one of the left over breakfast biscuits out of the molasses can and sticking a hole in the side of it with her finger. Then go out in the garden and pick a little green onion and slip into the whole. All the kids would then go down by the creek and eat their after school snack. Your Dad wasn’t from Brownwood, Texas by any chance, was he?

  3. I make these with the same ingredients as you. After putting together I just dip out some about the size of a biscuit, roll back and forth in some flour and shape and put in the pan. The other difference is I melt a stick of butter. I slather butter on before starting to bake and again half way through, I take out and slather with butter again. Then when they come out of oven, I put it on again. Not a healthy biscuit but they are WONDERFUL! Family loves them. I make sausage gravy to go with them and also put out the jam.5 stars

  4. Made these to go with my mom’s sausage gravy recipe for Easter morning and they were perfect! I made one batch vegan because my son can’t have dairy so I used almond milk (made my own buttermilk by adding lemon juice). So light and fluffy!! I pinched mine rather than roll and cut. Adding the recipe to our family’s book5 stars

  5. You hit the nail on the head with this biscuit recipe! They’re delicious! Just like my Mamaw’s homemade biscuits! ❤️5 stars

  6. I’m a great cook and a really good baker too. My Grandpa was a baker and proff. Pastry Chef, his name was Hugh Baker. Although I can turn out beautiful cakes and pies, I’m not so good with biscuits from scratch, I’m sad to admit I buy them in a tube. I made your mother’s Cathead biscuits and WOW what a Success!! Am making more tomorrow. Thanx so much. Kexiefairy5 stars

  7. My mother made biscuits like this. She had a whole tribe to feed, 6 kids and 2 adults. she always made a whole sheet pan full. Her biscuits were nicknamed Naomi’s bigass biscuits. Your recipe ranks right up there with hers. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      We love this Angie!!

  8. Been kicking myself in the pants for years for not learning how to make catheads from my grandmothers recipe. It died with her, I’d give anything to have one more fresh from the skillet. She baked them in a cast iron. She used Crisco instead of lard & used a blue water glass to cut them with. I can still remember the last time she made them with her sausage gravy & scrambled eggs. The whole house smelled incredible – little rounds of heaven. This recipe seems as close as I’m gonna get.. I’ll be making these for our first breakfast in our new home in just a few short weeks.5 stars

  9. This recipe is most like what my mother made when I was growing up in the 1940’s-1950’s. Thank you so much for posting it! Not only were the biscuits flakey and light as a cloud on the inside, the center biscuit, which Mama called “the middle man”, was always reserved for me. So delicious on a cold morning, slathered in butter and then covered with sorghum cane syrup!5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Love this! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Do you have to roll the dough after you make a ball

      2. The Southern Lady says:


  10. Carolyn Sue Hall says:

    My college roo.m mates Mom, Mama Barber, had a big sack of self rising flour in this kind of cubby hole with a door.
    When she made biscuits she would drop a dollop of lard in the sack knead it into a ball bring it out and put it on this large cutting, dough board add milk, roll it out and cut these big cathead biscuits and then bake them.
    Oh were they good.
    This little girl ate a lit of them with her homemade jam and of course country gravy from their hogs.
    Memories to share5 stars

    1. I love biscuits and this recipe is the best. Thanks.5 stars

  11. Timothy K McNett says:

    I just want to thank you for sharing all of these wonderful recipes they bring back memories of visiting my grandmother in central Kansas5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You’re so welcome! Thank you for the kind comment.

      1. Peggy Barnett says:

        My mom made biscuits every night for my dad . She learned how to make them from my dad’s Georgia sister. She had a bowl with self rising flour that she used each night just added more flour and buttermilk. She had one pan that she used too , when she baked them . She would melt butter in the pain first then break the dough off , top the of the biscuit with the butter, then bake. Your Cat Head biscuits are most like hers. Thank you for the memories. I never got the hang of making them, something I wished I had. Maybe I’ll try your recipe.
        Thank you , I am so enjoying your recipes.5 stars

  12. My grandmother made biscuits every day for years and years. She didn’t measure anything. It was hard to get her recipes as she didn’t measure anything. These look just like her biscuits. She didn’t cut hers, she’d pinch them off. She also used lard in her biscuits. I’m going to make some of these soon.5 stars

  13. Great Grandma Velda says:

    We never used measuring cups when cooking. You just eyeballed it. My mom would cook for 7 and we always had Cat Head Biscuits and lots of gravy. The difference in taste for everyone is the hands that prepared the biscuits. The ingredients were the same, flour, buttermilk, shortening, salt, baking powder and soda. The soda was for the buttermilk. If you used whole milk, you left out the soda. Mom was born in 1908 and back then, you used what you had and everyone loved it.

  14. Hello, my first trying your cathead biscuits. I have one question. I started off with 2 cups of self rising flour 1 tablespoon of shortening cut into the flour and added 1 cup of buttermilk. The mix seems very wet and sticky to the point its not possible to handle. Is more flour needed to sift over the dough so it can be cut out by a biscuit cutter? Thank you so much for the recipe.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, all flours are different so you may have to add a bit more flour to the biscuit dough in order to make it manageable. Thanks!

  15. Katherine Corley says:

    This is exactly how my Mamaw and my mother made biscuits. We never rolled them out, just pinched off, patted it in our hands, and put in a greased cast iron skillet. Mamaw would bake a small skillet of biscuits just for me.

  16. My family loves these biscuits, I add olives, and other spices like curry powder , cumin and a dash of chilies powder. I make sure to make a double batch since we always run out. Thanks for this recipe5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I knead just enough to get the dough where you can roll it or pat it out easily.

  17. Yvonne Welborn says:

    We made these using Gluten Free 1 to 1 flour, were delicious!5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:


  18. The best memories of mama in the kitchen making biscuits by hand in her biscuit bowl. ❤️ This brought back many memories and although I can make good biscuits there quite “exactly” like mama’s. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Can you freeze these?

  20. I don’t have shortening or butter. Could I use oil?5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, you can try it. I think it would work ok.

      1. My mother-in-law makes cathead biscuits all the time. She use to make them with lard but when it came out that lard was really bad for you she switched. She uses oil all the time now. I believe she uses about 1/4 cup into her flour. Everyone raves about her biscuits.

  21. My husband LOVES this recipe! I went searching for an easy recipe to use to make him some biscuits that reminded him of his childhood. 1 batch and he was hooked! He said it reminds him of his grandmama’s biscuits and even his mother likes them!! A++5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Wonderful! I’m so glad you found this recipe!!

    2. Suzanne aka "Glammy" says:

      I grew up on “Cathead” biscuits and I still make my own version of them. Momma had what she call a “biscuit bowl.” She kept about 3-5 lbs of self-rising flour in it and when she made biscuits, she would just get the amount of Crisco she needed (with her fingers) and pour as much milk she needed straight from the jug. She never measured anything. She’d then pinch off as much as she needed, roll them with both her hands and put them in a well seasoned cast iron skillet. She’d made a fist and press them down a bit on the top. It always left a distinctive mark. She would also make some of what she called “baby biscuits” around the outside of the batch. Those were for the little kids.
      They were good, but I’ve always liked my biscuits to rise taller. I don’t keep a biscuit bowl, but I can eyeball the amount of what I need each time. I use a we’ll seasoned cast iron griddle that I’ve had for over 40 yrs now. They come out perfect every time5 stars

      1. Kat Higgi says:

        Awww…My Granny in Maryville Tennessee did the same! She had a cool flour bin in her cooking cabinet with a sifter right in it. She made those wonderful biscuits in a big cast iron pan and made me little round baby biscuits. I miss thise days!

      2. You just made my morning. I thought I was loosing it cause I distinctly remember my granny having a silver bowl in the bottom caninet covered with a dish towel that she kept flour in, ready to pinch the biscuits off. Thank you for this!5 stars

      3. Victoria Murray says:

        I thought I was the only one in TN that their Mamaw made them baby biscuits!

  22. I so enjoyed reading all of the comments and memories of
    those on the fathead biscuits.
    It took me right back to Maytown, KY to my Mamaw Jones
    Home. I can see her now standing in front of her stove.
    I’m so glad I found your blog.5 stars

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      So glad you found our blog! Thank you for your sweet comment. I love when food takes you down memory lane. Have a wonderful week.

      1. Jeanne Hutto says:

        These are the best biscuits ever. I have to agree that using lard makes them way better than using shortening. My Alabama grandmother made buttermilk biscuits this same way. Unfortunately we don’t have her exact recipe but these biscuits taste a lot like hers. What great memories and we also used to have homemade blackberry preserves or Daddy Buck’s syrup to pour over the biscuits.5 stars

  23. Julie Clark Poteat says:

    What dear memories this brings back of my own Mama’s cat head biscuits. She had a crock bowl, too. She was so adept she could make a pan of biscuits without measurin* anything. She had a Hoosier cabinet where the flour was sifted into the dough bowl. She would hollow out a spot where she worked in the lard and buttermilk, and always pinched off each biscuit. If there was extra flour left in the bowl, it didn’t matter. The bowl would be placed back in the cabinet to await the next batch.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Wonderful memories! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Marvella Godwin says:

    I don’t have any buttermilk can i use regular milk instead ?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Yes, you can Marvella.

  25. What did I do wrong? Such a simple recipe. I measured ingredients exactly, but my dough came out as a very very sticky mess. Entirely unworkable.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You can always add more flour to any biscuit recipe if it is too wet to make it workable. Could depend on the texture of your flour.

    2. I had to use 3 cups of flour but they turned out great. Thanks for the recipe5 stars

  26. Sheila Jo says:

    Melinda, My MIL taught me 50 years ago to use a tin can to cut my Biscuits with … Good size ! Nowadays I try to always get the one’s lined with the white inside … They stay nice forever … After I use I just wash and put up in cabinet … Always easy to replace! : ) She made her biscuits just like this!

    1. I have a collection of tin cans. My favorite for my biscuits is a Green chiles can (Rotel can is the same size), and a tuna fish can, I use for making buns; also, I have the large tomato can, which I use for baking Boston brown bread

  27. Lisa Gentry says:

    I’ve made these delicious biscuits many times and they are my grandchildren’s very favorite. I remember balking when I read our aged family recipe calling for lard and being chastised by my mama! Her recipe called for lard the size of a “smallish” egg. Now I am old enough to appreciate these old recipes! Thanks for posting this.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      What great memories! So glad you shared with us. We love these biscuits too!

  28. Melinda in Texas says:

    I am making these Labor Day Weekend. Ty so much for the recipe! I prefer to roll them out as I have a biscuit cutter about the exact size of a tin can. How thick should I roll them out?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I usually do about 1/2 inch, Melinda. I hope you enjoy the recipe and have a great weekend.

  29. Janice Pritchard says:

    I, too, had a Great Aunt Daisy. She was always smiling and chatty, and her cathead biscuits were to die for. Come to think of it, all the great cooks in my family made catheads and all were from Kentucky! You never visited her and Uncle Lester without eating! Thank you for sharing this!

  30. Tori Stewart says:

    Thank you for this recipe!!! My great aunt Daisy used to make us cathead biscuits when I was little. She made enough for huge family gatherings. Some would have meat inside. She’d wrap them individually so we could take some for the road. There was always a monstrous bowl in the kitchen just filled with them! She always had this hand rolling technique that churned them out quickly and saved the mess on the counter since she didn’t have to roll them out. I adore her and her biscuits. They always felt like love. Now, as a mom of 6, I was able to relive that feeling and bless my babies in the process. They were delicious. Hers were tougher which was perfect for holding meat and not breaking apart. It was also perfect for flipping them upside down and pouring gravy over the top. I may try kneading them longer to achieve the tougher texture. I’m glad to have found your site. Much love and many blessings!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you Tori for sharing such a sweet memory of your Aunt Daisy! I am so glad you have found our site and are enjoying the recipes. Have a wonderful week 🙂

      1. Vicki White says:



  31. Can you freeze the dough for future use? If so, does the dough have to be thawed before cooking?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I have not tried freezing the dough but see no reason why you couldn’t. I would roll out the dough and cut the biscuits out then freeze them on a tray and place in plastic bags once frozen. I would cook while still frozen.

  32. I am from Iowa and my husband to be lived in the South but was going to college in the town where I lived. My mother would invite him to eat. We knew he liked biscuits so my mother made him some drop biscuits and added a little sugar to them.His mother made rolled cut ones and no sugar. Later he told me I was looking for a southern biscuit and all I could see was something that looked like a little cake with points on it and when I tasted it all it needed was a little icing. Not the southern biscuit. We laughed about it because it was funny later.He did appreciate the meals.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I just love it stories like this. Thank you so much for sharing Marilyn. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  33. My granny always made these twice a day – breakfast and dinner time. She would mix them in an old wooden bowl using her hands, never measured, gently rolled them and cut with a red coffee cup that no one was allowed to mess with – she kept it on a high shelf. She would daub bacon grease or cow butter on them – delicious!!! These bisquits rock!

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      What a wonderful memory!! Thank you for sharing.

  34. Tony Mims says:

    Good recipe, even I can cook them. Remember 50-53 years ago as a grandson at grannies house waking up to her cathead biscuits. Lived in a shotgun house, put leftover biscuits on dinner table. Us kids would run in the house thru the front door, grab a biscuit, fill with good homemade jam and run out the back door. Super great memories. Thanks again…….Tony M.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      What a wonderful comment! Thank so much for sharing!

  35. hatterasman says:

    My grandmom never rolled her homemade biscuits either. She lived to be 92, and over the years, I must have watched her make biscuits a hundred times. She pinched off a piece of dough, rolled in into a ball and then flattened it on the baking pan with her palm. She then took her thumb and pushed a thumbprint into the middle of each biscuit and then took a fork and punched a few holes into each thumbprint. Not sure why she did all of that, but her biscuits were to die for. Oh, and she always used lard in her biscuits, something that almost nobody does these days.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      What great memories!

  36. betty martoglio says:

    Thank you for this recipe, this is how my mother made them,they were the best,now where did I put that tomato gravy recipe 🙂

  37. I grew up in southeast Tn and it was my “Granny” (whose maiden name was Parker by the way) who I remember making these biscuits. She also made them at least once a day and often more than once. Your description of watching your mother was pretty much spot on with my grandmother, right down to the “house dress” and apron. How I do miss that woman. My Mom does a fair job of re-job of re-creating Granny’s biscuits but I live too far away way to get those very often. My mother-in-law also made a fine biscuit but her health has declined to the point where she just can’t anymore. So, its about time I tried my hand.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Such a great story of your grandmother, too, Tony. Thanks for sharing. It’s a small world really and what a coincidence her maiden name was Parker. Parker was my mother’s married name. I hope you enjoy these biscuits. Have a great week ahead.

  38. laura clark says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipe I’m sure going to try it and your mom sounds like a sweet lady thanks again for sharing

  39. BlueRoan316 says:

    The same “cathead” biscuit dough can be used to make the fluffiest dumplings for chicken and dumplings … they come out like little clouds. I once had a neighbor who swore he hated chicken and dumplings, cause the dumplings always came out dense and doughy. I made a pot full one day, and brought him some and he was hooked.
    My grandma was from South Carolina, and she was the one who introduced both the term “Cathead” biscuit and the love of them to me as a child.

    1. mary lancaster says:

      Please tell me what I am doing wrong with my dumplings , they will always turn heavy and doughy I love the fluffy ones but I mess them up almost everytime

  40. Everything you wrote on this recipe, was my whole memory of my Mom, making our biscuits, right down to her house-dress…blackberry jam and butter..But after moving to Mi. From Tn. we had the store bought butter…Also, the recipe was exactly the one my Mom used, I had never heard them called “Cathead” but that will do…Oh yea, My mom also rolled them and pinched them off also…uses a round pan and placed them all together also..they were always just perfect and so soft. This makes me want to try making them again…lol Thanks you for the wonderful memories….

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you Jani for being a part of the site and for letting me know about YOUR Mom. Hope you enjoy the recipe and happy to have you here.

  41. It’s funny but I googled “cathead” biscuits thinking I wouldn’t get any hits. Happy to see there are some real southern folk out there who know real southern food goodness. As most folk it was my grandma back in Miss that made these biscuits on a daily basis, sometimes more than once a day. Made with “lard’ not shorting. I remember the pans she used must have been over 50 years old at least. I wish I had a dollar for every biscuit that had been baked in them. I have ate many biscuits (in restaurants and homemade) all over the country and have never had one that could come close to hers. She wasn’t only a good cook but a good sole. I miss her…

  42. John Fullen says:

    have eaten them when I was a child –our housekeeper made them every day for our family.

  43. Always works excellent for me.

  44. Shirley Lindsey says:

    I know this sounds like sacrilege, but Hardee’s makes a pretty good Country Ham Biscuit, also some McDonald’s have them, but not all. That is, if you are unable to make the biscuits or find the ham, or if you happen to be traveling during the breakfast hours.

  45. I’d never made biscuits from scratch before I found your recipe. I tried some cut and some pinched and by far love the pinched ones better. This recipe worked great even though I had to make the buttermilk substitute(ie. w/ vinegar) keep sending the great recipes.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Happy you enjoy the recipe and happy to have you on the site. Thank you for your comment.

    2. VannieLou Marshall says:

      You ain’t lived till you have made southern biscuits from scratch! There are as many recipes as there are southern cooks but you very seldom find a bad; one…they just get gooder & gooder!

  46. I haven’t tried these biscuits yet, but had to let you know how very much I enjoy reading your growing up memories. They warm my heart and make me wish for that more simpler way of life. Your stories make me think of The Waltons! Thank you for sharing.

  47. Donna Lloyd says:

    Would I be able to add any whole wheat flour?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You can try it Donna. I have never tried adding whole wheat flour to this recipe.

      1. Linda from Jacksonville Fla says:

        I have. Tasty! However, the whole-wheat flour is heavier and requires more (half again? quarter again?) baking powder or your biscuits will be flat and dense. When I make bread with all whole-wheat flour I use almost half again as much yeast. Also, I keep my whole-wheat flour in the freezer, so I have to measure it out and let it warm up a while before I make the biscuits.

    2. How big a pan do you use?

  48. My mom grew up on a farm in Florida with 8 brothers and sisters. They lived off the farm and ate what they grew, made butter, gathered eggs, and etc. On Saturday, they would ride the wagon pulled by the mule to “peddle” their buttermilk and eggs to buy sugar and other items that could not grown on the family farm. I love to hear my mama tell me stories growing up. They lived on 320 acres of land and helped out on the farm daily from dawn to dusk.

    Her Mom taught her how to make “cathead” biscuits. When I was growing up, Mama always made homemade biscuits at least once a day. My favorite meal for breakfast (and still is) is biscuits and tomato gravy. When I lived in San Francisco, CA for 8 years no one knew what cathead biscuits or grits were. I live in Alabama now and when I go to visit my Mom (3 hours away) at least once a month, she always makes her “cathead biscuits and tomato gravy for me.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Great story Cheryl. Thank you for sharing. I grew up a lot like your Mom and have always been thankful for the lessons I learned on the farm and growing up. Happy to have you on the site.

    2. Rusty I. Downs says:

      Cheryl, your story just brings “Happy Tears and Memories” to my eyes and mind about BOTH my Gramma’s. I was BLESSED with BOTH Gramma’s being fantastic cooks. One from the Kentucky German influence and Country Style Cookin and the other from the Pennsylvannia Dutch Amish Tradition. One Gramma “Pinched” her rolls and baked them on a cookie sheet. Made the best darn hamburger bun and her homemade black raspberry jam she made on it just made it the best treat! My other Gramma mixed and rolled and cut her biscuits out! Then she made the best sausage gravy that made the dogs even hang out in the kitchen and beg for a mess for themselves! Such Blessed Memories! Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to make these and I Will use Bacon Grease for the pan! That is the BEST SECRET Gramma ever gave me. To save them bacon drippin’s for so many wonderful recipes! Blessings and “Hail to the Cathead Biscuit!”

    3. Mara Jane Fisk says:

      Cheryl, your Mom sounds like my grandmother. Her biscuits weren’t big and fluffy though. They were thin and more crispy. And, Southern white gravy made with meat drippings was our gravy of choice. Wasn’t it wonderful, tho, growing up in the South???

    4. Joyce Gilpin says:

      What is Red Gravy or Tomato Gravy and where can I find your recipe?
      My mother died and I never did get her gravy recipe.

  49. Shirley Lindsey says:

    My grandmother or mother made biscuits every day of the year and sometimes two or more times a day. Mama would sift self rising flour into a big wooden tray, rake a hole in the middle, add the lard and buttermilk, then gently mix all together incorporating more flour until she got the texture she wanted. Never measured anything. She would then pinch off a bit of dough and roll them around between her palms. They were always smooth on the top, and I have never managed to get that part right. Sometimes we would put a hole in the biscuit with our finger and fill the hole up with cane syrup. Good memories, delicious biscuits.

    1. Exactly the way my mom made her biscuits. I haven’t mastered yet and I’ve been trying for years.

  50. Jacquie Oldrieve says:

    I hope I didn’t leave this message already but when I refresh I don’t see my comment in the list. I want to ask what pinching off means? It might be a southern thing I’ve never heard of up here in the great white north

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      It just means to take a piece of dough off the whole piece with your fingers., Jacquie.

  51. Have you ever done a large batch and froze them? If so, any heating recommendations?

  52. Donna Huskey says:

    About like mine as well, but I do use vegetable shortening and a little more than you call for. I like my biscuits to be a little thinner with more “crisp” edges to them. Mother always did her withe her hands as well, but I do pat mine out and cut them with a glass dipped into flour. Hers were baked on a flat iron griddle and I put mine on a regular cookie sheet. Oh, so good.

    1. My grandma taught me to make biscuits.. She would just use her hands to mix.. she took the flour and lard or shortening and made a open place in middle of flour and placed the egg shape shortening.. Then mixed together until it looks like coarse meal.. then pour the buttermilk in…spread flour on clean surface ..she then dusted top with flour so she could handle it,.. she took her hands and spread the circle dough out..not thin..she had a can she use to cut out biscuits.flour whatever you use to cut out..grease a pan.. place them right together and make a circle.. then fill in the center of that with the last cut ones.. buscuits should touch.. 375 oven for about 15 mins.. you don’t want then dark.. just a golden color…Yummy

  53. That’s how I’ve always made my biscuits, that’s the way my mom taught me….

  54. I am definitely going to try to make these for my Mother this Sunday. Here in Kansas City, MO area we have access to a company called Burgers Smoke House ham products, it’s close but not the real McCoy. My Grandmother made the biscuits you describe your Mother making. Wish me luck, usually my attempt at homemade biscuits are sold to the NHL, LOL

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Good luck Debbie. I know you can do it. Happy Mother’s Day to all.

  55. Thank you for your precious memories! Such a pleasure to read. Thank you for the wonderful recipe too.

  56. I have access to real buttermilk, ie, left over from making butter. Can I use that or should I use cultured buttermilk from the store. Thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  57. The Southern Lady says:

    All you have to do is click on the picture of the little printer at the bottom of the recipe, remove the photo and any text you don’t want and print the recipe. I don’t see how it could be any easier than that?????

  58. I have been watching those biscuits being made for 3 generations! Nobody can seem to get their fill of them! I have tried all my life to roll that cathead from my hand to the pan! They look real good and tops are so pretty! But they are just as hard as any rock you can throw! I can spoon drop them or cut them out and they are yummy! But the texture is not the same as the hand to the pan method! My mom is always making these biscuits (40 biscuits) to send home so that my grown family can eat have 10 for their family! We LOVE Nanny’s biscuits with some good Blackstrap sorghum and butter! It is good to know that there are many old fashion biscuit makers out there!

    1. Terri, you are kneading your dough too much. That’s what makes them hard. Just mix it together lightly, and roll them quickly into a ball, and put them in the pan! Then lightly press them down just a bit to flatten them some!!!5 stars

  59. My Mama made biscuits every single day as we grew up and made them this same way; and pinched them off; never rolled or cut. We had our own cow, milk, buttermilk, butter, cream and it all made for the best biscuits ever. We lived in the country and the little girl who lived on the next farm would come to see us in the afternoons; her father was from Holland and she’d bring my Mama some beautiful tulips and then sit down and have biscuits with butter. What a cute memory. She was known to be quite the cook in the community! Those were the days! Miss her so much!

  60. Laura Gatrel says:

    I make My biscuits similar to these. I only mix the flour an milk. Grease a iron skillet with hog lard then pinch out the biscuits, put in skillet an brush tops with melted lard. These can sit out all day an want get had.

  61. I just saw this recipe and wanted to try it but I don’t have any shortening right now I just have veg. oil. Can veg oil be substituted in any way?

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      You can try it.

  62. My mom always called her biscuits “catheads” but I never knew where the term came from. Brings back warm memories.

  63. Best, easiest and quickest biscuits EVER….. BEST RECIPE PAGE ON THE NET

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      Thank you so much Kristie! So happy you enjoyed the biscuits.

  64. I am from Brooklyn, NY but was raised as a young girl in Orange, Texas. My family is from Louisiana and breakfast was not complete without some good ole’ biscuits. We ate them with Stein’s syrup and bacon. Listening to country music at the same time. I remember my grandmother’s house dress and boy did a miss her. Good times…blessed to have had them!!

  65. This is how I’ve always made biscuits too. As a young wife I decided to make perfect biscuits, I rolled & cut the biscuits out, making them just right, my husband came to the table & ask what happened to the biscuits, I answered I made them pretty, He said well I like them ole cathead biscuits you make, They’re big enough a man knows he’s had something to eat, pretty don’t feed the bulldog! That was over 40 years ago & anytime I see pretty little biscuits, I always think of him.

  66. Mary McFarlin says:

    My Papa made “cathead” biscuits in a big wooden bowl. I always thought he named them cathead!!! He would make these with squirrel gravy. Not real squirrels though– he would say he saw one in the tree and made the gravy. I loved these cold with ham and a little mustard. Amazing how similiar peoples lives and memories are.

  67. No it doesn’t taste like country ham I had when I was a kid (growing up in Ky). I can’t find any in Ohio that is good neither!

    1. Bill Mitchell says:

      Cliffty farm Makes a darn good country ham. we only get them around the holidays here in White Hall, Arkansas. you can buy them in Tennessee in almost any grocery.

  68. Where do you find ‘old county ham’ anymore? My husband has been trying for years (he’s 80 now) and he says the ham today doesn’t taste like ‘ old sugar cured country ham’. anymore. We’re from KY and have looked down there as well.

    1. The Southern Lady says:

      I know what your husband is talking about Joyce. We used to cure our own hams and they were much better than the country ham today. There are several country ham places in Kentucky and they sell country ham in the groceries here but it’s not like the country ham we used to cure either.

    2. Teresa Roberts says:

      Check out Benton’s in Madisonville, TN. Fantastic country ham and bacon.

  69. I AM gonna try these …they look so good !!!

  70. Since we no longer have easy access to lard or real buttermilk, which is what your mother used back then, would these taste a lot different today, with shortening and cultured (fake) buttermilk? I’d love to go back in time and try the ones Parker made!

    1. They are very similar, Jenny, but not exactly the same. Although, I don’t think anything ever tastes like what our mothers made.

      1. I don’t know about the lard, but I always make my own version of buttermilk with whole milk and a couple teaspoons or a tbs of lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 min. or so. And no, nothing tastes the same, but we can come close.

  71. These biscuits were great ! I made a cookie sheet full ( about 20 in all ) and they wrre gone before noon time .

  72. I will try these very soon ,I’ve never been good at making biscuits my mom made really good ones. But I don’t have her here anymore to make me biscuits.

    1. The less you handle them, the better they will be, trust me!

  73. Judy Eldds says:

    I still make bisciuts to this day for my adult kids and grandchildren!!!

  74. Linda Elandt says:

    Just made these to go w/Asparagus soup. Had another one with Cherry Rhubarb jam. Just perfect.

  75. There is nothing better than a homemade biscuit!! Those look unbelievable and really take me back to my childhood. I’m from Texas and that’s pretty much how we make homemade biscuits too. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  76. sharron ridenhour says:

    My grandmother and my mother use to make biscuits like these. Such good biscuits and such good memories, as they are both gone now.

  77. all most jest like my momas we had them every day whin i was a little one now i make them my salf

  78. What a lovely memory, thanks for sharing, it brought tears to my eyes. Missing my mom and dad this Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully, the happy memories do so much to soften the missing of them. And, the biscuits, oh my, am such a biscuit lover, will have to make some catheads real soon.

  79. love to make them to been making them forever seems like. just like my mom taught me to toke awhilee to be perfect at it but good eating.

  80. been making “catheads” sense I was 9 years old …mom gave me the little lard bucket lid and I would practice with her …never measured anything back then …my hand was so little instead of having three fingers of lard I had to have a hand full (that was the measuring cup for your lard …. you duddled a little hole out for your lard and milk …then you squished it between your fingers to get it right ..then you rolled it in dry flour (always self rising) then penched off little pieces and rolled it just a little to shape it before it was in greased pan…boy did I think I was something with my own little apron on mom had mad

  81. just like my grandma’s my aunts and my mama’s biscuits – everyday at every meal!

  82. This is the way I learned to make biscuits. My Grandma always made them this way. You can make the dough a little bit wetter and drop them into well greased muffin tins, too. They don’t look as good but they taste the same.

  83. this sounds very similar to my momma’s recipe…she made her’s in a wooden bowl..the biscuit bowl…you sisfted your flour into the bowl and then balled you fist and “rolled”it to make a small bowl in the flour then add your buttermilk, salt and melted shortnening and begin to stir and incorporate the flour into the wet mixture until it just holds together…then turn it out on a floured boaed, fold just enough flour in to hod together, roll out and cut , have your pan ready with melted shortening or oil in bottom enough to turn each biscuit as you pplace in pan, with sides touching, so they will rise up nice and tall..then bake in a hot 400-450 degree oven until light and nicely browned on top…serve with whatever and enjoy!!!!! Oh, the memories….my daddy taught me as well….they both made wonderful biscuits!!!!!!!

  84. thebetterbaker11 says:

    Oh what a sweet sweet stroll down memory lane with you Judy. These biscuits look awesome…sounds like real candy to me. =)

  85. My grandmother always made these (actually her best “dish”!!) altho both her daughters could cook like a house afire. The reason they are called “cathead” biscuits is because they are big as–wait for it–cat heads! (At least that’s what we thought.) Only in the South would we name something like this (think ‘hushpuppies’).

    1. I have always known that Catheads got their name like that too….as big as a cat’s head!

  86. I can’t say that I have had this kind of biscuit before, but they sure look mighty good. I love my mama’s biscuits, I don’t think they are far off from yours. I think there is something about watching your mom making biscuits that is one of the true joys in life. I look forward to giving this ago, and while strawberry jam was always on our table we just might have to have a “cathead” version this time around.