Easy Herb Biscuits: Our Never-Fail Biscuits go green for the summer

Never-Fail Biscuits are just what their name proclaims: you absolutely, positively can’t goof up this biscuit recipe, no matter how suspect you believe your biscuit-baking skills to be. And now that summer’s here, it’s simple to punch up these two-ingredient biscuits with a handful of chopped fresh herbs: Easy Herb Biscuits, here we come!

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme… If you’re a Boomer, you may remember the 1966 Simon and Garfunkel album by that name. These days, “record album” is one of those quaint names that’s just about disappeared from our tech-laced lexicon. As is “home ec,” which is where I first attempted to make biscuits.

For those of you too young to remember when middle school was called junior high, “home ec” refers to home economics, a required course for junior high girls. For boys, the designated class was industrial arts (a.k.a. shop). Girls didn’t take shop; boys didn’t take home ec. We weren’t gender-biased; that’s just the way it was back then.

So, we girls were supposed to learn how to sew, cook, and behave ourselves in polite company. But by the late ’60s, when I was in junior high, Emily Post-type proper behavior was disappearing in a tsunami of Woodstock and war protests, hippies and the Haight.

Still, even if we didn’t buy in to raised pinky fingers and china tea cups, we did like to eat – what 13-year-old doesn’t?

And while Mrs. Deabler, my home ec. teacher, ripped out every seam I ever sewed, she couldn’t fault my baking powder biscuits. Even back then I was a foodie.

These days, I never make the classic biscuits that saved me from abject failure back in home ec. Having to go buy buttermilk, working butter and shortening into flour (oh, be gentle!), patting, smoothing, cutting, re-rolling the scraps… meh, I’ve no time for that.

Give me these Never-Fail Biscuits any day. Mix self-rising flour and heavy cream. Plop dough balls onto a baking sheet. Scan Facebook for 10 minutes while the biscuits bake. Enjoy!

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Now’s the perfect time to turn these biscuits into something a bit more savory. Fresh herbs are growing rampant in my garden. Currently chives and thyme are front and center; but parsley, sage, and rosemary are on their way.

#TBT! I’ll be humming some Simon and Garfunkel along with iMusic as I throw together (literally) this biscuit dough and enjoy Easy Herb Biscuits.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Put 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour in a bowl.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Chop up enough fresh herbs to yield about 3 tablespoons.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Stir into the flour.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Add 3/4 cup heavy cream.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Stir to make a cohesive dough. If necessary, drizzle in additional cream to make the dough come together.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Scoop out biscuits.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Plop onto a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Brush with extra cream,  if desired.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Bake in a preheated 450°F oven for 10 minutes.

Easy Herb Biscuits via @kingarthurflour

Instant gratification!

Honestly, it takes just about as long to put these biscuits on the table as it does to listen to “Light My Fire” and “Hey Jude.”

And taste? “Green Onions,” followed by “Whole Lotta Love.”

See this recipe’s step-by-step video:

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Audrey

    In my junior high (not middle!) school, boys could take home ec… but they got to make pizza, while we were stuck with ladylike things (for when we had the neighbors over for coffee, apparently…) These biscuits look much better than the ones I remember making in seventh grade. 🙂 (And the only warning slip I ever got was for my inability to sew a zipper into my skirt….

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      While we love a good tea biscuit, we couldn’t live without pizza! The mere thought, *gasp.* Thank goodness we now have more pizza baking equality than we once did… Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lela, you can approximate Self-Rising Flour with All-Purpose Flour by putting 1 ½ tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt at the bottom of a measuring cup and filling it the rest of the way with All-Purpose (for each cup of SR flour you need). This works in a pinch, but keep in mind that Self-Rising Flour is milled from a lower-protein wheat, so you may find that you need a little additional liquid with the All-Purpose and you may get a slightly less tender baked good. Mollie@KAF

  2. waikikirie

    PJ, you brought back many memories. I too went to jr high and not middle school. I’m a little younger then you so we did have mixed “home ec”. I didn’t win any prizes for sewing but did well in cooking. Like you, was a foodie even then. I remember that my “job” one day was to peel potatoes. Had mine peeled and my station cleaned before some even found the peeler. Teacher was impressed. I remember her asking me, “You cook with Mom, don’t you? It shows”. I made a lemon meringue pie in that class with a homemade crust. Remade it at home for my family. My mom was bragging that my crust was better then hers. She even took a picture of that pie. I wish I still had the recipe because I can’t make pie crust now to save my soul. Have to look in my Mom’s album for that picture. If I find it, I may frame it and hand it in my kitchen for inspiration. Again, thanks for the stroll down memory lane…xoxoxo

    Reply
    1. June brandon

      Loved this. I was in junior high — 1942-1945 (World War II). Hated home Ec because of teachers (classmate stole her garment out of class and aunt made it for her. Teacher praised her work oblivious to how it was completed.). Cooking teacher had naturally curly hair. She must have been early sixties. Put teapot on gas burner when she came in daily and actually held her hair over the steam coming out to curl it. Remember their names to this day at 86 years. Those were the days. Would probably have been an architect were classes not gender determined. Always had some regret for that. Again, enjoyed your message so much. June Brandon Pipkin Junior High, Springfield, Missouri

  3. Lise Maddox

    I have a similar recipe that calls for full-fat buttermilk instead of cream, but that is hard to find in our fat-fearing society (and our grocery stores). Do you think I could add some of you dried buttermilk powder to this recipe and approximate the results/flavor of my old recipe?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Our buttermilk powder is generally lower in fat than other store brands, so we’re not sure if that’ll do the trick or not, but it’s worth a try, Lise — especially if you already have it on hand! Mollie@KAF

  4. Beverly Johnson

    I knew the woman who taught the class “Home Economics for Boys” in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. It was high school. She got all the football players because they thought it would be an easy class. it was not. She taught simple cooking and food safety and they had labs including bacteriology. They learned about buying cars, opening credit accounts, doing laundry , job etiquette and how to apply for work.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sounds like an impressive woman and a VERY informative class. Thanks so much for sharing, Beverly! Mollie@KAF

  5. Andie Paysinger

    I’ve been making these biscuits since I was a child and my grandpa’s cook taught me how to make them.
    Of course she made them in huge batches because there were a lot of us.
    The favorite self-rising flour in Kentucky in the ’40s was Martha Washington or Red Band – in 50-pound cloth bags – with the pretty prints.
    I use King Arthur flour.
    I originally published the recipe on my blog in 2010 with some photos from a couple of years before. Then added new photos and the “Option” of turning them into scones with the addition of a little sugar and some dried fruit.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We love how baking can take us straight down memory lane. Thanks for sharing yours, Andie! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bob, the tenderness and moistness of these biscuits depends on the heavy cream (in the absence of butter), so I would recommend sticking with the cream. Barb@KAF

  6. Kimberly Diener

    Drop biscuits, I drop them from a tablespoon. Also love to mix in cheddar and garlic sometimes, will have to try the herbs.

    Reply
  7. Marty

    There is only two of us at home now. Can I freeze these yummy biscuits? If yes, how to best wrap them & how best to reheat? Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Marty, you could freeze the unbaked scoops of dough on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to a freezer bag when frozen solid. When you’re ready to bake, grab a few scoops and bake them right away. They’ll likely take a few minutes longer to bake than the unfrozen biscuits, but you can bake them at the same temperature recommended in the recipe. Barb@KAF

  8. Mary

    Made these this morning with a mixture of herbs from the garden plus a little cheddar. They were very good.

    A few comments:

    I used just a little rosemary but it was the dominating taste. I love rosemary so that was fine but if I was using just rosemary I probably would not use three full tablespoons. My mixture was two kinds of thyme, lemon and French, a lot of
    chives and a little rosemary.

    I added a little cheese, which was good, but I needed some extra cream.

    I didn’t brush the tops with cream; next time I will. They were very pale on top.

    Has anyone tried these with dill. I love dill but don’t have enough yet in the garden. The deer ate my first planting. They usually don’t bother the herbs but apparently they like dill (and hostas and sunflowers)

    All in all the biscuits were a success.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Theresa, the added fat in the heavy cream contributes significantly to the moistness and tenderness of these biscuits. You might have better luck substituting almond or soy milk into a biscuit recipe that calls for regular milk and butter. You could certainly add fresh herbs to this type of recipe and substitute a non-dairy margarine such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for the butter. Here’s a biscuit recipe that I think would work well for this. Barb@KAF

  9. Pattymac

    YUMMY!!! I was the last wave of High School Home EC classes in the 80s. I LOVED that class! I still remember making biscuits though not what recipe we used. I have a no fail recipe I always made but mom accidentally threw it out, and I cannot find anything like it again. AGONY!!!! So I’ll give these a whirl. Certainly enough lovely herbs in the garden right now.

    Reply
  10. Alice Lindborg

    Thanks for all the wonderful dairy products that are in these delicious recipes! I’m a dairy farmer from Indiana and love to bake. We are out here in the heat this week making sure the product gets to market cold and fresh. The cows don’t love the heat any more than people do, but this too shall pass.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Alice, thank YOU (and your cows) for all the hard work and dedication you all put into producing delicious dairy for us. Here’s wishing you something nice and cold (a tall glass of milk?) to pair with your herb biscuits. Mollie@KAF

  11. Annette

    Your “easy herb biscuits” link takes you to the “never fail” biscuits. I guess the point is to add 3 TBS of fresh chopped herbs. 🙂

    Reply

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