Robert St. John’s Cathead Biscuits

My paternal grandmother made the best biscuits. They were small, little old lady biscuits with a baking soda-forward flavor profile. Correction: They were the best biscuits I had ever eaten until we perfected the cathead biscuit recipe at The Midtowner.

The Midtowner’s Cathead Biscuits are, by far, the best biscuit I have ever eaten. Period. End of story.

I always assumed everyone knew what a cathead biscuit was until I opened a restaurant that serves them. We get all sorts of questions, though the answer is simple.

It’s a biscuit recipe like most others, only cut large (the exact opposite of my grandmother’s biscuits). They are supposedly as large as a cat’s head.

We use fresh whole buttermilk from a local Mississippi farm and the best butter we can source.

This is The Midtowner’s biscuit recipe. If you follow the directions exactly as instructed below, you will love the result, and these biscuits just might be better than your grandmother’s, too

Cathead Biscuits

Yield: 16 biscuits

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen and grated on
  • a cheese or box grater
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

Preheat oven to 400º F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Quickly add the frozen butter chips to the flour mixture and mix for 30 seconds. No more. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and blend just until the dough barely comes together. Do not overmix!

Working quickly, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a ½-inch thickness. Cut 16 biscuits using a sharp round 3-inch cutter. Do not twist the cutter when cutting the dough; go straight up and down with the cutter.

Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray and arrange the biscuits next to one another on the pan. Place the biscuits on the center rack of the oven and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and enjoy while hot!

“Excerpted from Mississippi Mornings: Deep South Breakfasts, Brunches, and Musings by Robert St. John. Copyright 2023 by Different Drummer Publishing.”

To purchase Mississippi Mornings by Robert St. John visit his website.

The Midtowner is located in Hattiesburg, MS.