I Tested the Biscuit Recipe That Dolly Parton Is Famous For

It's so easy to make soft, tender buttermilk biscuits exactly like Dolly Parton. Here's what to do!

Dolly Parton BiscuitsGetty Images, Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Dolly Parton is a country music star, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and well-known philanthropist. (Her Imagination Library has gifted nearly 200 million books to kids in need!) But at home, Dolly’s like the rest of us: she loves gathering with family for good meal. I’ve already been lucky enough to test some of her homestyle recipes, like butterscotch pie and stone soup.

Now I’m taking on Dolly Parton’s biscuits. Made with buttermilk and baking powder, they come together quickly and can be served with breakfast, brunch or dinner.

Dolly Parton’s Recipe for Biscuits

Dolly’s recipe makes 24 soft, 2-inch biscuits.

Ingredients

Dolly Parton Biscuits ingredientsNancy Mock for Taste of Home

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Editor’s Tip: You can use store-bought buttermilk or make buttermilk at home with vinegar or lemon.

Directions

Step 1: Cut lard into dry ingredients

Dolly Parton Biscuits dry ingredientsNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Sift together 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. Add lard or vegetable shortening to the bowl. Use two forks or a pastry cutter to blend the fat into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Step 2: Blend in buttermilk

Add the buttermilk to the bowl. Use your hands to gently combine the ingredients into a dough. If the dough is too sticky, add in more flour little by little until you have a soft dough.

Step 3: Knead dough

Dolly Parton Biscuits doughNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Knead the dough for 2 minutes. (You can do this in the bowl or on a floured surface.) It will still be very soft.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Cut out biscuits

Dolly Parton BiscuitsNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter or overturned glass to cut out rounds; then place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet about an inch apart. (You can line the pan with parchment paper if you’d like.)

Step 5: Bake biscuits

Dolly Parton BiscuitsNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Bake the biscuits for 13 to 15 minutes until they’re puffed and golden brown. Serve them warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Here’s What I Thought

These are lovely, soft biscuits that baked up into perfect little rounds. I like that this recipe is so easy to pull together and that the dough was easy to handle. The biscuits stayed soft for days, too. My family enjoyed them buttered with bowls of chili, and alongside chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Looking for more recipes? Learn how to make Dollywood’s cinnamon bread and cuppa cake in your kitchen.

Dolly’s Tips for Making Biscuits

Dolly Parton BiscuitsNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Use lard for extra flavor

Dolly says not to be afraid to use lard and butter in your recipes: “You can’t get that good taste without all that stuff,” she says. That goes for her biscuits, too. Use lard or even bacon grease to bring a bit of savory flavor and get a tender biscuit.

Don’t overwork the dough

You can make your biscuits using butter, but be careful not to overwork the dough—doing so will create too much gluten and your biscuits will be tough. With shortening or lard in the dough (as in this recipe) you can get away with a light kneading as these fats prevent gluten from forming.

Make a double batch

Do like Dolly does: Make a big batch of these biscuits for your family or guests and serve them warm with butter! At the Dollywood Front Porch Cafe in Tennessee, every table receives a free basket of piping-hot biscuits.

After you’re done trying a Dolly Parton original biscuit, try using her Dolly Parton Duncan Hines baking mixes to make a delicious dessert.

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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.