This Is The Absolute Best Flour For Southern-Style Biscuits

It's hard to name a more iconic Southern staple than the biscuit. These pillowy-soft bites can show up at any meal, whether they're smothered with gravy and topped with an egg, slathered with fruity jam, or topping a savory casserole. A good biscuit recipe typically only has a few very simple ingredients, but the trouble is, it's not always easy to get the texture just right, especially if you're not using White Lily flour.

Ask any Southerner, and they'll tell you that White Lily is the absolute best flour for making a batch of truly Southern-style biscuits. In fact, it's the one ingredient that can make or break the batch. Sure, you can use any regular all-purpose flour to make biscuits, and they'll probably come out okay, but White Lily is different because it has a lower protein content than all-purpose flours. It's also milled differently and has a unique, fine texture that will create biscuits that bake up extremely light and tender.

White Lily has a low protein content

If you love a good biscuit (and really, who doesn't), you can spend years trying to perfect a recipe that's got a light texture but still retains enough structure to stay together. This is where White Lily flour really shines. Unlike its all-purpose competitors, White Lily has a protein content of around 9%, which is significantly lower than all-purpose flourĀ at around 10%-13%. It may seem like only a few percentage points, but the small difference in protein content makes a huge difference in the finished biscuits. This is because protein in flour is what makes gluten, and gluten is the structure that makes baked goods like bread and pizza crust chewy.

The more protein you have on hand, the more gluten you create, and the chewier your dough becomes. This is why bakers use bread flour for, well, bread, because it has 12%-14% protein, and cake flour for (you guessed it) cakes because it has only 8%-9% protein (to learn more, check out our complete breakdown of different flour types). White Lily has a protein content that's similar to cake flour, so you can get a tender crumb in your biscuits that's not unlike the soft texture in a cake.

White Lily is milled differently than most flours

Protein isn't the end of the story when it comes to choosing White Lily for southern-style biscuits, however. If that were the case, you could just use cake flour and call it a day. In fact, many bakers do use cake flour in their biscuits if there's no White Lily available, but they still have to add a little bit of all-purpose flour to give it more structure. Alternatively, you could add cornstarch to all-purpose flour, but it's still not going to be quite the same.

White Lily is different from all other flours because it's milled with a proprietary process using only the endosperm of the wheat kernel. This results in low protein flour that's also surprisingly workable, so you get the perfect balance of height and texture in your biscuits with only a few ingredients. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find a bag of White Lily in most markets as it's still a regional brand. But if you're prepared to pay a little extra, you can order it online. Or if you really love biscuits, a search for White Lily is a great excuse to take a trip down South.