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Mark Kane


For me part of the pleasure of eating biscuits is the moment when a morsel turns to paste in the mouth and cleaves to the palate--some sort of alchemy of flavor happens.

I thought I invented that trick with plastic wrap. I use it to roll out pie crust. I probably just forgot that I'd read it somewhere.

Nick Keegan

"The French pronounce it bis KYI and it means a cracker or a thin, crunchy cookie."

I've always understood the correct French pronunciation to be bis KWI, from the verb cuire. Is the French pronunciation that you have quoted perhaps a regional one? As you know, the further south you go in France the more the standard pronunciation changes.

Lynn McBride

Hi Nick,
It is bis KWI, which is a typo on my part, now corrected, thanks very much.

John Sanders

Why not substitute plain yogurt for buttermilk?


Sounds delicious Lynn ! Here in Maryland we had a heavy dusting of snow .
It is bitter cold. Butter on biscuits causes my N.C. southern memories to awaken my taste buds. I will prepare them for dinner tonight.
Thanks for the suggestion...heart biscuit cutter.


YMMMM, we can vouch for Lynn's biscuits! They are fabulous - with just about any meal...even our last Thaksgiving! Forget the french bread when Lynn makes biscuits. Have fun with the recipe - smiles, Ali

maureen winterhager

....I'll just never understand these biscuit differences. In Germany where I live "biscuit" is a sponge-type cake (as we call them in Australia!). Dieu only knows what you lot call THAT in the US....Ours are tall, towering affairs, layer after layer, spliced together with cream or jam and majestically coated on top with whipped cream and slatherings of choc chips or fruit or whatever the imagination devises for the event. In Germany the "biscuit" cake is quite thin and typically covered with sliced fruit of the season, splattered over with a liquid gelatine layer - and is NOT very delicious. They also call this a "fruit cake" - which (here we go again) is miles away from what Anglo-Saxons adore as a fruit cake, to wit that heavy (with kilos of dried fruits), moist (with sloppings of brandy and indecent amounts of butter), dark (with allspice and sneeze-inducing medicinal-tasting spices) tall cake that keeps literally for years. It is inflicted upon all celebrations from births to weddings and funerals as well as Christmas. A weight-watcher's nightmare, an icon in Oz as well-known as Vegemite and Gravox, it may well be on the way out with the younger generation as it takes hours to bake at a low heat and makes a huge hole in your household budget.

maureen winterhager

PS just wanted to say that buttermilk is very easily available in Germany and you're NOT that far away. Called Buttermilch it's a popular drink and every supermarket has it. I could send you some....this time of year there's no fear of it curdling, LOL.

Lynn McBride

Hi John,
Well why not use yogurt? Never thought of it, but it's worth a try.

Ellen van Thiel

Oh, Lynn, I just love this blog! It just gets better and better, which is not easy. Having eaten your delicious biscuits prepared as a base for strawbery shortcake on my birthday I am surprised you didn't mention that way to eat them also. Any way is fabulous and I am very inspired to try my hand at a little heart shaped shortcake now that I have the exact recipe!
Also adored the storys of Margaret.
Thanks for the memories.
I'll try to enclose a photo of the birthday shortcake


I will try them when I'm next in Provence. The stove I use there has numbers. What number would 200C be?

Debbie Ambrous

Hi Lynn,
It was such a coincidence that I happened to be eating biscuits with 4 berry preserves when I opened to read your blog on this lovely Saturday morning in Miami. I have a recipe named "Angel Biscuits" and a package of yeast goes into it. They're fancy biscuits and definitely not cooked in our household everyday. I had a list of "substitutions" and I remember that you could put a small amount of vinegar into milk to produce a reasonable buttermilk facsimile. But, I can't find the list for exact amounts. I also love your blog!

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Lynn,

200 degrees C converts to 392 degrees F.

Here’s a handy link for converting temperatures:

À bientôt

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Lynn,

Oops! My previous post didn’t answer the question of how 200 degrees C converted to the 1 to 10 marking on some stoves. In a further search of the internet, I found this link on which the “Gas Mark” measuring system is converted to the Fahrenheit and Centigrade systems. Hope this helps.

À bientôt

Suzanne Hurst

Lynn, I'm going to try your biscuit recipe soon, with a Christmas cookie cutter. My KY grandmother made the best biscuits I've ever had! She made them with buttermilk and LARD! She did them kind of like sour dough bread, saving a bit from each batch as a starter for the next. She cut hers with a small cutter. Next best were my Dad's biscuits; he used lard or butter flavored Crisco, and cut his larger. I think when made well, southern biscuits are as good as and have a similar taste to French bread.

Mariella Neumann

Hi Lynn
love your blog it makes me feel very home sick for France,I will try your Southern biscuits for Christmas .The weather in Australlia is very hot and I have just baked my christmas cake full of dry fruit soaked in brandy for 1 week.I will send you the recipe

Lynn McBride

Hi Elizabeth,
As Herm says, the temperature is 200c or 400F. If your stove has numbers on it from 1 to 10, as many French stoves do, the number you want is 7.

Patricia Glee Smith

What about using Kefir? It is a fermented milk, and I think you will find it in France. I use it in place of buttermilk here in Italy...I make buttermilk biscuits when I forget to buy bread, a capital sin in my household.


That's real funny how similar words are used and changed between english and french langages and I guess it is the same between other langages as well.
Biscuit is a good example of what happen to a word whenever it crosses the borders.

One other good example is the word cake. For us French, cake (pronounced identically to the english word) is something different and let explain how I bake
a "cake aux abricots"

What you need:

- A bag of dried apricots (250g)
- rum
- 3 eggs
- yeast
- sugar
- flour
- margarine

First thing you do, put your dried apricots in a bowl with lukewarm water and add 1 or 2 spoons of rum (white or amber), let it rest for 2 or 3 hours
Stir with fork three eggs with 70g white sugar, add 160g flour with 1/3 of a baking powder bag
Let melt 125g margarine (unsalted butter will perfectly work) and add it to your preparation

In the meantime, remove the apricots from the bowl, dry them and cut them in small parts, flour them and add them to your preparation
Use a buttered and floured "moule à cake"
It's take 40 minutes in a preheated stove at 180°C to have a cake the french way

Easy done and just taste great

Suzanne Hurst

I have another good suggestion for biscuits WITHOUT buttermilk. Use heavy cream. Two variations that I know of: use 1 cup cream to 2 cups flour, plus 1/4 cup butter. OR make a small batch with 1 cup flour and 1 cup cream, no other shortening needed. These are called CREAM BISCUITS, and although they don't have the sour taste, they have great texture, and are delicious.

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Salut Claude,

The ingredients list calls for yeast, but in the directions baking powder is added. Which is correct?

À bientôt


hum! is yeast and baking powder not the same thing? Anyway here in France, I use "sachet de levure" that is to say pack of yeast (11gr)

Hope that answer your question

Bon appétit

Herm in Phoenix, Az

Merci Claude,

In the United States, yeast and baking powder are different. To make things more confusing, there’s also baking soda. I’m no expert, but I sometimes see baking powder used with baking soda in quick bread recipes. Lynn’s the expert, maybe she’ll set us straight.

À bientôt

Lynn McBride

OK Herm and Claude, here's what I know! Yeast and baking powder are both used to make things rise, but used in different ways. Yeast (levure) is a living organism and it takes time to rise, usually used in bread. It gives a yeasty flavor, too. Baking powder (levure chimique) is a tasteless chemical and is used in cakes and quick breads. It requires no rising time. A bit of baking soda (bicarbonate de sodium) is added as well when the liquid used is acidic, like vinegar, buttermilk, sour cream.


Thanks a lot, Lynn, my cooking knowledge improves as quick as my skills in the English language

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