Food & Drink

Beyond White Lily: Southern Self-Rising Flours

There’s more than one path to light, fluffy buttermilk biscuits

Even though it’s no longer milled in Knoxville, Tennessee, White Lily is a household name below the Mason-Dixon line—and the company’s self-rising flour is a holy sacrament of Southern culture, up there with Duke’s and Coca-Cola. It isn’t the only path to light, fluffy buttermilk biscuits, though.

Adluh, Columbia, South Carolina
Adluh (pronounced ad-loo) is the only remaining flour mill in South Carolina—and its recipe for soft red winter wheat self-rising flour hasn’t changed a lick since 1926, when the Allen family bought the then-quarter-century-old business. Trust the motto: “Same Today, Same Always.”


Our Best, Boonville, North Carolina
Spring-loaded with leaveners, this high-rising, clean-tasting flour from the circa-1880 Boonville Flour & Feed Mill—suppliers of cornmeal to the liver pudding legends at Neese’s in Greensboro—is a key ingredient in Madisonville, Tennessee, bacon queen Sharon Benton’s two-ingredient biscuits. “It seems to rise better than any other flour I’ve used, at least in recent years,” Benton says. “We buy twenty-five pounds at a time.”


Hartness’s Choice, Henderson, North Carolina
What do famed Tarheel State breakfast spots Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen in Chapel Hill, Flo’s in Wilson, and Biscuitville have in common? Sanford Milling Company. Fourth-generation owner Scott Hartness won’t say which of his three self-rising flours his famous clients buy, but he likes Hartness’s Choice. For extra-tender results, he says, try his finer, lower-protein Snowflake and Daily Bread flours.

Weisenberger Mill, Midway, Kentucky
Since 1865, the Weisenberger family has harnessed the power of South Elkhorn Creek to grind homegrown corn and wheat for loyal locals and chefs like Ouita Michel of the Holly Hill Inn in Midway and Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville.