Buttermilk Biscuits: The Yummy, the Flaky, and the Recipe!

**this post contains an affiliate link**

This is one baking recipe that Kate has been known to make.  Of course, Kate being who she is, will always change recipes as the mood strikes.  For example, last Christmas Eve we made bread for 30 people at the family gathering.  I baked two loaves of bread and she made two batches of savory biscuits, using this basic recipe but adding various herbs and spices.

More commonly, though, I’ll make these for breakfast and Kate will make her own country gravy to go with them.  It’s one of our special treats.  The directions we’re giving are not for those super-fluffy biscuits southerners are so proud of.  These are a bit denser and hold up really well to the gravy. If, for some reason, you have leftovers they also taste great as ‘toast’.

fresh buttermilk biscuits with honey.
Fresh buttermilk biscuits with honey…mmm…

Here’s what you need for successful biscuits (aka flaky scones):

  1. Flour, salt, sugar. The sugar content can be decreased to make them more savory.
  2. A leavening agent. These are quick breads, so you’ll be using baking powder and/or baking soda, depending on the acid content of the liquid.
  3. A fat. Lard or shortening works, but I typically use butter.
  4. Milk. Yeah, don’t try to make this one dairy-free. Buttermilk biscuits are the best-tasting.

If you are a serious baker, you probably already have a pastry cutter.  If not, let me explain.  Pastry cutters (pictured here) are used for mixing hard things into dry things (like butter into flour).  It makes mixing biscuits, pastries, pie crusts, etc. so much easier!  If you don’t have one, you can use two table knives and ‘cut’ the dough in using a scissoring motion. This is a big deal because if you use your hands, you will melt the butter with your body heat.  Colder butter means flakier (read ‘better’) biscuits. If you want one, we like this one: Spring Chef Dough Blender, Top Professional Pastry Cutter with Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Blades (Black-Large)  It has great reviews and comes in two sizes because not all bakers have the same size hands.

Pastry Cutter

We’re going to be adding flour between each layer of folding and rolling (which you do a few times).  That’s so while it’s baking it will rise up instead of out and then when you take it out of the oven, it will pull apart in layers (which is wonderful).

Okay, here’s your recipe:

SaveShare

Yields6 Servings

 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp sugar
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp baking soda
 2 tsp baking powder
 ½ cup cold butter (1/4 pound, 1 stick)
  cup cold buttermilk

1

Preheat oven to 425°F.

2

Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

3

Cut the (cold) butter into small pieces – quarter-inch cubes is about right. Separate the pieces and toss them into the dry ingredients.

4

Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. When the butter is about pea-sized chunks, that’s good enough; don’t over-work it.

5

Pour the buttermilk in all at once. You can stir with a fork, but I prefer to use my hands at this point. (they’re going to get dirty in the next step anyway)

6

Now you’ll need a clean surface or large cutting board to work on. Dust the surface with flour – just enough to coat the board so the dough won’t stick. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to about ½ to ¾-inch thickness. Feel free to add more flour to keep it from sticking to either the counter or the rolling pin.

7

Dust the top of the dough with a little more flour and then fold it in half. Roll it out again (repeat this process for a total of seven or eight times), remembering to add a little flour as you go.

8

When done folding and rolling, use a biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter) to cut out as many as you can. Put them on an ungreased baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, fold and roll a few more times, and cut out more biscuits. You’ll have a little bit leftover – just gather that up into a ball and put it on the baking sheet (we call that the baker’s bonus). You should have 10-12 biscuits if you used a 2” cutter.

9

Bake them for about 12-15 minutes. When they turn a light golden brown, take them out of the oven and slide them off the baking sheet onto a cooling rack. Serve hot with butter and honey or, like we do, with Kate’s Country Gravy.

Ingredients

 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp sugar
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ tsp baking soda
 2 tsp baking powder
 ½ cup cold butter (1/4 pound, 1 stick)
  cup cold buttermilk

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 425°F.

2

Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

3

Cut the (cold) butter into small pieces – quarter-inch cubes is about right. Separate the pieces and toss them into the dry ingredients.

4

Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients. When the butter is about pea-sized chunks, that’s good enough; don’t over-work it.

5

Pour the buttermilk in all at once. You can stir with a fork, but I prefer to use my hands at this point. (they’re going to get dirty in the next step anyway)

6

Now you’ll need a clean surface or large cutting board to work on. Dust the surface with flour – just enough to coat the board so the dough won’t stick. Take the dough out of the mixing bowl and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to about ½ to ¾-inch thickness. Feel free to add more flour to keep it from sticking to either the counter or the rolling pin.

7

Dust the top of the dough with a little more flour and then fold it in half. Roll it out again (repeat this process for a total of seven or eight times), remembering to add a little flour as you go.

8

When done folding and rolling, use a biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter) to cut out as many as you can. Put them on an ungreased baking sheet. Gather up the scraps, fold and roll a few more times, and cut out more biscuits. You’ll have a little bit leftover – just gather that up into a ball and put it on the baking sheet (we call that the baker’s bonus). You should have 10-12 biscuits if you used a 2” cutter.

9

Bake them for about 12-15 minutes. When they turn a light golden brown, take them out of the oven and slide them off the baking sheet onto a cooling rack. Serve hot with butter and honey or, like we do, with Kate’s Country Gravy.

Buttermilk Biscuits

VARIATIONS:

  1. Reduce the sugar by 1 tsp and add 3 tsp fresh herbs of your choice (personal favorite: 2 tsp crushed rosemary & 1 tsp thyme) for a more savory option.
  2. Don’t want to roll & fold & roll & fold & roll & fold so much? Just increase the milk/buttermilk to a full cup and you have drop biscuits that you can put on the baking sheet by the spoonful. (You probably do want to grease the pan in this case, since the added liquid—as well as the lessened flour, due to not adding it each time you fold—will make them much stickier.)
  3. If you don’t have buttermilk, regular milk will do in a pinch, but the lower acid content means you’ll need to omit the baking soda and increase the baking powder to 4 tsp instead of 2.

Enjoy!

Send some sweetness & spice straight to your inbox...