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A bowl of homemade buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

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Looking for an Easy Biscuits Recipe that tastes amazing? This Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe laminates the dough like puff pastry making them extremely flaky!

If you’ve never been able to make biscuits that taste like they were made by a Southern grandma, I’ve got you covered with a homemade biscuit recipe and loads of tips! Simple ingredients and detailed directions will make for tasty biscuits right from your oven.

 A Buttermilk Biscuit on a square white plate with a red handled knife

Why This Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe Works

I have a couple of go-to recipes when I have leftover buttermilk. One is Ina’s corn muffins and the other a recipe for tender buttermilk biscuits.  Cook’s Illustrated goes beyond the typical method of cutting in cold butter and shortening to create their homemade biscuits recipe.

You actually generate thin sheets of butter by flattening out pieces of cold butter with your fingers.  These sheets of butter are dispersed throughout the dough and, when baked, will melt and steam and created those incredible air pockets like in puff pastry and flaky pie crusts. Then the mixture is popped in the freezer before shaping, so that both the butter and shortening are extra cold

You also fold the dough into thirds to give more opportunities for that flakiness we all covet in homemade buttermilk biscuits. This technique is used when making puff pastry and is called lamination. But instead of the lengthy process when making pâte feuilletée, there is only one “turn” and no additional chilling.

Split buttermilk biscuit with a pat of melting butter on a square white plate

How to Make the Best Buttermilk Biscuits from Scratch

PRO-Tip: The key to flaky biscuits is having very cold butter, shortening, and buttermilk. Start with very cold butter and cut it into tablespoons. After you cut in the shortening and rub in the cold butter, the bowl is popped into the freezer to rechill the fats. Keep the buttermilk in the fridge until you’re ready to add it to the rest of the ingredients.

I’ve added a tablespoon of sugar to this recipe as it balances out the salt and leaveners with a little sweetness. If you’d like to use these homemade biscuits for strawberry shortcakes, feel free to add another tablespoon or so.

PRO-Tip: Do not overmix the ingredients. You want to preserve the thin flakes of butter and minimize gluten formation.

PRO-Tip: Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. Baking powder is not used as frequently as baking soda, and often loses it’s potency while in the pantry. Check the date on the can, and when in doubt, buy some fresh baking powder.

The folding of the dough is a novel idea for most home cooks. It’s not difficult, but make sure you have a lightly floured surface on which to roll out the biscuit dough. Roll it into a large rectangle.  Fold the dough into thirds by folding one third over the middle third, then from the other side, fold the remaining one third over the double layer of biscuit dough. Gently roll this rectangle until it’s about 1-inch thick. Working quickly will help keep the dough cold.

Cut into biscuits with a sharp round cutter with a diameter of  3 inches or less. PRO-Tip: Cut straight down without twisting so as not to seal together any of the layers.

A white bowl of homemade buttermilk biscuits

You Might Need:

Try these biscuits on top of my Homemade Chicken Pot Pie!

More Quick Bread You’ll Love:

This recipe was first posted in February 2011. Text and photos were updated in 2020.

A Buttermilk Biscuit on a square white plate with a red handled knife

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

The flakiest buttermilk biscuits. Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 9 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup very cold butter
  • 1 1/4 cup very cold buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450º. Line baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Cut in shortening in with pastry blender or a couple of knives till the size of peas. Cut butter into 8 pieces and, one at a time, rub them into the flour with your fingers till they are flattened into thin sheets (they will break apart). You'll want all the butter separated into these pieces so when they melt in the oven, they will make the biscuits flaky.
  3. Put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add all the buttermilk except for the last two tablespoons. Mix gently with a spatula. If the dough is too dry, you may add the remaining buttermilk. Lightly flour another Silpat and roll the dough out to cover the surface (11 x 16). Fold the dough into thirds, then roll to an inch thick.
  5. Cut into biscuits using a sharp round cutter, 3-inch diameter or less. Press straight down without twisting. Dip the cutter into flour if it sticks to the dough. Pat together scraps to make the last few biscuits. Place biscuits on the lined baking sheet, and bake about 15 minutes or till lightly browned.

Notes

Total time does not reflect freezing time.

Yield will vary depending on the size of your biscuit cutter.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1 biscuit

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 600mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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24 comments on “Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe”

  1. These look so delish Lizzy……they rose beautifully. Your Photo’s are very creative and look like they came from a magazine. Will try these for sure as my huband loves biscuits.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. What an interesting method. It looks like it works for sure because your biscuits are so flaky.

  3. well hope after this fourth try to be able to leave a comment, wont take my ID below. These look fabulous! We would love these!

  4. That’s it, I’m convinced now. Your buttermilk biscuits are the keeper ones. Love the way it turned out, so flaky, and yummy, and do love your recipe much better than the one I’ve been using.
    Lizzy, I did a shout out about you on my latest post…don’t know if you noticed it!

  5. Oh how I love thee buttermilk biscuits. Let me count the ways…
    Brandie

  6. There is always room for some good buttermilk biscuits. These look great Lizzy!

  7. How gorgeous are these :-). A well made biscuit is one of life’s simple pleasures. These look great and sound delicious. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Next time I have extra buttermilk, I’m making these! They look so good!

  9. mmm…biscuits are one of my all-time favorite things! they’re just so deliciously buttery.

    awesome blog – will definitely be back again soon. i’m your newest follower!

  10. Girls, you are all so wonderful with your lovely comments!!! Thank you!!!! These are really good, I promise.

    Cailen, thanks for being a follower!!! Hope I inspire some baking 🙂

  11. Hi, Yummy C! Thanks so much 🙂

  12. looks soft and delicious buttermilk in it

  13. Beautiful biscuits…they want to be in my tummy. 🙂

  14. Yum! Your biscuits look absolutely perfect! So light and fluffy and flaky :)! They would be wonderful spread with a bit of jam!

  15. These look flaky and fabulous! I’m actually making some buttermilk biscuits later today 🙂 What comfort!

  16. Thanks, my friends!! I will make these again and again~

  17. They look so FLAKY and yum! Wish I could reach in and grab one for my tea now 🙂

  18. love love love these and the recipe is fabulous and addicting !

  19. Lizzy these buscuits looks and sound absolutely delicious ! Yumm

  20. Oh Liz, look at the height of these biscuits…they look amazing…I so wish to have a couple of these right now…thanks for sharing the recipe. Have a great week ahead!

  21. Lovely layers in those biscuits, Liz. Thanks for the tips, too. Biscuits tend to be part (or the whole) of our weekend breakfasts.

  22. Buttermilk biscuits are my weakness, Liz! Yours look perfect. Do excited to try your recipe!

  23. Liz, I made these biscuits for our breakfast this morning! They were delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

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