These soft, flaky, homemade buttermilk biscuits are melt in your mouth good. They require only 7 ingredients and will be ready in under an hour. With my helpful step by step photos you'll be a biscuit making pro in no time.
This recipe was first published 12/14/2020.
If you are looking for soft, flaky, super tall biscuits then this is the recipe for you. Once you've made homemade biscuits you'll be hooked and will a little practice they'll be a snap to quickly get in the oven.
I've been making these for years and they always turn out great and with the same results.
Enjoy these biscuits lots of different ways. Top them with butter, jam, lemon curd, sausage gravy or turn them into breakfast sandwiches (my family's favorite).
Why You'll Love These Biscuits
- Taste: First and foremost, these biscuits are delicious! They are soft, buttery, flaky and so good.
- Butter: This is an all butter recipe, this means that the biscuits are made without shortening (crisco), only real butter.
- Tall: These biscuits are beyond tall! The thicker the dough is when you cut your biscuits, the taller they will bake. The same concept goes for scones as well, like the classic english scones or these pumpkin scones.
- Versatile: You can use these biscuits for biscuits with jam, biscuits with gravy or biscuit sandwiches.
- Flour: You'll want to use all purpose flour for this recipe, I haven't tested it out using anything but.
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt enhances flavor in recipes, while table salt makes things salty. Opt for kosher salt in your cooking if you can. If you use table salt you'll need to decrease the amount.
- Cane Sugar: A tiny bit of sugar adds just a little bit of sweetness but not enough that it's even detectable.
- Baking Soda: A leavening agent that helps biscuits rise in the oven, baking soda must be activated with an acidic liquid. This recipes calls for buttermilk, which is acidic. Buttermilk cornbread uses the same method.
- Baking Powder: Another leavening agent that helps the biscuits rise.
- Butter: Cold butter creates flaky biscuits.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk makes these biscuits super soft and moist.
- Food Processor: I don't suggest using a food processor for mixing the flour and butter. In my experience trying it this way multiple time, biscuits always turn out better if you mix the flour and butter with your hands. With a food processor the biscuits are less flaky.
- Cold Butter: For really flaky, perfect biscuits, always use very cold butter. Try and work as fast as you can. But if you feel like the butter warmed up too much you can put your bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling out the biscuit dough. You can use this same method for these Irish scones.
- Oven Temp: For super tall biscuits, bake at the recommended temperature of 425 degrees.
- Clean Cuts: For flaky biscuits that rise in the oven make sure to dip your biscuit cutter in flour after each cut into the dough. If you don't do this, the biscuit cutter will squish down the dough and seal the edges, which will make a shorter biscuit. Also make sure you aren't cutting your biscuit at the very edge of the dough. You can actually see in my photos, the very last biscuit I cut isn't as tall because it was the very last of the dough, that last one never looks the same (can you guess which one it is?).
- Leavening Agents: Check to make sure your baking powder and baking soda aren't expired, or old, before making these biscuits.
How To Make Buttermilk Biscuits
I've made these biscuits so much, I hope this visual step by step helps you. For reference, I'm using a 3 ¼" biscuit cutter.
Step 1. Grab a large bowl and sift together (or whisk together) flour, kosher salt, baking soda, baking powder and cane sugar.
Step 2. Cut the butter into little cubes and use your hands to mix it into the flour. You could use a pastry cutter or a fork, but I've found that your hands are your best tools for this job.
As you work through the butter and the big chunks mix in, start mixing the butter in in a different way.
Take the palms of your hands with some flour and butter mixture between them, and in a swiping movement press your hand together and swipe them. You'll end up with thin sheets of butter.
Step 3. Pour in the buttermilk and use a large spoon to mix it together. You may be tempted to add more buttermilk but resist - the dough will come together!
Pro Tip: Any excess buttermilk in your measuring cup you can use to brush on top of the biscuits before they bake, so don't wash that out yet.
Step 4. It's time to roll out the dough on your counter. Dust a little flour on your counter to start. Dump out the dough. Using a rolling pin to gently roll the dough out.
Pro Tip: If you notice your dough is a bit too wet you can sprinkle flour on top and work it in, it just means you used too much buttermilk but be careful not to add too much. If you add too much it's hard to roll out the dough, it will just spring back.
Fold the dough in half and use the rolling pin to gently roll it out. Use a bench scraper to help lift the dough and fold it over. Do this a couple times.
Step 5. Lift up the dough, sprinkle a bit more flour on your counter. Roll this out so the dough is 1" thick.
Use a biscuit cutter, press straight down and then wiggle a bit to separate. Put the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Pro Tip: Dip your biscuit cutter into flour after each time you cut a bisuit out.
Step 6. Once all the biscuits are on your pan, brush the tops with some buttermilk and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. They will be golden on top when done. Serve right away!
This recipe makes 8 large biscuits.
These biscuits can be prepared ahead of time, which is helpful for holidays (like Christmas or Thanksgiving).
Make the biscuits up to the point of where you put the biscuits on your baking sheet. Then wrap multiples pieces of cling wrap around the baking sheet. You could also use press and seal.
Place the biscuits in your fridge.
When you're ready to make them, take the biscuits out of the fridge and let them sit at room temperature for an hour. Make sure to take the cling wrap off while they sit. Brush the tops with some buttermilk and bake as usual.
You can store these buttermilk biscuits in an airtight container on your kitchen counter. You can also store them in the fridge. They are best eaten within 3 days of making them.
Putting them in a toaster or toaster oven is an easy way to reheat them and get a bit of that crispness you first had straight out of the oven.
- Oven: You can reheat these by putting them in a warm (not hot) oven.
- Microwave: Place a biscuit on a microwave safe plate and heat for 10 second increments in the microwave until it's warmed through.
- Toaster: Cut a biscuit in half and place each half in the toaster. It makes them crisp around the edges.
If you don't have any buttermilk you can substitute 2 cups of milk (minus 2 tablespoons) and to it add 2 tablespoons white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes then use it in the recipe. It won't be exactly the same, but close when you are in a bind.
Check your baking soda and baking powder, is one of them expired or been sitting out for too long? It may be time to replace. Old baking soda/powder doesn't work as well for lifting baked goods. Another reason could be that the dough was not folded then rolled out a couple times, this helps to create a tall biscuit.
Yes! I make them as a half batch all the time, halving the recipe works great.
I've found that if you leave space between your biscuits they will rise taller in the oven.
Yes! You can use whatever size you want, you just need to adjust the baking time.
Make sure to dip your biscuit cutter in flour before each cut, it helps the biscuit cutter release from the sticky dough.
- 4 c all purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 8 tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 2 c buttermilk + more for brushing on biscuits before baking
- Preheat the oven to 425
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and sugar.
- Use your hands to mix in the cold butter until there are no more big pieces of butter. Take the flour and butter mixture between the palms of your hands, and in a sweeping motion press and glides your hands together. You'll end up with what looks like thin sheets of paper.
- Use a large spoon to mix in the buttermilk until it's mostly mixed but still craggy looking. Dump the dough out on a lightly floured countertop. Press the dough together so it's more combined.
- Roll the dough out with a floured rolling pin. Use a bench scraper (or your hands) to fold the dough over. Roll it out again. Repeat 2-3 times, ending with the dough at 1" thickness.
- Lift up the dough and sprinkle the counter with flour. Use a 3 ¼” biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits, stay away from the edges and dip the biscuit cutter into flour after each biscuit cut.
- Place the biscuits, spaced out, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuit with buttermilk.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Food Processor: I don't suggest using a food processor for mixing the flour and butter. Using your hands works best.
Cold Butter: For really flaky, perfect biscuits, always use very cold butter. If you feel like the butter warmed up too much you can put your bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling out the biscuit dough.
Oven Temp: For tall biscuits, bake at the recommended temperature of 425 degrees.
Clean Cuts: For flaky biscuits that rise in the oven make sure to dip your biscuit cutter in flour after each cut into the dough. If you don't do this, the biscuit cutter will squish down the dough and seal the edges, which will make a shorter biscuit.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 9g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.