Baking Recipes, Beginner, Brunch and Breakfast

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Looking for an easy Southern buttermilk biscuit recipe you can make from scratch? Follow these four tips for light fluffy biscuits every time.

buttermilk biscuits in a basket lined with a floral napkin

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and toot my own horn. Because it’s my blog and if I can’t do it here, then where? I make good biscuits. No, I make DAMN good biscuits.

I didn’t always. When I was first starting out, my biscuit recipe consisted of following the directions on the back of a box of Bisquick. Then one Saturday morning I had my heart set on biscuits and realized I was out of Bisquick. Going to the store was out of the question. I don’t know about you, but whenever I think I’m going to run into the store unnoticed to grab one thing and be out in five minutes, that’s when I run into every single guy I have ever dated (even the ones I thought left the country), that girl who shunned me in high school (hopefully she weighs 900 pounds now and has 12 bratty children), the CEO of my company, and my minister. It was either settle for a slice of whole wheat toast, or make my own biscuits from scratch.

It did involve more than throwing a couple cups of mix and some milk into a bowl. But other than that, it was very easy. When I pulled that first batch out of the oven, I was surprised by how good they were. I have made a GAZILLION batches of biscuits since then and have made some tweaks here and there until I finally developed this recipe I’m sharing here today.

Tips for making fluffy buttermilk biscuits from scratch:

1. Check the expiration date on your dry ingredients. If you have a container of baking powder that has been sitting forgotten in the back of your pantry, throw it out and go buy some fresh.  Your biscuits could turn out flat and tough otherwise.

2. Really cold grated butter makes a huge difference. The pockets of cold butter form steam as the biscuits bake, resulting in a flaky texture. I like to put my butter in the freezer for 20-30 minutes beforehand. And rather than trying to cut the butter into your dry ingredients with two knives (I never could get that to work) or a pastry cutter (arm workout) I grate my butter using a box grater, then put it back in the freezer while I mix together my dry ingredients. You could also do this with a food processor.

grating the butter

3. For taller biscuits, don’t roll the dough out to any more than ½ -inch thick. I like my biscuits to look like little top hats when they come out of the oven.

4. Spend a couple bucks and go buy a real biscuit cutter. I used to use the end of a drinking glass to cut my biscuits. Then I read that using something with a dull edge pinches the dough together and prevents the biscuits from rising. You need to use something with a semi-sharp edge.

How to Make Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

First, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Cover a baking tray with foil then coat it with cooking spray.

biscuit ingredients including salt, sugar, baking powder, butter, flour and buttermilk

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, one tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, two teaspoons of baking powder and one teaspoon of salt.

Grate one stick of cold unsalted butter on a box grater. Add it to the flour mixture and stir until the butter is evenly distributed throughout the flour. Add three-quarters cup of cold buttermilk, and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl, adding additional milk if necessary.

top left: grated butter sitting on top of flour in a steel mixing bowl; bottom left: flour with grated butter in a steel mixing bowl; right: mixed biscuit dough in a steel bowl

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times. Roll or pat dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into disks using a 2 to 2-1/4- inch round cutter. Place the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet about one inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown. Serve warm.

top left: kneading the biscuit dough; top right: rolling out the biscuit dough with a rolling pin; bottom left: cutting the biscuit dough with a cutter; bottom right: cut biscuits on a baking tray covered in foil and coated in cooking spray

What if I don’t have any buttermilk?

The role of buttermilk is more than just wetting and binding the dry ingredients together. The acids in the buttermilk interact with the baking powder and an airy tender texture. But what if you’re up to your elbows in flour and realize you don’t have any buttermilk.

You can easily make your own with two ingredients you probably already have on hand. Take one cup of milk. Whole or 2% milk is best. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Voila! Homemade buttermilk.

Tips for Freezing Biscuits

Whenever I make biscuits, I frequently make a double batch of dough. I bake one batch for us to eat and one batch goes in the freezer. Follow the recipe through the point where you cut the biscuits. Wrap each dough round individually in plastic wrap, then freeze. I place all my frozen biscuits in a large freezer bag to keep them together and prevent them from getting tossed all over the place.

You don’t even have to thaw the dough before baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, coat a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray, then unwrap as many biscuits as you want and place them on the tray.

The biscuits will take about 20 minutes total to cook through and they won’t rise as high, but will still be flaky and delicious. I used to have a problem with the bottoms of the biscuits burning before they were cooked through. I discovered if I moved the rack to the top third of the oven and placed another baking pan under my biscuit tray, it prevented the bottoms from cooking too quickly.

Baked biscuits can be frozen in the same way. Wrap each biscuit individually in plastic wrap. You will need to allow the biscuit to thaw first. Then place in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or so until it’s heated through.

three buttermilk biscuits stacked on a plate

You might enjoy these recipes with your biscuits:

buttermilk biscuits in a basket lined with a floral napkin
Print Pin
5 from 8 votes

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Looking for an easy Southern buttermilk biscuit recipe you can make from scratch? Follow these four tips for light fluffy biscuits every time.
Course Baked Goods, baking, Breads and Baking
Cuisine American, Southern
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 6 -8 biscuits
Calories 212kcal
Author Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter or shortening
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cold buttermilk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Add three-quarters cup of buttermilk, and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl, adding additional milk if necessary.
  • Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times. Roll or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into disks using a 2 to 2-1/4- inch round cutter. Place on a greased cookie sheet about one inch apart.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

Notes

To Freeze: Follow the recipe through the point where you cut the biscuits. Wrap each dough round individually in plastic wrap, then freeze. 
Do not thaw the dough before baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, coat a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray, then unwrap as many biscuits as you want and place them on the tray.
Frozen biscuits will take 20 minutes total to cook through. To prevent the bottoms of the biscuits from burning before they are cooked through,  move the oven rack to the top third of the oven and place another baking pan under the biscuit tray.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4.2g | Fat: 9.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.2g | Cholesterol: 1.8mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 1.3g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 1.7mg

21 Comments

  1. Biscuits are such a weakness of mine. If I made them from scratch, I’d be scared how many could be consumed in a single sitting.

  2. Lisa, I love reading your material. You really have a gift. I did not know your grandmother, but as a grandmother I can say that she would be so very proud of you. I know I am. I have many sweet memories of you and Christie. Love you.
    Ruth

  3. Lindsey Brooks

    My mouth is watering…When are you going to cook more for Godwin?? 🙂

  4. Chris Magee

    I remember years ago making biscuits at a fast food restaurant, I was trained to “relax” the dough before cutting by picking up the corners a little to take the tension out of the dough. Don’t know if it helps or not, but I thought my biscuits were pretty darn good. 🙂

  5. Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    I have a biscuit recipe that I love, but I am totally going to try these because they also look delicious. I’m a southern girl at heart (living in CA now – talk about cultural whiplash!) and love great biscuits. 🙂

  6. Yummy! I love how golden these are. I really need to make some biscuits because those look amazing. I’m sure everyone in my house would go crazy for them. Thanks for the tips!

  7. 5 stars
    Just made these! My first biscuits in years that haven’t been dry. We ate them with more butter and honey. Thanks, will use this recipe again!!!

  8. 5 stars
    I tried this last weekend. They were delicious and so easy to make! Thanks for the tip on grating the frozen butter – the last time I attempted biscuits many years ago I could not, for the life of me, get the butter to incorporate all the way. My last biscuits were bitter also, but these were light and fluffy with just enough sweetness. Yum! My husband, Cedric (from Grenada), says thank you very much! He’s been begging for homemade biscuits since we said “I do” 5 years ago.

    • The Cooking Bride

      Keyana, thanks for coming back and letting me know how they turned out! I’ve known Cedric since grade school. You tell him he’s welcome!

  9. 5 stars
    I’ve made these 3 times now, always great!

  10. 5 stars
    I made these and they are so perfect! Of all the biscuit recipes I have tried these biscuits are by far the most beautiful and super easy clean up.

  11. 5 stars
    Just made these today, can’t wait for them to come out of the oven. I mixed mine up in the food processor just till they were moist then hand patted them out to the thickness I wanted. They just came out of oven, YUM! These will be my go to Biscuit.

  12. 5 stars
    I have been looking for a good biscuit recipe for awhile now. I was intrigued by the tip you gave about grating the butter. These turned out better than expected. Thanks!

  13. Barry Hickson

    5 stars
    Ohh wee, best biscuits I ever had!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.