These Easy Buttermilk Biscuits are incredibly soft, tall, flaky, and buttery. Serve these with some jam, gravy, or your topping of choice for an easy and delicious breakfast!
Growing up, my mom used to keep store-bought buttermilk biscuits on hand all of the time. She would use them for things like monkey bread, chicken and dumplings, or just bake them for breakfast. To say that we were huge fans of buttermilk biscuits would probably be an understatement.
A few weekends ago, I decided to test some recipes and try my hand at homemade buttermilk biscuits. And let’s just say that it took quite a few tries to find the perfect recipe. I did some research to figure out how to get biscuits that were tall, soft, and flaky. This recipe delivers all of that and the best part? They’re SO easy to make! These biscuits only take about 15 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to bake. Which means that you can be enjoying homemade buttermilk biscuits in about 30 minutes flat.
So what makes a good biscuit? First, you’ll start with some all-purpose flour. You’ll also need a good amount of baking powder and some baking soda to help your biscuits rise. This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of baking powder (yes, you read that right) and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. You’ll also be using some salt as well as a little bit of sugar to help balance it all out.
Now here’s the most important part to making buttermilk biscuits. You want to use COLD butter and buttermilk in your recipe. I’m talking straight from the refrigerator cold, don’t leave them sitting on the counter while you’re prepping the other ingredients. You want cold pieces of butter in your dough so that when you put it into the oven, the butter melts and creates steam pockets, which gives you that soft, light, airy texture in your biscuits.
You’ll cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until you have small pea sized crumbs, then stir in your buttermilk just until the dough starts to come together.
Once you’ve mixed up the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and work it together gently with your hands. Here’s another important thing, be very gentle with your dough. Overworking your dough can lead to tough, dense biscuits. Remember, we’re going for soft, light, and fluffy biscuits here!
You want to pat the dough into a rectangle, then fold it into thirds, pat it down again, and repeat the process two more times. Folding the dough helps to create those beautiful, flaky layers that you see.
I honestly don’t bother using a rolling pin to make these either, I just gently pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Just be sure to measure your dough before you cut it and make sure it’s actually 1/2-inch thick. I’ve made the mistake of not measuring it and guessing and the biscuits did not turn out nearly as tall.
The biscuits will only take about 15 minutes in the oven. Once they’re done, top them with anything you like! I personally love some jam or gravy on these biscuits. But honestly, these taste incredible with just a little melted butter on top too.
Baking tips for buttermilk biscuits
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are still fresh before starting. Both ingredients are important to get a good rise in these biscuits.
- Be sure to use cold butter and buttermilk in these biscuits. Prepare your dry ingredients first, then take your butter and buttermilk out of the refrigerator to ensure that they are cold.
- Don’t overwork your dough, make sure to work it together very gently.
- Be sure to fold the dough into thirds and pat it down three times. This helps to ensure that your biscuits are super flaky.
- When cutting your biscuits out, don’t twist your cutter. This will seal off the edges of your dough and they won’t rise as high. Just cut the dough straight down and pull the cutter right back out. I like to flour the biscuit cutter to make sure the biscuit dough doesn’t stick too.
- Lay the biscuits on a baking sheet touching each other. This will help them rise taller and give them soft edges when you pull them apart!
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ¾ cup (180 ml) cold buttermilk, plus more for the tops of the biscuits
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add the in the cubed cold butter and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter (you may also use a food processor for this step) until you have small pea sized pieces of butter. Pour the cold buttermilk into the mixture and gently work it together until the dough starts to come together.
- Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently work it together with your hands. Pat the dough into a rectangle and fold it in thirds. Turn the dough, gather any crumbs, and flatten back into a rectangle. Repeat this process two more times.
- Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it down into a ½-inch thick rectangle (make sure to measure!). Using a floured 2.5-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits. Continue to gather any scrap pieces of dough, patting it back down to ½-inch thickness, and cutting it until you have 12 biscuits. I suggest trying to get as many as you can the first time, as you continue to work the dough the biscuits won't be quite as good.
- Arrange the biscuits on the baking sheet touching each other. Brush the top of each biscuit with a little bit of buttermilk.
- Bake at 450°F for about 15-17 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter if desired. Allow to cool for a few minutes, serve, and enjoy!
Adapted from All Recipes and Food.com with some helpful research from King Arthur Flour.