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Nothing comes close to simple joy of flaky Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with fluffy, buttery layers and plenty of honey, sausage gravy, or jam to go with them! These easy, from-scratch biscuits are the best way to start out a weekend!
Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
There is something incredibly relaxing about waking up in the morning and mixing up a batch of biscuits for my family. Sometimes one of my girls (usually the youngest) wanders out and sits up at the counter to watch or help.
They love to help pat out the dough and press down the biscuit cutter to cut the dough into rounds. It reminds me of learning to make biscuits from my mom. As a kid and even as an adult, homemade biscuits are part of my favorite breakfast of all time.
This is a simple buttermilk biscuit recipe, but it’s really the technique that makes all the difference between getting tough biscuits and light, fluffy ones. You can skip ahead to the recipe if you want, but this post is full of all my best tips and tricks for making the best biscuits of your life, so you might want to give it a read through if this is you are a biscuit-making novice!
Biscuits don’t have to be round!
Even though the biscuits in these photos are round, I want to point out that there IS an easier way. Whether you don’t have a sharp round biscuit cutter or you just want to skip dealing with scraps of dough, square biscuits might be the answer for you.
Rather than cutting the biscuits out into circles, next time try using a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut the biscuit dough in half lengthwise, then into 1/8ths to get square biscuits. They bake up every bit as delicious and there is no rerolling of scraps involved!
I’m 50/50 for how often I do square biscuits versus round biscuits. It usually just depends on how lazy I’m feeling that morning or what my particular fancy is between circles or squares.
Ingredients in homemade biscuits
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
How to make buttermilk biscuits
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of a large food processor . Add the grated butter and stir together. The butter can also be cubed and cut in using a pastry cutter or pulsed into the dry ingredients in the food processor until it is the size of crumbs.
- Add the buttermilk and mix together just until everything starts to come together in a shaggy dough, but don’t overmix. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and press together into a rough rectangular shape.
- Fold one side of the rectangle into the center, then the other, like folding a letter. Pat the dough flat again, then turn the dough and repeat the folding process. Flatten with a rolling pin or your hands until the dough makes a 3/4- to 1-inch thick rectangle.
- Cut out biscuits. Brush with extra buttermilk. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown on top.
Tips for light and flaky biscuits
- Use cold ingredients. This is not the time to pull out butter and let it soften to room temperature. Everything should be cold, cold, cold when added to the biscuit mixture. You could even stick your flour in the freezer for 30 minutes if you think about it before hand.
- Don’t overwork the dough. When you are mixing the buttermilk into the dough, it’s okay if it is still pretty crumbly. The biscuit dough will come together as you press it and fold it with your hands.
- Folding the dough creates flaky layers. This is the real key to getting super all of those wonderful flaky layers that you can see in the photos. As the dough is folded, the cold butter is spread thin. When the biscuits bake, the cold butter melts fast creating pockets and the many layers we love about buttermilk biscuits!
- Use a sharp biscuit or cookie cutter and don’t twist! I know it’s tempting to want to twist the cutter while cutting out the biscuits, but that has a tendency to seal the edges, making it so they won’t rise as much. It really makes a difference to use a sharp cutter and press straight in and out.
- Bake them close together or spaced apart. This is personal preference, but I like to space out my biscuits when baking so that all the sides are exposed. But some people enjoy biscuits that are snugged together and then pulled apart for softer sides. It’s up to you!
- Brush with melted butter & honey right after they come out of the oven. If you aren’t making buttermilk biscuits for biscuits and gravy, you might want to consider melting 2 tablespoons of salted butter with 1 tablespoon of honey, then brushing this over the tops of the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven for a delicious finish.
What is a substitute for buttermilk?
An easy substitute for buttermilk can be made in about five minutes. Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup, then fill the rest of the way with milk (preferably whole milk). Stir, then let it sit for 5 minutes and use in almost any recipe as a buttermilk replacement!
Other substitutes for this particular recipe would be plain milk, which will work almost just as well, although you won’t have quite the same flavor as biscuits that are made with tangy, rich buttermilk. Or you could use one cup of plain yogurt. Greek yogurt thinned out with a little milk would probably work as well, although I haven’t tried that one.
Freezing and make ahead instructions
Freezing after baking: Biscuits freeze well for up to 3-4 months after baking. Store them in a freezer-safe zip tight bag, then thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave or oven when you want to eat them.
Freezing without baking first: The biscuit dough can be frozen as well so that you can bake up fresh, hot buttermilk biscuits whenever you like! Prepare the dough through folding and cutting them out. Then freeze individually on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 1-2 hours.
Once frozen, you can toss the biscuits into a freezer-safe zip tight bag to store and just pull out however many you want to bake up at a time. The biscuits can be frozen like this for 3-4 months.
When ready to bake, pull out the biscuits and set them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to thaw for 45 minutes or so before baking.
More breakfast recipes for your weekend
- Liege Waffles
- German Pancakes
- Scrambled Macaroni and Eggs
- Aebleskiver (Danish Pancakes)
- Sour Cream Coffee cake
- Raspberry Streusel Muffins
- Eggs Benedict
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup salted butter, very cold or even frozen
- 1 cup cold buttermilk + more for brushing on top of the biscuits
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl.
- Grate the butter on the large holes of a box grater and add to the flour mixture. Mix the butter into the flour with a fork. This can also be done by adding cold cubed butter in a food processor or using a pastry cutter, pulsing or cutting the butter in until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir just until the flour is moistened and very shaggy looking.
- Turn the biscuit dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to press it into a rough rectangle shape. Fold one side of the dough into the center, then the other side, like folding a letter to go into an envelope. Gently press flat again, then repeat the folding process one more time, patting or rolling out the dough with a rolling pin to about 3/4- to 1-inch thickness.
- Cut out biscuits using a sharp, floured round cutter about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Press straight down and lift up to cut - do not twist the cutter. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet and reroll and cut out any remaining scraps of dough. Brush the biscuits with a little additional buttermilk for crispy edges on top, if desired.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Buttermilk substitute: If you don't have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the way with whole milk and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then use in place of regular buttermilk.
- Freezing instructions: Leftover biscuits can be frozen for 3-4 months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight and rewarm in the morning before enjoying. Or you can make the dough and freeze it for 3-4 months, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then cut out and bake as directed.