Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

Ready for the flakiest, most buttery and tender biscuits? This buttermilk biscuit recipe is a true gem—and all your friends will ask for your secrets.

Buttermilk biscuit recipe

See those up there? Yes, those are the best buttermilk biscuits ever. And we don’t want to keep them to ourselves. We want to give away all our secrets! You know how when your mom has a great recipe, she only gives you half of the instructions on how to make it — so you never make it quite like she does? Well, Alex and I want to tell you exactly how to make these! They’re perfectly flaky, layered, salty and buttery with just a hint of sweetness. They are also the perfect carrier for hot honey (just saying). Here are all our secrets on how to make the perfect buttermilk biscuit recipe.

Want vegan instead? Try our Best Vegan Biscuits.

Hot honey recipe

The secrets to this buttermilk biscuit recipe

This buttermilk biscuit recipe is seriously flaky, a little tangy, and perfectly tender: pretty much our definition of exactly what a biscuit should be. In creating these biscuits, we learned a few secrets to creating a great biscuit. Here’s what we learned:

  • Use buttermilk. Our old favorite biscuit recipe didn’t have buttermilk, but we now see that buttermilk makes a superior biscuit. What makes it so great? It adds a tangy flavor, but even better: it also gives a tall rise to the biscuits. When baking soda and acidified dairy are combined in a batter, they release carbon dioxide bubbles that help lighten whatever you’re making. (See below for a buttermilk substitute.)
  • Freeze the butter. The key to dough like biscuit dough is to keep the butter as cold as possible: this is how you get the layered and flaky texture. For this recipe, we’ve called for freezing the butter, then grating it into the dough. It works like a charm: you can freeze for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight if you think of it.

It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this buttermilk biscuit recipe. Aside from buttermilk, everything else are standard ingredients you might have onhand:

  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder & baking soda
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt

And that’s it! The only other part that requires some technique is the rolling and folding process. Once the dough comes together, you’ll roll it into a rectangle, then fold it in half and roll it back out into the same shape. You’ll repeat this 3 more times: this is what creates the beautiful layers in the biscuit.

Buttermilk biscuit recipe

What is a buttermilk substitute?

The most popular buttermilk substitute out there is using milk plus an acid: either lemon juice or white vinegar. This mimics the tang and acidity of the buttermilk. Here’s how to do it:

  • Combine 1 scant cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. (Or to be most precise, 15 tablespoons milk!)
  • Allow to stand for 5 minutes before using.
Buttermilk biscuit recipe

Serving buttermilk biscuits

This buttermilk biscuits recipe is so good, we recommend serving them as often as possible! With soups, stews, chili: anything is better with a biscuit! Here are our top ways to eat these buttermilk biscuits:

What else would you serve these buttermilk biscuits with?

Buttermilk biscuit recipe

This buttermilk biscuit recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Buttermilk biscuits recipe

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 biscuits 1x

Description

Ready for the flakiest, most buttery and tender biscuits? This buttermilk biscuit recipe is a true gem—and all your friends will ask for your secrets.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Instructions

  1. Freeze the butter for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. 
  2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450°F.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients. Grate the frozen butter with a large grater and add it to the flour mixture. Mix with your hands until all butter is coated. Place bowl of flour and the buttermilk in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
  4. Add the buttermilk to the flour and stir until all the buttermilk has just absorbed. Do not overstir. Turn onto a lightly floured counter and use your hands to form the dough into a rough ball. Gently roll the dough out into a rectangle about 8” x 10” x 1/2” thick. Fold the dough in half like a brick, turn, and gently roll out until it is 1/2” thick again. Repeat the fold and roll three more times, ending with a rectangle 8” x 10” x 1/2” thick. 
  5. Use a 3” biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits, pushing straight down (without turning the cutter) and transferring to a parchment lined baking sheet. Ensure the edges of each biscuit are touching on the baking sheet to improve rise. You should get 6 biscuits out of the first cutting, then re-roll the dough scraps for final 2 biscuits.
  6. Brush tops with buttermilk. Bake 13 to 16 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately. Store leftovers frozen for up to 3 months or refrigerated for a few days (reheat in a 350 degree oven until warm). 

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Buttermilk biscuits recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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