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Who doesn’t love a buttermilk biscuit? These easy homemade biscuits are full of flaky layers and are perfect alongside breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
If you know me, you know that I have a hard time turning down a biscuit.
For a while I was on the hunt for the best biscuit in Austin, and let me tell you, there’s some stiff competition.
My friend Stephanie runs the jam and biscuit shop Confituras Little Kitchen, and the biscuits they whip up are what I consider goals.
Now, buttermilk biscuits are actually fairly easy to make at home. It’s easy to overthink them, but keeping to the basics will help achieve a great biscuit.
Ingredients for buttermilk biscuits
For this recipe, you’ll need just a few ingredients that you might already have on hand.
Butter – Biscuits need cold butter, so make sure yours is well chilled. Keep it cold until just before you need it.
All-purpose flour – I use AP flour to make these biscuits. If you want to make the recipe even easier, swap in self-rising flour and omit the baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Baking powder and baking soda – For lift, working in tandem with the buttermilk. Make sure yours is fresh!
Buttermilk – Use chilled buttermilk. Buttermilk gives the biscuits a slight tangy flavor, and the acidity works with the baking powder and baking soda to make the biscuits rise taller.
If you use regular milk, reduce the amount. Because it is less thick, you’ll need only ½ to 2/3 cup.
Salt – For flavor. I sometimes add flaky salt on top of my biscuits as well!
How to make easy homemade biscuits
First, preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Cut the butter into the dough so that it is evenly distributed with both large and small pieces of butter throughout.
Use a cheese grater on frozen butter to create perfect pieces of butter for the dough.
To mix the butter in, you can use your fingers, a pastry cutter, or two knives. If using your hands, make sure to not handle it too much so the butter does not warm.
The mixture should look like crumbly wet sand or breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk.
Mix well to create a sticky dough. Don’t worry if it isn’t completely cohesive yet!
Lightly flour a countertop and dump out the dough. Knead it just a couple of times to bring it all together.
Shape into a rectangle and fold so the short sides meet. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll into a rectangle again, fold again, and repeat.
Pat the dough into a square or rectangle ½ to ¾-inch thick. Cut biscuits into squares using a bench knife or rounds using a biscuit cutter.
Place the cut biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between them. Bake biscuits for about 18 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
For crispy biscuit edges, space the biscuits out on the pan. For soft edges, place the biscuits on the pan without any space between them. A greased cast iron pan works great for this.
Remove the biscuits from the oven and if desired brush immediately with melted butter.
Make sure to use cold butter. I actually use frozen butter when making biscuits to ensure it is still cold after grating and mixing. Just pop a stick or two into the freezer to have on hand.
Don’t overwork the dough by kneading too many times. This will develop the gluten too much and make your biscuits tough. You want a cohesive dough, but not one that is smooth as if you were making cinnamon rolls.
When cutting out the biscuits, make sure to press the cutter straight down and straight up. Do not twist, which can seal the layers together and make them not rise as high.
Note that biscuits made from using the rerolled scraps can be shorter and tougher. Cutting the biscuits into squares rather than rounds means no rerolling is required.
For taller biscuits cut this dough into 9 biscuits instead of 12.
Once you have your base biscuit recipe down, you can mix it up with your favorite flavors.
Hatch cheddar biscuits are some of my favorites. You can leave out the hatch peppers, or use chopped fresh jalapeños.
Adding spices is a great way to change up the flavor of your biscuits. Try adding garlic powder, chile powder, smoked paprika, or fresh cracked pepper.
Want a sweet biscuit? Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
Try brushing the tops of the baked biscuits with honey.
Don’t feel like rolling and cutting dough? Try my drop-style bacon chive biscuits!
Buttermilk biscuits will keep on the counter in an airtight container for 3 days, or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
To reheat in the microwave, wrap individual biscuits in a slightly damp paper towel and heat for 30 seconds.
To reheat in the oven, place on a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes at 350°F. Make sure to space out the biscuits for even heating.
What to serve with buttermilk biscuits
Try any of these recipes to serve alongside your next batch of biscuits.
Make a batch of these easy homemade biscuits today!
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 tablespoons butter, very cold
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Cut in butter using a pastry cutter, two knives, a cheese grater, or your fingers.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in buttermilk. Mix just until combined. Dough will be sticky and not fully cohesive.
- Dump dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to bring together. Pat into a rectangle and fold over so the short edges meet. Use a floured rolling pin to roll gently into a rectangle again and fold over again. Repeat.
- Pat the dough into a square or rectangle ½ to ¾ inches thick. Cut biscuits, making sure to not twist or slide the cutter. Reroll and recut scraps as needed.
- Place biscuits on baking sheet, leaving space between each. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until risen and golden brown.