Learn how to make basic buttermilk biscuits. Once you get the hang of it, you can create any kind of biscuits you want!
The perfect way to spend a snow day is in the kitchen, making biscuits, brewing some tea, and listening to Perfect on loop… It’s perfect!
Ed Sheeran, I love you! No, wait, I mean I love your songs, you gorgeous gnome!
Settle down, Sheerios! I meant that in the most loving way. I can’t help it if he reminds me of a gnome. The cutest gnome, to be sure, and the best singing-gnome in the universe! Okay, I’d better stop.
Moving on to tea… What’s your favorite kind? Mine is currently Earl Grey. Though I’m more of a latte person. But there are times when I want tea.
Like when I’m having biscuits. And all the time lately I want biscuits. Which means all this time I’ve been drinking tea. This will be remembered as the winter of drinking tea.
With milk and sugar, okay? Always with milk and sugar.
But we’re not here to talk tea, we’re here to talk biscuits and how to make them. I have to admit to being a little obsessed with biscuits. It’s a situation many would find understandable.
What’s not to like about biscuits. Flaky, fluffy, buttery bread. That’s the kind of biscuits I’m talking about. The American biscuits. Aka cousins to scones.
They can be difficult to perfect, but if you follow a few basic techniques you can be a master of biscuits. And soon you’ll be able to make them in your sleep! But please, don’t sleep while making these biscuits.
They don’t take very long at all.
You should be able to enjoy your biscuits in about 30-40 minutes, as long as you have everything in place.
It beats going to the store to buy them. You won’t have to get out of your pajamas or comb your hair or put on your lipstick.
Not to mention you won’t need to get in your cold car, shake all the way to the store trying to get warm, then run into an acquaintance and spend half an hour chitchatting out of politeness.
Then when you’re done shopping for your measly purchase, you somehow always manage to get in the slowest cashier line!
And your tea will be cold…
So, lesson learned, when it comes to biscuits, just make them yourself in your cozy kitchen, listening to Ed S.
You might even have extra time to make several kinds.
Clockwise from top left: Plain Biscuits made with a mix of cake and all-purpose flour, Cheddar Herb Drop Biscuits, Plain made with unbleached all-purpose flour, Cornmeal Pepper Jack Cheese Biscuits, and Strawberry Biscuits in the center
This moment has been long wished for and dreamed about, y’all. By me. The making of many kinds of biscuits. In one baking session.
So, because I had nothing else to do, and nowhere to go (snow day, y’all) I made my dream come true.
Besides, my daughter was there to help, bless her heart. She ain’t got nowhere to go, for once. Well, I declare! She spends every wakin’ moment goin’ out and hangin’ out with her “free-ends”, and not with her poor ol’ momma who pines for her company.
And apparently after baking all these biscuits, you’ll gain a Southern accent, y’all!
That’s because Southerners are known to be obsessed with biscuits, just like I am. They also seem to have the advantage when it comes to biscuit-making. Supposedly, biscuits made in the South are the best.
But I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to live in the South to be able to make good biscuits. Just follow these tips below.
How To Make Biscuits
- Southerners swear by White Lily flour. It’s a softer, low protein and less gluten wheat flour, and therefore helps in producing tender and tall biscuits. But, guess what? Any all-purpose flour makes great biscuits, too! You may get sturdier, less fluffy biscuits, but they are perfect for sandwiches and for eating with stews and soups.
- Alternatively, you can mix cake flour and all-purpose flour.
- Always sift your flour with the rest of the dry ingredients before making the dough. This will distribute the baking powder/soda throughout, so your biscuits will rise evenly.
- You can use butter, lard, or shortening. I’ve tried butter and shortening. Butter wins!
- Keep the butter as cold as possible, even frozen if you decide to grate it.
- Buttermilk only! Okay, if you must, you can use milk. But that’s it. No half & half or cream. Save them for scones.
- Start with 3/4 cup of buttermilk for every 2 cups of flour, but you can add more as needed. You’re looking for a soft dough that doesn’t crumble, but not sticky wet. For drop biscuits, you will need more than 1 cup.
Working The Dough
- Most recipes will tell you to not overwork the dough. This is true, but please don’t be afraid, you won’t break it! Just be gentle. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to mix the dough, instead of your hands, to keep it cold. Once it forms into a ball, fold the dough several times, if you’re making plain biscuits. This will create layers. Southern Living has a nice video demonstrating this.
- Obviously, if you’re making drop biscuits or biscuits with added chunky ingredients in it (i.e., the Strawberry Biscuits), you won’t be doing any folding. Just roll it into desired thickness, and cut.
Cutting The Dough
- Use only a biscuit/cookie cutter or a sharp knife, and don’t twist. Just push the cutter straight down and lift straight up.
- Don’t use a glass, the rim is not thin or sharp enough and will pinch the edges of your biscuits, “shutting” them and preventing them from rising.
- Always start with a high temperature, above 400°F. Since all ovens are not made equal, you’ll have to figure out what works best for you. Some recipes call for temperatures as high as 500°F. For me, 450°F for 12-15 minutes works like a charm for small 2-inch biscuits.
There you have it! Not so hard, is it? My daughter was able to get the hang of it after her third try. Then she went to town! Look at what she came up with.
She called it “Strawberry Strawberry Shortcake”. Two (double) Strawberries, because she added strawberries in the dough. Isn’t it cute?!
For her dad, we served this Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. I have to warn you, it’s not the prettiest thing, but oh, was it good!
We also made Guacamole BLT Biscuit Slider Appetizers with the little plain ones. The photo is somewhere above.
The only biscuit that didn’t work for us was the Cornmeal Pepper Jack Cheese Biscuit, hence no recipe. It came out a little too dense; it may have been the cornmeal. But the idea is a good one. The plan was to serve it with chili con carne. Chili, corn biscuit, pepper jack cheese… doesn’t it sound good?! It bears revisiting.
- 2 cups flour
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried chives
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup more buttermilk
- 1 cup cut-up fresh strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Keep all ingredients and utensils cold.
- Heat oven to 450°F.
- In a large bowl, mix and sift all dry ingredients.
- Cut in cold butter, either using a pastry blender or two knives, or grate frozen butter into flour mixture. Mix until it resemble coarse crumbs, and you can still see little chunks of butter.
- Add buttermilk; stir with a spatula or spoon just until the dough comes together, about 15 stirs.
- Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a rough rectangle or oval, 1-inch thick.
- Sprinkle lightly with flour and fold the dough in half, top to bottom. You can use a bench scraper to do this.
- Roll it again into a rectangle/oval, and fold it again, this time side to side.
- Do a few more folding, about 5 times total.
- Roll the dough into desired thickness. Thinner if you want to use them for sandwiches, but otherwise ¾-inch is my preferred thickness.
- Use a biscuit cutter or a knife to cut the dough. Re-roll scraps and continue cutting. Your re-rolled scraps won't give you as much rise as the first batch, but they will still taste good.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I like crisp edges so I spread them apart.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
- Add cheese, herbs, garlic powder prior to adding buttermilk.
- Make sure to add ½ cup more buttermilk, as indicated in the ingredient list, to the basic biscuit recipe.
- Drop about 2 tablespoons for each biscuit on parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake as the basic buttermilk biscuits. Brush top with melted butter before serving. Makes 20 drop biscuits.
- Add strawberries and sugar prior to adding buttermilk.
- Skip the folding step. Just roll dough and cut, sprinkling with flour more liberally, the strawberries make the dough stickier.
- Follow the same direction for cutting and baking as the basic biscuits.
- You can brush egg wash prior to baking, which will give the biscuits crisp brown crust on top.
- Or brush with buttermilk to give them a softer brown crust.
If you like this recipe, please give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the comments section below. Thanks!
Life Diet Health says
Wow Angie! You have been having fun! How lovely to spend a whole day baking! You had me at biscuits though – biscuits are cookies lol! 😛 Oh, and all these scones (oops, I mean biscuits)… who was doing all the eating! 😀 xxx
I did say American biscuits, haha… We were doing all the eating, who else? It wasn’t hard to go thru those things. Listening to Ed S, or having Netflix on helps! 😀
Jeanne | No Plate Like Home says
Love biscuits…I love carbs and I’m trying to do a Keto diet…it’s not going very well.
I wouldn’t have made it past day one! I love pasta, rice, bread, all the carbs too much! 🙂 Oh well, next week we’ll be eating salads to balance it out 🙂
Snow days??? What the hey? Well I’m with you for baking on snow days, of course you should bake!! 😀 I love, love, love biscuits, and was just wondering today, what I should do with the buttermilk in the fridge! This is my answer! I can’t wait to dig in, Angie! 🙂
Can we move on to sunny days now?! Like forever?! I need to go to the beach, touch the sand, taste the water… Or at least go to my backyard! This has been the longest winter ever, and it’s not even it. Didn’t spring already happen? Anyway, yes definitely bake some of these biscuits. They’re the best bread in the world! ?
Elaine @ foodbod says
Great post! Having been introduced to ‘biscuits’ by my US blog family, they now appear regularly in my kitchen – although they don’t remain for long as the boy LOVES them! Especially with added strong cheddar 🙂
Your tips are all great and very useful to keep in mind, thank you xx
Thanks, Elaine! Great to know your son loves the American biscuits. And they’re so easy and quick to make, aren’t they? The drop biscuits especially are the easiest ever! No rolling and folding etc. I need to make them more often! ?
Love your detailed post and of course I love biscuits – all kinds. It’s fun to experiment with different ingredients. You’ve made a lot of good points that I totally agree with. The cornmeal pepper jack version is worth playing with – probably the cornmeal had something to do with it. Thanks so much for the “mention” as sausage gravy is a heartier way to serve biscuits 🙂
This should be a good post for my daughter to refer to whenever she wants to make biscuits ? The cornmeal biscuits were pretty good eaten warm with butter, but they came out the flattest of all. We’ll just have to make them again! Biscuits and gravy is just the best isn’t it? It’s my brother’s favorite! Thanks for that recipe! ?
Your daughter’s strawberry version makes me anxious for MI strawberries and shortcake 🙂
She did come up with a good one, didn’t she? The strawberry biscuits by themselves were already great, perfect with tea! Of course over here they qualify as scones but our friends in UK may balk ?
Kate - gluten free alchemist says
I always find it amusing that your ‘biscuits’ are our ‘scones’ and our ‘biscuits’ are your ‘cookies’! Either way, These look very tempting! x
I know, right?! We haven’t even started talking about pasties. Ever go to Victoria’s Secret? They sell pasties there, too. They’re not food! 😀
Yum! I’ve made “biscuits” before but I don’t know that I’ve ever made legit biscuits with a proper technique. I will definitely have to refer to this next time I give them a try. Also, if you like Perfect, have you heard the version with Andrea Bocelli!? Swoon worthy!
Yes! I alternate between the original and the one with Andrea, with the one with Beyoncé every now and then 🙂 Biscuits are easy and quick once you get used to working with the dough. Definitely need to have them in your rotation, Alex! Thanks!
OMGosh I love homemade biscuits! My mom never made them only bisquick–so SAD!! But once I got my own kitchen it was all over.
That’s so sad, but yay! You made your own. It’s kinda like me. My mom didn’t let me have sweet stuff, but once I got old enough I rebelled! ?
Julie @ Back To My Southern Roots says
I could hang out on this page and stare at the biscuits for a long time. Oh, how I love biscuits. Thanks for the tips, too! Great information!
Thanks, Julie! That means a lot coming from a Southerner ? Thanks for hosting a fun party, too!
Antonia @ Zoale says
Nice looking biscuits Angie! I agree, they are the perfect blank slate!
Thanks, Antonia! Can’t go wrong when you start with biscuits 😀