This homemade buttermilk biscuits recipe yields fluffy clouds of buttery, flaky dough baked to golden perfection. Slather them with jam, jelly, sausage gravy, or more butter because these biscuits work for breakfast or dinner.
This content contains affiliate links which helps WhisperofYum.com to provide free recipes. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for support of the blog, Whisper of Yum!
The best buttermilk biscuits are the ones made with love, right in your kitchen. If you’re the type to reach for the box of Bisquick (we’ve all been there), I encourage you to give this recipe a shot! With a little effort and the right technique, you can make the softest, flakiest, tastiest biscuits that could even put the Pillsbury dough boy to shame!
Why This Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe Works
- Easy – Making buttermilk biscuits from scratch is a very simple process that requires just a few staple ingredients. With only 20 minutes of hands-on preparation, the other 50 minutes is time spent in the fridge or the oven.
- Versatile – There’s no bad time to have a biscuit. Use them as a base for a breakfast sandwich, enjoy them as a snack, or have them as a side with a hearty dinner.
- Better Than Storebought – If you have an hour to spare, you can make biscuits better than any boxed or canned variety. Plus, you get bragging rights!
What is Buttermilk?
Traditionally, buttermilk is the byproduct of the butter-churning process. It’s what remains after butter has been churned from cream.
Commercially prepared buttermilk (like the one used in this recipe) is made by adding lactic acid bacteria cultures to milk. The result is a tangy milk that helps baked goods rise when combined with leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda.
Buttermilk is used to make everything from pancakes to biscuits.
Tools You’ll Need
Ingredients You Will Need for Buttermilk Biscuits
These classic buttermilk biscuits are made with simple ingredients but each one has a key purpose, contributing to either flavor, texture, or both.
- All-purpose flour – This ingredient forms the structure of the biscuits. Level the flour in order to ensure you’re not using too much. You’ll need extra for a lightly floured surface.
- Baking powder – This helps the bread rise. Ensure it is fresh so it works properly.
- Kosher salt – I use the Diamond Crystal brand.
- European-style butter – This variety has a deeper yellow color than regular butter with a richer flavor and softer texture. Use very cold, cubed butter. You can use salted butter or unsalted butter, whichever you prefer.
- Sugar – Although traditional Southern-style buttermilk biscuits are not typically sweet, adding a small amount of sugar helps balance the flavors. The sweetness provides a subtle contrast to the saltiness of the biscuit, creating a more well-rounded flavor profile.
- Buttermilk – This adds a slightly tangy, acidic flavor to the biscuits. The acidity also interacts with the baking powder, resulting in a more tender crumb. Additionally, it adds moisture so the biscuits aren’t too dry and crumbly.
- Melted butter – for brushing
- Flaky salt – optional
How To Make Buttermilk Biscuits
Before making these biscuits ensure you have enough time to allow the dough to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add very cold cubed butter and pinch with your fingers until pea-sized bits are throughout the flour mixture.
2. Add buttermilk and stir with a spatula until the ingredients form a dough. The mixture will look a bit dry and shaggy, but that’s okay. Do not over-mix the dough.
3. Flour a clean work surface and roll out the dough. Roll out and form into a rectangle that is 1-inch thick.
4. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into thirds, then stack them onto one another. Use a rolling pin to even out the dough into a 1-inch rectangle again and repeat for a total of three times. This is how you will get the beautiful flaky layers
5. Use the biscuit cutter (cookie cutter or pastry cutter will work too) to cut out a total of 8 biscuits (after 6, you will need to reform the dough to make an additional 2 biscuits) then transfer to a baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will ensure a uniform rise. While biscuits are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F.
6. Brush the tops with melted butter and place in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Top with flaky salt, if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t overwork the biscuit dough. When working with your hands it’s so tempting to do the most but less is more here. If you overwork the dough, your biscuits will be flat, dense, and dry.
- Use very cold fats. For the best biscuits, you need cold butter and cold buttermilk. That low temperature creates steam and little pockets of air as the biscuits bake, resulting in super flaky layers.
- Don’t skip the chilling process. Chilling the dough is a simple step that can make a significant difference in the quality of your biscuits. It’s a good way to ensure that the dough rises evenly. It also reduces spreading, which would affect the height of the homemade biscuits, as well as the layers.
- Ensure the baking sheet is buttered or use parchment paper in order to ensure the biscuits don’t stick to the pan.
- Make Your Own Buttermilk – To make your own in a pinch, combine 1 cup of room temperature milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when it begins to separate.
- Buttermilk Biscuits with Self-Rising Flour – If you use this kind of flour, skip the baking powder and double-check to see if it includes salt so you don’t overdo it in this recipe.
Once they have cooled completely, store leftover buttermilk biscuits in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can also freeze the biscuits for even longer storage. Wrap each individual biscuit tightly with aluminum foil, then place them in a large ziploc bag in the freezer.
To reheat from frozen, warm them up for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven set to 350°F. Otherwise, you can eat them straight from the fridge, allow them to come to room temperature, or microwave them for about 30 seconds.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between buttermilk biscuits and regular biscuits?
The obvious difference between the two is that one is made with buttermilk and the other with regular milk. Buttermilk biscuits have a tangy flavor, tender texture, and delicate layers. Regular biscuits have a milder flavor and may not rise as much.
Why aren’t my buttermilk biscuits fluffy?
There are several factors that may impact the fluffiness of your buttermilk biscuits. The dough may have been overmixed, the baking powder may have expired, or the butter and milk may have been too warm when combined.
How does buttermilk affect biscuits?
The acidity in buttermilk adds moisture and also reacts with the leavening agent to achieve a tender, flaky buttermilk biscuit.
Looking for More Bread Recipes
Loving this Easy Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe?
There’s a reason this flaky buttermilk biscuits recipe is loved by all! Leave a comment below and share your love for this great recipe on Instagram and Pinterest. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Thank you for supporting Whisper of Yum and happy eating!
- Bench Scrapper
- ½-baking sheet,
- Rollling Pin
- Mixing bowl
- Pastry brush
- Biscuit Cutter
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, Diamond Crystal
- 1 cup European-style butter, very cold and cubed
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- melted butter, for brushing
- flaky salt, optional
- In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add very cold cubed butter and pinch with your fingers until pea-sized bits are throughout the flour mixture.
- Add buttermilk and stir with a spatula until ingredients form a dough. The mixture will looks a bit dry and shaggy, that's okay. Do not over-mix the dough.
- Flour a clean work surface and roll out the dough. Roll out and form into a rectangle that is 1-inch thick.
- Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into thirds, then stack them onto one another. Use a rolling pin to even out the dough into a 1-inch rectangle again and repeat for a total of three times. This is how you will get the beautiful flaky layers
- Use the biscuit cutter to cut out a total of 8 biscuits (after 6, you will need to reform the dough to make an additional 2 biscuits) then transfer to a baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will ensure a uniform rise. While biscuits are chilling, preheat oven to 425°F.
- Brush the tops with melted butter and place in the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. TOp with flaky salt, if desired.