Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk biscuits on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
189 Calories
17g Fat
7g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 44mg 15%
Sodium 702mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 2g
Calcium 146mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Buttermilk biscuits are flaky, soft, buttery, and perfect. They come hot out of the oven and are just begging to be slathered in butter! 

They are the best thing to make when having guests over. You can whip up the biscuits in no time and simply serve them with scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. People can make their own biscuit sandwiches or just eat them separately. You can also turn them into biscuits and gravy! Nothing beats hot, sausage gravy poured over these babies. It's to die for! 

When preparing the biscuits, it's important to make sure you incorporate the butter when it is very cold. This helps the biscuits stay flaky, with little pockets of butter. Make sure to not over mix the dough. It should be just combined so the butter and dough aren't over worked! 

The thicker you roll out the the biscuits, the taller and puffier they will be. I think they look prettiest when they are brushed with butter when they are hot out of the oven. The extra butter also tastes amazing. 

These biscuits freeze really well, too. Just pop them out of the freezer and into the oven or toaster oven when you are ready to serve them. They will heat back up in about 10 minutes time. 

Make sure to have fresh jam and butter, too! 

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter (cold)
  • 4 cups self-rising flour (or 4 cups regular flour with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon baking powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or regular milk with 2 teaspoons of vinegar mixed in)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather your ingredients.

     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    buttermilk biscuits ingredients
  2. Take the butter out of the refrigerator or freezer, the colder it is the better this recipe will work! Use a box grater to grate the butter. You can do a combination of fine and thick shreds.

    shredded cold butter
  3. Combine all dry ingredients and butter in a bowl. Just gently toss to cover the butter shreds with the dry mixture to coat the butter shreds.

    butter and self-rising flour tossed together in a bowl
  4. Slowly add in buttermilk to the bowl of butter and flour, mixing with a wooden spoon or spatula until it becomes a soft dough.

    buttermilk biscuit dough mixed together in the bowl
  5. Turn out dough onto a clean flour surface.

    Roll out into a thick sheet, about 1/2 inch thick.

    biscuit dough rolled out into a sheet
  6. Fold the dough in half.

    biscuit dough folded in half
  7. Fold the dough in half again. Then roll out to 1/2 inch thick again. Repeat at least one more time. Finish with a rectangular sheet that is rolled out to 1 inch thick.

    biscuit dough rolled out
  8. Cut straight down (no twisting, it will prevent them from rising properly) using a biscuit cutter.

    cut biscuits on a marble board
  9. Place the biscuits onto an un-greased baking sheet. Don't put them too far apart on the sheet or they will fall when baking. Don't put them too close together either or they will not bake all the way through.

    biscuits on a baking sheet
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Top with melted butter if you wish!

    baked buttermilk biscuits

What does buttermilk do in biscuits?

The high acidity component of buttermilk helps create a reaction with the alkaline qualities of baking soda or baking powder (although baking soda will cause more oof a reaction). This helps the biscuits rise so they are super fluffy.

What is the best flour for biscuits?

Self-rising flour works best because it is typically made with a softer wheat. This helps keep the biscuits super tender, fluffy, and flaky.

You can substitute all-purpose flour with baking soda and baking powder. The biscuits will be slightly stiffer and tougher when using all-purpose.

Why are my biscuits flat?

Your biscuits may be flat for a variety of reasons.

  • If you over-mix the dough and the butter begins melting before it is baking in the oven then there will be very little rise. The melting of the butter, reacting with the leavening is what creates the rise as it bakes.
  • You may have rolled out the sheet of dough too thin. If you want nice, thick and fluffy biscuits the sheet of dough needs to be thick.
  • It's also helpful to fold the dough as detailed above. This helps create the lofty, flaky layers.

What is the best fat for biscuits?

  • Butter definitely has the best flavor and if your butter is super cold you can have light and flaky biscuits.
  • Shortening also works and helps to create the light and flaky layers since it does not have water or milk solids. But it doesn't taste great, so your biscuits will be laking in flavor.
  • You can do a combination of both butter and shortening if you want the best of both worlds However, we still love 100% butter!
  • You can completely substitute the butter and buttermilk with cream if you wish. This provides enough fat and liquid and still provides great flavor. The texture will be a bit more like a scone and less like a biscuit.