My Recipe Box

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

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Yields 6 or 7 biscuits

  • by David Guas from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

These biscuits come together in no time and are delicious with any meal of the day. Serve them for breakfast with country ham and gravy, use them to make a sandwich for lunch, or pair them with crispy fried chicken at dinner. This recipe is easily doubled.

Watch the video for a step-by-step demonstration on how to make these light, fluffy biscuits. 

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) chilled all-purpose flour, preferably White Lily; more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder (preferably aluminum free, such as Rumford)
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 2 Tbs., melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk; more for brushing

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Chill a food processor blade and bowl as well as a large mixing bowl. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

Pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt in the food processor until combined. Add the cold butter and process with ten 1-second pulses; the butter should be the size of small peas. Transfer the mixture to the chilled mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk, moving your hand, with fingers apart, in circles to incorporate it into the dry ingredients. The dough is mixed when it just barely comes together.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Pat and roll it into a 1-inch-thick square. Using a floured 2-1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as you can, dipping the cutter in flour between cuts to prevent sticking and making sure to lift the cutter straight up, without twisting. Arrange the biscuits on the parchment-lined sheet so they touch. 

Gently gather the remaining dough scraps and press them into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Cut out as many biscuits as you can and arrange them on the sheet, snug against the others. You should have 6 or 7 biscuits. 

Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk and bake until golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Serve warm. 

Make Ahead Tips

The flour and butter mixture can be stored in a zip-top bag and frozen for up to 1 month. To make biscuits, add the buttermilk and proceed with the recipe.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 260; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 10; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Carbohydrates (g): 26; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 440; Cholesterol (mg): 50; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

There was a fair amount of effort in making these and I will do so again but will make a few changes the next time. One will be that I keep the dough fairly thick when I roll it out as I wound up with about 9 instead of 6 or 7 and they didn't rise as high as the pictures. The second is that I'll put the cut biscuits in the refrigerator before going into the oven due to mine fusing together as they must have been too warm.

The flavor of these biscuits was delicious, but they were pretty fussy for early in the morning. That said, I learned a lot and will probably attempt them again, if only for the lovely flavor and fluffiness.

Too much baking powder for the amount of flour-even using Rumford-I could taste the baking powder. Baking at a lower temp than usual for longer than usual didn't provide a good rise. There are better recipes than this one.

These are definitely very good biscuits, but I prefer the herbed biscuits from Fine Cooking more. For the amount of 'care' these needed, they didn't turn out as stellar as the others did. You can read my full review at: http://bit.ly/M8LkH7

I wasn't so impressed honestly. Very good but not amazing.

These biscuits are out of this world. I also make the herbed biscuit recipe. I make a double batch of each and store the flour mixture in freezer bags in the freezer. All I have to do is add the buttermilk and I can have these delectable biscuits on the table any time. My dinner guests actually expect them now, so I never want to disappoint them. They also ask me to bring some when I'm invited for dinner. I put them in the oven, when I get there and they come out of the oven all hot & fluffy & delicious smelling,.... Heavenly!!!

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