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Buttermilk Biscuit Dough

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 1 lb. dough

This versatile dough comes together in minutes and can be used to make not only biscuits but many other tasty treats, too, depending on how you roll and cut it—see Buttermilk Biscuits, Heirloom Tomato and Cheese Pie, Sesame-Poppy-Pecan Crackers, Cinnamon-Raisin-Walnut Pinwheels, and Maple-Peach Dumplings. Buttermilk has a tendency to separate a bit in the carton, so be sure to shake it well before measuring.


  • 8 oz. (1-3/4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more as needed
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup cold, well-shaken buttermilk


  • In a large, wide bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size lumps.
  • Using a silicone spatula, stir in the buttermilk just until the flour mixture is moistened. Do not overmix; the dough should just come together, and it will be sticky.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and gently knead 6 to 8 times, dusting lightly with flour if needed to keep it from sticking.

Make Ahead Tips

The flour and butter mixture can be refrigerated in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.


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Reviews (13 reviews)

  • RexSophie | 12/07/2020

    So easy to make! I just made sufganiyot with this recipe and they were delicious.

  • chefwannabe | 04/30/2020

    Love this easy recipe! It's a very forgiving dough. I've made it about 4 times now. I've made it with buttermilk and when I couldn't get that I've substituted plain yogurt. I've doubled the recipe then froze half adding the liquid just before baking. Every time I've made it it's turned out beautifully. The key is just pat the dough and don't overwork it.

  • dancing_dog | 12/26/2019

    I have made the tomato galette with this dough (also issue #124) several times and it's always a hit. The dough rolls out much more easily if you roll it between 2 pieces of lightly oiled parchment paper instead of on a floured work surface.

  • JMillican | 09/25/2017

    Love this recipe! It is the base for my pizza pie, gaining its inspiration from the Heirloom Tomato and Cheese Pie. I mix a little Italian seasoning blend and garlic powder into the dough mixture, roll it out, and in the center heap a mound of turkey Italian sausage, pepperoni slices, and various other pizza-like toppings along with stirred-in pizza sauce. Then I top it with Queso Oaxaca, Mexican mozzarella cheese, slices before enrobing it with the folds of the dough. Bake, cut, and enjoy. It's a family fave!

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