This How To Make Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits guide will show you all the tips and tricks to get those buttery layers. Tall and fluffy biscuits filled with lots of layers that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
I have been making homemade biscuits since I was a very young girl. I have used many different recipes only to come back to the one in the Betty Crocker Cookbook that I have only altered slightly.
It gives me consistent results and flavor. I have tried some recipes that produce almost tasteless biscuits!
While I do understand the need for store-bought refrigerated biscuits because let’s face sometimes we just don’t have the time and need to take a few shortcuts.
But if you do have a little extra time I urge you to make your own biscuits! Plus, you can freeze the dough or baked biscuits and have them on hand.
A few other great homemade bread recipes you should try: Buttermilk Cornbread, Easy Banana Bread, and Beer Bread.
Ingredients in Buttermilk Biscuits
- Butter- I use unsalted butter in everything because I like to control the salt. But if all you have is salted then just omit the salt. Your butter must be cold. I like to put mine in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Honestly, when I come home from the grocery store I just put a box in the freezer so I always have some ready to go.
- Buttermilk- I think buttermilk is very important as well. It provides some flavor to an otherwise bland biscuit. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can make some by pouring 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup then filling with milk to the 1 cup line. Let stand 5-10 minutes before using.
- Flour– I always use regular all purpose flour and have yet to try White Lily flour as I have read it makes the best biscuits but I don’t think you need a special flour. I have even made these biscuits using 1/2 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 all purpose. I used a little more buttermilk when doing this.
Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
Now let’s talk about the process a little.
As I mentioned above COLD butter is a must!! When baked at a high temperature those little pockets of the butter in the biscuits will melt and release steam and this creates pockets, aka layers! It also keeps the biscuits tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
I like to use a cheese grater to grate my frozen butter then I just stir it into the flour mixture. It’s a great way to get nice sized pieces of butter all throughout the dough.
If you don’t have a grater don’t place the butter in the freezer, trust me it will be much too hard to cut through.
Cut the cold butter into small pieces with a knife then using a pastry blender or two knives “cut” the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles crumbs the size of peas. **Pictured above is what the butter and flour should look like**
Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
Pour in the cold buttermilk and now comes the next very important part…….don’t overwork the dough. This can take some practice so don’t give up if your first few batches of biscuits don’t turn out as you had hoped. Just keep trying and you will get it, promise!!
I stir in the buttermilk just until things start to come together (pictured above in the bowl). Then I dump this onto a work surface and gently knead about 5-10 times, 10 being the max.
Then roll into a rectangle and fold into thirds (pictured above). Roll into a rectangle again and fold into thirds. Roll into a rectangle or square that is about 1/2″ thick and cut into biscuits.
You can do this with a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife to make square biscuits. Just don’t twist the cutter or saw with the knife.
This will seal the edges of the biscuit and they WILL NOT rise as tall or keep its shape as well. Also, don’t use a glass to cut the biscuits it will seal the edges as well.
When it comes to the topic of re-rolling this can be a heated topic. Some say not to re-roll at all, but I just can’t do that. I can’t stand to waste so I re-roll until I have used all the dough.
Just do so with a light touch and know that every time you re-roll the biscuits will get a little tougher. I honestly don’t find a huge difference between the first ones I rolled from the second round.
On the final round, I just sort of roll up the remaining dough into one larger biscuit. *See video*
Now, let’s talk a little about the equipment. As mentioned either use a biscuit cutter or a knife to cut the biscuits. It needs to be somewhat sharp to make a clean cut so it won’t seal the edges.
A bench scraper is a must in my opinion. It helps clean up the work surface and scrape the dough from utensils if needed.
After I am done rolling all the biscuits I will use the bench scraper to scrape up everything that is stuck to my work surface which is so much easier than trying to clean it with a wet dishcloth. 😉
A baking pan or cast iron skillet are great choices for making biscuits. If you space the biscuits apart the sides will be crispier and if you put them together so the sides are touching they will be soft and it also helps them rise taller while baking.
How to store/freeze homemade biscuits
Store baked biscuits in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Or freeze them for up to 3 months.
To freeze biscuit dough: prepare biscuits and cut with biscuit cutter as directed. Place raw biscuits on parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid (about 2-4 hours).
Transfer to a ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. To use: Place frozen biscuits on parchment lined baking sheet or greased cast iron skillet and bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
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