(Originally published July 1, 2008) I told my mother I was going to do a web tutorial about my buttermilk biscuit recipe, a staple in the south. She said “Oh, you HAVE to do that new recipe!”. Now, admittedly, these are awfully good. So good, the fact, that my mother has abandoned the long taught family method in lieu of this one shows just how good this recipe is.
Light and Tender Buttermilk Biscuits
The finished product is lighter and more tender than our usual biscuit and it is worth the effort. If you have had problems in the past with your biscuits turning out to be more like hockey pucks than our beloved southern staple, this recipe is the one for you.
The ingredients needed for this Buttermilk Biscuit recipe are:
- Lemon juice added (because I rarely have buttermilk in the house so this is a homemade concoction)
- Self rising flour
That’s it! (The actual recipe is at the bottom of this page)
For those of you who have no idea what self rising flour is this is how you make it:
*To make your own self rising flour, simply add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt for EACH cup of all purpose flour.
Sift ingredients well to make sure it is uniform.
How to Make The Best Buttermilk Biscuits Step By Step
Put your flour in a bowl (With the salt and baking powder stirred into it if you don’t have self rising) and toss in the butter. Now you need a pastry cutter or just fork with long tines , which is what I use.
Begin by simply cutting the butter into the flour.
Sit down and turn on the tv, this will take a few minutes (make sure your butter is cold).
When it looks like this and you can’t find any lumps of butter, you’re good to go :). Stick this bowl in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes. If this is your first time making biscuits with this method, I recommend fifteen. The colder it is, the easier the next step is going to be.
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to your milk before you go get your bowl out of the fridge.
Stir it around and let it sit a minute or two.
Pour milk into flour mixture and stir until just moistened.
This is gonna be much looser than your typical biscuit dough, but it should look something like this.
Flour a surface.
I like to roll out waxed paper or do this on a large baking sheet so I don’t have such a hassle with the counter top.
Most folks just use the counter top though.
Be generous with the flour, you’re going to need it.
Preparing the Dough
Dump out your dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle more flour on top of it.
Brush some flour on your hands and then wipe down your rolling pin really well. This is a family heirloom. My great grandmother bought it with green stamps for my mother when she was twelve. Once you have flour on your dough and on your hands, knead the dough with your hands two or three times. Don’t over knead your dough!
How do you knead your biscuit dough?
If you’ve never done this before. Just place your dough ball on a flat surface and then press down on it with the heel of your hand. Then fold it over into a bit of a ball again and repeat with the heel of your hand once more. You’ve just kneaded your dough twice. Stop there because we really don’t want to over knead and that is the most common mistake I’ve encountered in people’s biscuits turning out flat.
The second most common mistake I’ve encountered when biscuits turn out flat is someone who has accidentally followed the recipe for self rising flour biscuits using all purpose flour.
Roll it out until it is about 3/4 of an inch. Then lightly square it off with your hands. It should be about 9×5 inches at this point. You are going to have to stop after rolling it the first time and wipe down your rolling pin with flour again, as well as sprinkle some more on the dough to keep it from sticking.
Here is where these little suckers take on a bit of arrogance in my book. Normally, you would just roll it out and cut them, but in this recipe we want tender little pillowy biscuits, so we’re going to put a little more effort in them. Take one side of your dough and roll it over to the middle. Repeat with the next side until you have something like this.
The Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe Makes Dough That’s Wetter Than Other Biscuit Recipes
Now pat or roll that out with your hands back to the original 3/4 inch and gently shape it back into a rectangle.
Repeat this process of folding over and patting out two more times. Don’t be afraid to dust your surface and your dough with a little more flour if need be. Oh, and you didn’t really have to use the rolling pin, you could have just patted it out all along with your hands, but I wanted to show you my heirloom rolling pin!
How To Cut The Biscuits:
Now we’re ready to cut our biscuits. Most folks would use a biscuit cutter for this, but diehard southerners know one of the best way to do it is to use a swanky swig! Tin can is also acceptable as is a drinking glass. I used a smaller mouthed swanky swig because I prefer a bit smaller biscuits. I have small people in my house. 🙂
What is a swanky swig?
Typically, it is a jelly jar which was decorated by the company to add charm and flair, thereby making it “swanky”.
Cut out your biscuits by pushing straight down with your glass, don’t twist it. I didn’t really waste all of this dough but I was trying to make it look a little more uniform for the picture. Normally, we cut them suckers one right on top of the other, then wad up the leftovers, pat it out, and cut again.
A lot of readers have said that they cut their biscuits with pizza cutters and just do a grid pattern. This ends up with square biscuits but no wasted dough! I do this every now and then myself.
Place these on a well greased baking sheet and make sure the sides touch, This helps them rise evenly and higher.
Bake at 450 for thirteen to fifteen minutes.
Until they look like this.
While still hot, brush with melted butter.
Alrighty then. Now you’re done!
- 1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
- 2 1/4 c self rising soft wheat flour *
- 1 1/4 c buttermilk or whole milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice added
- flour for dusting
- melted butter for brushing baked biscuits
- Cut butter with a into 1/4-inch-thick slices.Put butter slices on top of flour in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour with a long tined fork until crumbly. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over into itself, like you are folding a piece of paper into a letter, in three sections. Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).
- Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Try to make sure they touch because this will help them rise higher.
- Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.
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