All you need is 3 ingredients to make my homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe. These Southern biscuits are perfectly light and fluffy every time.
Once I started making my biscuits this way I’ve never turned back. 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 buttermilk biscuit recipe is the one for you.
The best buttermilk biscuit recipe
I promise it’s also relatively quick and easy compared to some recipes. First, gather those 3 ingredients: butter, self-rising flour, and buttermilk. You’ll need cold butter and melted butter, and additional flour for dusting too. Then we cut together the cold butter and flour, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then stir in the buttermilk. Yep, that’s all it takes to make the dough.
Then follow my step-by-step instructions (there’s also a handy-dandy video in the recipe card) to learn how to knead the buttermilk biscuit dough. It won’t take long! Finish by cutting the biscuits and baking them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Brush them with the melted butter as soon as they’re out of the oven and you’re done!
I’ve included lots of serving suggestions below because Southern biscuits are the perfect side dish to accompany so many main dishes. But you haven’t lived until you’ve tried a homemade biscuit straight out of the oven spread with butter and homemade jam. Yum yum! And once you serve these with Southern Fried Chicken Recipe, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans, Southern-Style Fried Okra Recipe, and Easy Creamed Corn you will have the perfect Southern meal.
Alright, who’s ready to learn all the secrets to the best buttermilk biscuit recipe ever?
- Buttermilk (or milk and lemon juice)
- Butter (both cold butter and melted butter for brushing the tops)
- Self-rising flour (and extra flour for dusting)
Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make The Best Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
Put your flour in a bowl (with the salt and baking powder stirred into it if you don’t have self-rising flour).
Toss in the cold butter.
Now you need a pastry cutter or just a fork with long tines.
Begin by simply cutting the butter into the flour.
When it looks like this and you can’t find any lumps of butter, you’re good to go.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
If this is your first time making biscuits with this method, I recommend 15 minutes. The colder it is, the easier the next step is going to be.
Pour buttermilk into the flour mixture.
Now give that a stir with a fork until just moistened.
This is gonna be much looser than your typical biscuit dough, but it should look something like this.
Prepare the Dough
Now it’s time for a lil’ kneading.
First, 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 countertop.
Be generous with the flour, you’re going to need it.
Dump out your dough onto the floured surface and sprinkle more flour on top of it.
Then brush some extra flour on your hands.
To knead your biscuit dough, you’re going to place the dough ball on the floured surface and press down on it with the heel of your hand. Fold it over into a ball again and repeat with the heel of your hand. Voila, you’ve just kneaded your dough twice and that’s all it needs.
Now lightly square it off with your hands.
It should be about 9×5 inches and 3/4 of an inch right now.
Next, take one side of the dough and fold it over to the middle.
Like you are folding a piece of paper into a letter.
Do the same with the other side until it looks like this.
Now pat the dough out with your hands until it’s back to its original 3/4-inch size and gently shape it into a rectangle again.
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.
Here’s what the buttermilk biscuit dough looks like when it’s ready to be cut.
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 ways to do it is to use a swanky swig! A tin can is also acceptable as is a drinking glass.
Cut out your biscuits by pushing straight down with your glass (don’t twist it).
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.
Place these on a well-greased baking sheet lined with waxed paper and make sure the sides touch.
This helps them rise evenly and higher.
Bake at 450 for 13 to 15 minutes.
Until they look like this.
While still hot, brush your homemade biscuits with melted butter.
Alrighty then. Now you’re done!
Keep scrolling for serving suggestions. But as a treat, I highly recommend a buttermilk biscuit fresh from the oven spread with butter and…
A dollop of jam. Enjoy!
- Store leftover biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can serve them as is or reheat them quickly in the air fryer.
- You can also freeze leftovers in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
- To make your own self-rising flour, simply add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of salt for EACH cup of all-purpose flour. Sift ingredients well to make sure it is uniform.
- To make homemade buttermilk: add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to milk and let it sit for a minute or two.
- You can use either salted butter or unsalted butter or margarine.
- You can also brush the biscuits with a combination of melted butter and a tablespoon of honey for a little sweetness.
- Want to add a mix-in to your buttermilk biscuit recipe? When you add the buttermilk, you can also mix in up to a cup of shredded cheddar cheese and freshly chopped chives, cooked and crumbled bacon bits, fresh herbs, or freshly grated parmesan cheese.
What does buttermilk do to biscuits?
Buttermilk is used in biscuits for its acid and fat content. Its acidity works with the leavening agent to help the dough rise and produce only the fluffiest biscuits. It also gives the biscuits a slight tang.
What is the difference between buttermilk biscuits and regular biscuits?
It’s all in the name! Regular Southern biscuits are made with either water or milk, while buttermilk biscuits are made with buttermilk.
How do you make Paula Deen’s buttermilk biscuits?
Paula Deen’s buttermilk biscuit recipe is basically the same as mine. She uses self-rising flour, cold unsalted butter, kosher salt, buttermilk, and melted butter on top. The only difference is that she adds 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar to the flour mixture for a little touch of sweetness. You can do this as well if you like (or add 2 teaspoons of honey).
What is the best flour for buttermilk biscuits?
Soft wheat flour is my go-to for buttermilk biscuits.
Why is baking soda used in buttermilk biscuits?
Buttermilk biscuits need a leavening agent to work with the buttermilk to rise, which is why we use baking soda (built into the self-rising flour).
Why are my buttermilk biscuits tough?
Biscuits are typically tough if you overwork the dough. Follow my step-by-step instructions and you’ll be all good!
Do you butter biscuits before or after baking?
You can butter biscuits before or after baking (or both), but I like to do it immediately afterward.
Can you make buttermilk biscuits ahead of time?
You can make the baked or unbaked biscuits ahead of time. Baked biscuits will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Unbaked biscuits can be frozen in a single layer in a freezer-safe bag for up to 1 month. You can bake them straight from the freezer, just add a few minutes to the cooking time.
How do you serve buttermilk biscuits?
There are so many ways to serve this homemade buttermilk biscuit recipe:
- Biscuits and gravy, like bacon gravy or sausage gravy.
- With scrambled eggs or a fried egg for breakfast.
- With a main dish like your favorite soup, stew, or chili.
- For breakfast or a snack with homemade preserves and butter. Here are some recipes: strawberry jam, peach freezer jam, apple butter, and spiced peach butter.
- With fried chicken.
Check out these other biscuit recipes:
- 1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
- 2.25 cups self-rising flour
- 1.25 cups buttermilk
- 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing baked biscuits
- flour for dusting
- Cut the cold butter into 1/4-inch-thick slices.1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
- Put the butter slices on top of the flour in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a long-tined fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Cover and chill for 10 to 15 minutes.1/2 cup cold butter or margarine, 2.25 cups self-rising flour
- Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.1.25 cups buttermilk
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 3 or 4 times, gradually dusting with additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9x5). Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour.flour for dusting
- Fold the dough over into itself (like you are folding a piece of paper into a letter) in three sections. Repeat this process 2 more times, beginning with pressing it into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9x5).
- Press or pat dough to a 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2-inch round biscuit cutter or glass and place the biscuits 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 degrees for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and immediately brush them with melted butter.2 tbsp melted butter for brushing baked biscuits
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~Submitted by Southern Plate Reader, Janice.