Comfort can be spelled b-i-s-c-u-i-t-s, and this Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe will warm your heart and soul. Once you taste these light and fluffy biscuits you’ll never need another recipe.
I love biscuits, and when I’m in the South, I always want to stop and get them… they are everywhere… and although some are good, this recipe is GREAT!
One of my favorite places to visit in North Carolina is a little place called Biscuit King. And it became my mission to replicate their biscuits. I made so many batches trying to get this recipe as close to theirs as I could. And these are just like them!
These tender buttermilk biscuits were not only a hit with everyone in my family, but I offered them up to taste testers and the rave reviews came pouring in. Some thought I had added butter to them after they came out of the oven. I didn’t. This is simply the best buttermilk biscuit recipe!
I tested these biscuits several ways: plain served with toppings, and then as a sandwich with bacon, eggs, and gravy.
Some of my favorite ways to eat them is simply… with jelly,
or for a decadent and savory treat, piled high with bacon.
They also make great accompaniments to lunch or dinner.
And if you like biscuits and gravy, my Ground Turkey Country Gravy is delicious on top of these. And how about dessert? Scones are essentially lightly sweetened biscuits, so once you’ve made a biscuit, you can make a scone too! My favorite is Cream Scones, and it’s a great starter scone if you’ve never tasted them.
And oh if you can’t resist something sweet give this chocolate gravy a try, it’s fantastic.
One of the great things about this recipe is it’s made with self-rising flour, this ensures a perfect rise every time and makes them soft in texture, light and so buttery and delicious. With this addition, your biscuits won’t be heavy, dry, or firm in texture but light and fluffy instead.
And there are a few steps you can take to make sure they come out picture-perfect:
- Sift the flour twice. Measure your flour, then sift it two times to be sure it’s really light and fluffy, this will ensure your biscuit isn’t grainy and eliminates any little gritty rough pieces.
- Make sure your items are cold, like really cold. Don’t leave them on the counter before they are ready to be added.
A tip would be to get them all prepped and pre-measured, then put them on a tray and place the tray in the fridge. You don’t forget any item this way and they will all be cold and ready to go when you need them.
I have compiled a list of notes that are critical to producing the perfect biscuit. And some of my tips make throwing these together a lot easier too!
- It calls for heavy cream and buttermilk. This is a recipe where I don’t recommend substitutes. I tried many times using different kinds of milk, including the vinegar and milk trick, and the end result was a tangy biscuit. So, for this one – no substitutions!
- With the butter, it’s much easier if you freeze it beforehand and then grate it using a cheese grater when you’re ready for it. You want all the wet ingredients to be as cold as possible. Here is the cheese grater I recommend, or if you prefer to cut in your butter with a pastry cutter, that’s fine too. I prefer the thin-wired kind of pastry cutter like this one.
- Mix gently (really gently). The more you mix the dough, the more glutenous it becomes which can make your biscuits tough.
There’s no need to knead! Or roll out the dough for that matter. Your hands will work perfectly, just pat the dough gently down for cutting. This step is important to producing a light and fluffy texture.
Do not twist the biscuit/cookie cutter when cutting the dough. Just push straight down for each biscuit. If you twist it, the biscuits will not rise the same. The highest rise is when they are cut straight down into the dough and lifted straight out. You want the high rise as this is part of what makes your biscuit fluffy! As far as the size of the biscuit cutter, I use a 3 ½ inch round cutter, like this one. Once baked biscuits will be 4” round.
Lastly, I use thick bakery-style sheets, for even baking. I also like the addition of parchment paper sheets. This prevents the bottoms of the biscuits from becoming too dark with a heavy crust on the bottom. It also allows the biscuits to rise evenly and not have a thick heavy crust on the bottoms.
And now, let’s get to it!
To begin, preheat your oven to 450° and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
These next 3 steps will be put on a tray in your fridge to stay cold:
- Grate the 6 tablespoons of butter with a cheese grater, this will allow the butter to distribute evenly when blending.
- Measure 3/4 cup buttermilk and ½ cup heavy cream.
- Measure 2 tablespoons shorteningPut all the items on a tray and place them back in the fridge.
Next in a medium bowl add flour salt and sugar and then sift the dry ingredients twice. BY doing this, you’ll deliver a light and fluffy biscuit without giant specs.
Now, grab your tray from the fridge, and using a pastry cutter, add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture. Cut it in until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk and the cream in the center.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the center until the flour is all absorbed. I do not stir it fast, I gently fold in the flour, moving my fork around the bowl to combine the flour with the milk mixture. This takes a couple of minutes and will help the biscuits stay fluffy.
Now, flour your work surface and your hands, then turn the bowl over and place the mixture on top of the flour. Pat into a circle (or rectangle), then fold it over a couple of times, pat down gently each time, until it’s smooth and blended. I fold mine 3 times over itself, and this proves to be perfect. Remember, if you overwork the dough, your biscuits will be dense and heavy. And no kneading!
If the dough feels too sticky, you may add a little flour. Your dough should be 1” thick when you’re ready to cut your biscuits.
Use a 3 1/2 ” round cookie/biscuit cutter and cut out 8 biscuits (cut as many as you can then pick up the scraps of dough and gently press them together until all the dough is cut into biscuits.
Remember not to twist the biscuit/cookie cutter when cutting the dough. Just push straight down for each biscuit. Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheets and press the center with your finger gently. This is so the biscuits bake up straight and don’t fall over crooked as they rise. They’ll all look the same, nice and round when baked.
Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes. The bottoms and tops will be firm and golden in color, a toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the center.
While the biscuits are baking, melt your butter in a dish and grab a pastry brush. Once your biscuits are pulled from the oven, brush the tops with the butter. It will soak into the biscuits as they cool.
Allow biscuits to cool for a couple of minutes so you can handle them.
Serve warm with bacon, jam, or whatever your craving is!
What is meant by “cutting in”?
The term means to work the two ingredients with two knives or a pastry blender/cutter until well mixed. This creates a flaky texture in pie crusts, cookies, and biscuits. To do this, hold the handle and press the blades of the pastry blender into the shortening while rotating your wrist from side to side, not twisting. Repeat this until all of the butter is incorporated.
Can this dough be made ahead and stored in the fridge?
Ideally, it’s best made fresh and baked right away. However, you could store it overnight. I recommend cutting the biscuits out and placing them on their baking sheet and storing them this way in the fridge (covered). Storing the dough as a solid ball can result in a heavier biscuit.
If I don’t have a cheese grater, what’s the suggested way to cut the butter?
A cheese grater is a great tool to have for many cooking and baking reasons, however, you can simply cut your butter with a knife into smaller portions and then add them to your flour this way.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- 6 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted, if using salted butter slightly reduce salt called for in the recipe to a pinch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup buttermilk I use reduced-fat buttermilk which is 2% milkfat
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Additional flour for work surface
- Additional butter for topping after baked 1-2 tablespoons melted
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Grate the 6 tablespoons of butter with a cheese grater, this will allow the butter to distribute evenly when blending and you won't have large chunks of butter and areas with very little butter.
- Measure 3/4 cup buttermilk.
- Measure 1/2 cup heavy cream.
- Measure 2 tablespoons shortening
- Put all the items on a tray and place them back in the fridge, so they are really cold when you add them.
- In a medium bowl add flour salt and sugar.
- Then sift the dry ingredients, twice. Yes, you want them light and fluffy and this will deliver a smoother biscuit without any grainy specs.
- Use a pastry cutter and now add the butter and shortening to the flour mixture and cut it in until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Next, you'll add the buttermilk and the cream, I make a well in the flour mixture and pour those in the center.
- Then slowly add the flour mixture to the center until the flour is all absorbed. I do not stir it fast, I gently fold in the flour, moving my fork around the bowl to combine the flour with the milk mixture. This takes a couple of minutes and will help the biscuits stay fluffy.
- Flour your work surface and your hands, then turn the bowl over and place the mixture on top of the flour and pat into a circle (or rectangle), then fold it over a couple of times until it's smooth and blended. I fold mine 3 times over itself.
- This dough is light, you don't want to overwork it or the biscuits will be dense and heavy.
- You don't have to "knead" this dough, just fold it over itself and pat it into place a few times.
- Add a little flour if needed so the top isn't sticky.
- You'll want your dough to be 1" thick, just pat it into place.
- Use a 3 1/2 " round cookie/biscuit cutter and cut out 8 biscuits (cut as many as you can then pick up the scarps of dough and gently press them together until all the dough is cut into biscuits.
- Do not twist the biscuit/cookie butter when cutting the dough. Just push straight down for each biscuit. If you twist it, the biscuits will not rise the same. The highest rise is when they are cut straight down into the dough and lifted straight out.
- Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheets and press the center with your finger gently, so the biscuits bake up straight and don't fall over and go crocked. They'll all look the same, nice and round when baked.
- Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes, the bottoms will be firm and golden in color, a toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the center and the tops will be firm and lightly golden in color.
- While the biscuits are baking, melt your butter in a dish and grab a pastry brush and brush the butter over the tops of the biscuits, as soon as you take the tray out of the oven, the butter will soak into the biscuits as they cool.
- Allow biscuits to cool for a couple of minutes so you can handle them.
- Serve warm.