The Tricks for Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

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Make my homemade cheddar biscuits next.

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s time we try something new! We’ve never explored the biscuit world on my blog before, so let’s do it BIG. Big as in mega flaky, mega fluffy, mega layers, mega golden brown, mega buttery, and mega nerdy as we dive deep into this comfort food carb sensation.

As spring brunches and dinners are on the horizon, knowing how to craft the perfect sidekick to your meal is essential. And it’s quite serendipitous that this “side dish” may taste even more remarkable than the main event. No, no. It WILL taste more remarkable. Just look at these buttery layers! Nothing can compete.

Biscuits are quite similar to any other pastry we’ve discussed before. Scones, pie crust, tart dough, etc. And the good news is that biscuits are worlds easier than each of them. There aren’t too many steps for making biscuits from scratch– and after one taste you’ll question why you ever bought “biscuits” in a can before. Trust me– store-bought does NOT compare to this flavor and texture!

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I want you to feel informed and encouraged so I took plenty of step shots of my method and I’m going to teach you all the tricks for making flaky buttermilk biscuits at home. I tried this recipe from All Recipes last year and decided to make a few changes to both the recipe and technique over the past few months. Here’s what I did.

BISCUITS, STEP BY STEP + TIPS

You only need 6 ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, cold butter, cold buttermilk, + honey. With so few ingredients, you truly taste each and every one, so it’s imperative to reach for quality ingredients and avoid any substitutions.

STEP 1:

You can use either a pastry cutter or food processor for this step. Combine all the dry ingredients, then add the cold butter and pulse/cut until crumbs form. I have no preference over either, but I will say that the food processor is much quicker.

TIP 1:

For flaky layers and pockets, use cold fat. Cold is an absolute must. We know this from pie crust and scones.  When little crumbs of butter melt as the biscuits bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air – this makes the biscuits a little airy and flaky on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 2:

Add the liquid ingredients. Real buttermilk and teeny drizzle of honey to balance out the salt. Buttermilk creates the most tender biscuit! Basically all you’ll do is make a well into the center of the dry ingredients, then fold it all together. The dough will look shredded and shard-y. I’ve been waiting all day to type “shard-y.”

TIP 2:

Don’t overwork the dough in this step. In fact, don’t overwork the dough at all. Overworking and over-handling the biscuit dough will result in tough, hard, and flat biscuits. Mix the ingredients together *just* until combined.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 3:

Fold and flatten! The most important step of all is folding the dough together. This is the part where you can really get into your food and have fun. (The best foods are the ones you play with in the process, right?) Turn the scrappy, shard-y looking dough out onto a work surface and mold it together with your hands. Form into a rectangle.

Remember, always be gentle with it!

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Fold one side into the center.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Other side.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Turn the folded dough horizontal, press it down flat (gently!), and begin that folding process 2 more times.

TIP 3:

Why are we folding the dough?? You’ll be rewarded with the most flaky biscuits ever, that’s why! Folding and flattening creates layers. It will take you no more than 2 minutes to do that entire process, promise.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 4:

Roll out with a rolling pin and cut into circles. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. And WHOA will that dough rise rise rise in the oven when they bake.

TIP 4:

When cutting the dough with a biscuit cutter, do not twist the cutter. Press the cutter down into the dough firmly. Again, do not twist it. Twisting it will seal off the biscuit edges, preventing the biscuits from rising. Been there, done that. OOOPS.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 5:

Brush the tops with a little buttermilk, which helps achieve a slightly crispier top crust. Then, BAKE!

TIP 5:

I like to bake biscuits in a cast iron skillet. Biscuits rise up nice and tall when they are touching, pressed snuggly against one another in the oven. What’s more snug than squeezing into a round skillet? Bonus: the cast iron skillet helps produce a super crisp bottom.

How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP 6:

All about that honey butter! This is totally optional, but will set your biscuits apart from any you’ve had before. When the biscuits come out of the oven, give them a brush of melted butter + honey. Both ingredients you already used in the biscuit dough, keeping the count at 6 ingredients total.

TIP 6:

No tip here except… this honey butter addition is legit.

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And so is lots of jam!!! And homemade honey butter!

I hope you learned a few things today and are confident baking biscuits from scratch now! Let me know if you give them a try this spring. Happy weekend!

Mega Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled1
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder (yes, Tablespoons!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed2
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) cold buttermilk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • optional for spreading: 2 Tablespoons melted butter + 1 Tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Place the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl or in a large food processor. Whisk or pulse until combined. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. See photo above for a visual. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour 1 cup of buttermilk (240ml) on top, then the honey. Stir everything together until just about combined-- do not overwork the dough. The dough will look like shreds and be very crumbly. See photo above for a visual.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently mold it into a rough looking rectangle using your hands. Use the photos above as a guide. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough so it's long horizontally. Gently flatten. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough so it's long horizontally once more. Gently flatten. Repeat the folding one more time.
  4. Gently roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch circles. Re-roll any scraps until you have 9-12 biscuits. Arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet or close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (Make sure they're touching.)
  5. Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.
  6. Remove from the oven and, if desired, brush with melted butter and honey mixture. Enjoy warm. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make-ahead tip: Baked biscuits freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm to your liking before enjoying. You can also freeze the biscuit dough. Prepare the dough through step 3. Wrap up tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4. Also, after step 3, you may wrap up the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before continuing with step 4.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Starting with cold flour is a handy tip! If you can remember, place the flour in the freezer 30 minutes before beginning.
  2. While you're placing the flour in the freezer (note above), place the cubed butter in there too! Partially frozen butter is the BEST for biscuits.

Adapted from All Recipes

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Food Processor | Glass Mixing BowlsPastry Blender | Wooden Rolling PinRound Biscuit Cutters | Pastry Brush | Cast Iron Skillet

My sea salt & herb rolls are also made in a skillet!

Sea salt & herb skillet rolls are the fluffiest, softest, most flavorful homemade rolls to have with dinner tonight! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

You only need 6 ingredients and about 30 minutes to whip up these ultra buttery golden brown mega flaky buttermilk biscuits! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
How to make buttery flaky buttermilk biscuits on sallysbakingaddiction.com

185 Comments

All Comments

  1. Tried your recipe. Delicious, but they did not rise up as much as I would have liked.
    Baked them in an iron skillet, biscuits just touching. Any suggestions for higher biscuits?

  2. These taste amazing! Nice rich buttermilk flavor, flakey, and light. I made these through step 3 last night and finished this morning. I made a double batch for Father’s Day brunch. First batch I got a little crazy and rolled them to thin. Second batch followed the 1/2 inch direction and got quite a bit more rise, enough to split them. I baked these on a parchment lined baking sheet and had no issues. This is going to be my go to recipe for biscuits. If you want a thicker biscuit then don’t roll them as thin.

      1. Thanks for the quick response! The biscuits turned out perfect! Tomorrow for the 4th of July, I will be making your apple slab pie again…it was a big hit at Thanksgiving last year! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. These are my go-to biscuit recipe, and thank you for the recipe, as well as your tips! Would I be able to double this recipe and have them turn out every bit as fabulous as your single recipe? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sandy! I’m so glad you enjoy these biscuits, thank you! For best results, I reocmmend just making a couple batches instead of working with more dough at once. Working with more dough, you could overmix it and the biscuits would taste dense and flat.

  4. I have baked great biscuits before – everyone has liked them – but THESE!!! Now I can bake AH-MAZ-ING biscuits and we fight over how many each person gets!!! Thank you for the folding trick – I use it for pie crusts and never thought to use for this application! What a difference the little things can make! Side note – I used 55 grams of coconut oil and the remainder with butter and froze the chunks before adding to the processor – worked out perfectly!!

  5. I was out of buttermilk – used half cream and half beer. Used half beef tallow and half butter – both very cold. Results amazing – husband is grabbing his third biscuit at this very moment. 🙂

  6. Amazing biscuits! The folding technique is what made a huge difference, my biscuits are finally flaky. Going to pass on one of my tips for a super easy way to cut in the butter. If you are using a food processor anyways, use the large grating disc (large grate) and grate frozen butter into the flour. The butter must be frozen to do this! If it warms up too much just pop back into the fridge/freezer.

  7. I’ve tried so many biscuit recipes – none compare! You can always trust Sally’s Baking Addiction! Thank you Sally – you are my go-to.

    1. Real buttermilk is ideal for the best taste and texture, but you can get away with a DIY sour milk. To make it, add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir the two together and let sit for 5 minutes then use in the biscuit recipe.

  8. I have baked this biscuit recipe three times now, and they haved turned out perfectly each time. After being married to a southern guy for 40 years, I finally can say I know how to make biscuits. Thanks for your detailed instructions…and many wonderful recipes. You are my go to site for excellent baking!

  9. These look amazing! Do you think could sub lard in instead of butter? Or maybe a mixture of both? Im not sure if they’d come out the same. Thank you! 🙂

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Reviews

  1. These taste amazing! Nice rich buttermilk flavor, flakey, and light. I made these through step 3 last night and finished this morning. I made a double batch for Father’s Day brunch. First batch I got a little crazy and rolled them to thin. Second batch followed the 1/2 inch direction and got quite a bit more rise, enough to split them. I baked these on a parchment lined baking sheet and had no issues. This is going to be my go to recipe for biscuits. If you want a thicker biscuit then don’t roll them as thin.

Questions

  1. Tried your recipe. Delicious, but they did not rise up as much as I would have liked.
    Baked them in an iron skillet, biscuits just touching. Any suggestions for higher biscuits?

  2. These are my go-to biscuit recipe, and thank you for the recipe, as well as your tips! Would I be able to double this recipe and have them turn out every bit as fabulous as your single recipe? Thank you!

    1. Hi Sandy! I’m so glad you enjoy these biscuits, thank you! For best results, I reocmmend just making a couple batches instead of working with more dough at once. Working with more dough, you could overmix it and the biscuits would taste dense and flat.

    1. Real buttermilk is ideal for the best taste and texture, but you can get away with a DIY sour milk. To make it, add 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. Stir the two together and let sit for 5 minutes then use in the biscuit recipe.

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