These homemade buttermilk biscuits are soft and buttery with hundreds of flaky layers! This biscuit recipe only requires 6 simple ingredients and they’re ready in about 35 minutes.
Biscuits. 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 side dish sensation. 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.
What are Biscuits?
The term “biscuits” has different meanings depending where you live in the world. In the US, biscuits are similar to a dinner roll, but are denser and flakier because they aren’t (typically) made with yeast. Since there’s (usually) no yeast involved and the rising agent is either baking soda, baking powder, or both– biscuits are considered a quick bread, like banana bread. In other parts of the world, “biscuits” are cookies or even scones.
Ingredients in Buttermilk Biscuits
You only need 6 basic ingredients for my homemade biscuits recipe:
- All-purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Cold Butter
- Cold Buttermilk
With so few ingredients, it’s important to reach for quality ingredients and avoid any substitutions. Notice the emphasis on cold? See tip #1 below.
Tips for the Best Homemade Biscuits
Let me share what I’ve learned in the world of homemade buttermilk biscuit recipes. I’ve made plenty of mistakes so you don’t have to. These tried-and-true tricks will turn your flat, dry biscuits into the best biscuits ever. And that’s a guarantee.
- Cold Fat: For flaky layers and pockets, use cold butter. When little pieces of butter melt as the biscuits bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air– this makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside.
- Buttermilk & Honey for Flavor: Real buttermilk and teeny drizzle of honey balance out the salt. Buttermilk creates the most tender biscuit!
- Don’t Over Mix: Never overwork biscuit dough. Overworking and over-handling biscuit dough will result in tough, hard, and flat biscuits. Mix the ingredients together *just* until combined. Dough will be crumbly; that’s normal.
- Fold & Flatten Method: The most important step of all is folding the dough together. Turn the scrappy looking dough out onto a work surface and mold it together with your hands. Form into a rectangle. More below.
- Don’t Twist the Biscuit Cutter: When cutting the dough with a biscuit cutter, do not twist the cutter. Press the cutter down into the dough firmly. Twisting it will seal off the biscuit edges, preventing the biscuits from rising.
- Bake Close Together: Biscuits rise up nice and tall when they are touching, pressed snuggly against one another in the oven.
How to Fold Biscuit Dough
Folding and flattening biscuit dough creates multiple flaky layers, as if we were making homemade croissants. This step will take you no more than 2 minutes and you’ll be rewarded with the flakiest biscuits in the world. First, shape dough into a rectangle:
Then fold one side into the center:
Then the other side:
Turn the folded dough horizontal, gently flatten, and begin that folding process 2 more times.
The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick and will rise tall when they bake.
Honey Butter Topping
The honey butter topping is optional, but it will set your biscuits apart from the rest. 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.
Serve your homemade biscuits with jam or biscuits and gravy— I love this particular recipe!
Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
These homemade buttermilk biscuits are soft and buttery with hundreds of flaky layers! This biscuit recipe only requires 6 simple ingredients and they're ready in about 35 minutes.
- 2 and 1/2 cups (312g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled*
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder (yes, Tablespoons!)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, very cold and cubed*
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) cold buttermilk, divided
- 2 teaspoons honey
- optional for spreading: 2 Tablespoons melted butter + 1 Tablespoon honey
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top.
- 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.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Food Processor | Glass Mixing Bowls | Pastry Blender | Wooden Rolling Pin | Round Biscuit Cutters | Pastry Brush | Cast Iron Skillet
- Starting with cold flour helps guarantee taller biscuits. If you can remember, place the flour in the freezer 30 minutes before beginning. You won't regret it!
- 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.
- Use either a pastry cutter or food processor for combining the ingredients. Both are great, but the food processor is quicker.
Adapted from All Recipes
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Bonus: How to Get Crispy Biscuit Edges!
Want a crisp edge on your buttermilk biscuits? I have you covered with these 2 steps:
- Brush the tops with a little buttermilk, which helps achieve a slightly crispier top crust.
- Bake biscuits in a cast iron skillet, which promises a crispy biscuit bottom.