Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits are homely. They are lumpy and craggy and lean to the side-y. They are also very possibly my favorite thing to make.
I know this recipe like the back of my hand. It takes me a record twenty minutes, from start to finish. Dry ingredients are mixed together, butter is cut in and buttermilk brings it all together. The dough is soft, delicate and barely holds itself together. In other words, destined for greatness.
The biscuits come out of the oven begging to be slathered in butter and jam. They stand tall thanks to baking powder and soda, which react with the acidity in the buttermilk, and they have a natural split in the middle, the classic sign of a well made biscuit.
They are flaky, fluffy and best served warm. I like them with homemade jam, poached eggs, or with avocado, a sunny side up and beef bacon in a fun take on a BLT.
The options are there. The biscuits are there. Life is good.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Yields: 6 large or 8 small biscuits

Why I love this recipe: buttermilk reacts with baking soda and powder to make these biscuits rise high and fluffy, and folding the biscuit dough like puff pastry makes these flaky and evenly disperses the butter. 

Variations: you can substitute some of the flour for whole wheat or spelt flour. Use an equal amount of honey in place of the sugar.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the butter cubes, and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Stick the bowl in your refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
  4.  Add the buttermilk (add the honey now to, if using) to the bowl with the butter/flour mixture and stir gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently about 3-4 times to bring it together.
  6. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds like a business letter.
  7. Once again, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick, and again fold it into thirds like a letter.
  8. Roll the dough out to 3/4-inch thickness Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut biscuits from the dough, with a straight up and straight down motion and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of space between them.
  9. Bake for about 11-12 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and are golden brown on top.
  10. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve warm with butter, jam or eggs.

dry ingredients

unbaked biscuit


Buttermilk Biscuits

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