Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
There’s something really comforting about homemade biscuits. Eat them for breakfast topped with fresh jam, butter, honey, or our homemade sausage gravy. Enjoy them with egg and ham for a breakfast sandwich, or for dinner with soup.
This recipe is from Cooking Light, and it is my favorite biscuit recipe for two reasons:
1. It’s “light” and uses honey as its sweetener.
2. The dough is folded into layers, similar to the method of making a puff pastry, which creates an extremely flaky and soft biscuit.
How to make homemade biscuits:
To make homemade biscuits, first combine the dry ingredients (baking powder, flour, and salt) in a large bowl. Then grate the frozen butter into the flour and use a pastry blender or two forks to work the butter in. Put the mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Similar to pie crust, we want our ingredients to stay cold up until the biscuits go into the oven so that they have the flakey, tender texture we want.
Next, measure the buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup and stir in the honey. Add this mixture to the flour mixture from the fridge and stir together just until combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently mold into a ball.
Next, press the dough with your hands (or a rolling pin) into a rectangle that is about ½ inch thick. Fold the dough into thirds, like a brochure. Repeat that process on more time, pressing the dough down to ½ inch thick and then folding it into thirds.
This process helps create layers that will allow for a flakey biscuit texture.
Roll the dough just ¾ inch thick and use biscuits cutters to cut into desired sizes.
Place biscuits on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake them for 10-12 minutes at 400°.
Tips for making flaky biscuits:
- Use frozen butter
- Don’t over mix the dough
- Fold the biscuits into layers
- Push straight down with a sharp biscuit cutter
Can I freeze buttermilk biscuits or make them ahead of time?
To freeze buttermilk biscuits, first, make the biscuits dough and cut it into shapes. Place the uncooked biscuits on a cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. Gently lay plastic wrap on top and put the cookie sheet in the freezer. Once your biscuits are frozen, place them in a gallon ziplock bag and put them back in the freezer.
You can freeze buttermilk biscuits for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat them, place the frozen biscuits back onto a parchment lined baking sheet and allow them to come to room temperature. Then bake them at 400° for 10-12 minutes.
There are several buttermilk substitutions you can use for baking. My favorite buttermilk substitution is white vinegar or lemon juice mixed with milk. For each cup of buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measurer and then fill the rest with milk. Stir it and let it sit for a few minutes. You will notice the milk start to thicken and more closely resemble buttermilk.
You can also substitute 1 cup of plain yogurt for buttermilk.
Consider trying these breakfast favorites:
- Sausage Gravy Biscuits
- Classic French Toast
- German Pancakes
- Breakfast Quessadillas
- Buttermilk Pancakes
- Egg and Sausage Breakfast Taquitos
- Cheesy Egg, Avocado, and Ham Breakfast Sausages
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 Tablespoons butter , chilled and cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture and then use a pastry blender or 2 knives to incorporate it until mixture resembles coarse meal. Chill in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Stir honey into buttermilk until well blended.
- Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until moist. (The key to making really soft biscuits is not handling the dough too much!)
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a ball.
- Gently roll dough into a rectangle, ½ inch thick.
- Fold the dough into thirds (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope).
- Gently re-roll dough into a rectangle, ½ inch thick. Fold dough into thirds one more time. Gently roll to a 3/4-inch thickness.
- Cut dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter to form 10-12 biscuits. Place them 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks.
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*I originally shared this recipe April 2013. Updated December 2018.