I love that Buttermilk Biscuits are served with so many dishes! Why yes, this is a side dish my friends. Think of all the things you can eat a biscuit with: sweet and spicy chili, a salad, and homemade sausage gravy (FYI my gravy recipe is sooooo good).

I could eat one of these soft, golden brown, and mega flaky biscuits any time, any day, anywhere.

Two flaky buttermilk biscuits stacked on top of one another.

Ingredients in Buttermilk biscuits

We use 7 basic ingredients, 2 of which must be cold. 

  • All-purpose flour.
  • Unsalted butter, COLD.
  • Sugar – feel free to substitute honey if you wish.
  • Baking powder.
  • Salt.
  • Baking soda.
  • Buttermilk, cold.

How to make Buttermilk Biscuits

  1. Measure and cube the butter. Place in the freezer to keep cold while you measure out the dry ingredients. Cold butter is necessary when making pie crusts, scones, and biscuits. More on this below.
  2. Use a food processor to combine the dry ingredients. I realize not everyone has a food processor. If you don’t have one, don’t fret. Whisk the dry ingredients together, and then use a pastry blender when you need to cut the butter in. Cubed butter a top dry ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Add the cold butter to the food processor. (Or use a pastry blender to cut it into the dry ingredients). Pulse until butter resembles the size of peas or looks like coarse meal. A food processor full of buttermilk biscuit dough.
  4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add buttermilk. Mix until just combined. Don’t overwork the dough as this will result in a tough and flat biscuit.
  5. Pat the dough, or gently roll out the dough, into a rough 6″x9″ inch rectangle. The dough should be at least 1/2″ inch thick. Fold one third of the dough over top, towards the center, and then fold the other side over, like a business letter. Turn the folded dough horizontal, and continue the folding process two more times. This step is important in achieving the classic and highly sought after flaky buttermilk biscuits. Folded Buttermilk Biscuits dough.
  6. Cut out the biscuits. Using a biscuit cutter, or 3 inch sized round cookie cutter, firmly press the biscuit cutter into the dough and then pull up. DO NOT twist the biscuit cutter during this process. More on why we do this in the “tips” section. Toddler hands pressing a biscuit cutter into biscuit dough.
  7. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet touching each other.
  8. Bake at 450°F for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. 

A flaky buttermilk biscuit with a bite taken out of it.

Tips for making the best homemade biscuits

  1. Use cold fat. Butter contains both fat and water. At normal baking temperatures, water creates steam. By laminating cold butter between layers of dough, you create pockets to contain the steam formed during heating. When little crumbles of butter melt in the biscuits as they cook, they release steam and thus create small pockets of air in the biscuit. The end results in a better rise and an ultra flaky biscuit.
  2. Don’t twist the biscuit cutter. Press biscuit cutter down, but DON’T twist. Twisting the biscuit cutting in the dough will cause the biscuit edges to seal off, preventing a high rise on the biscuits.
  3. Don’t over mix the biscuit dough. Overworking the biscuit dough will result in dense, flat, and tough biscuits. Rather, mix the biscuit dough ingredients until just combined.
  4. Bake biscuits next to one another. Biscuits bake well when snuggled up next to one another. Having the biscuits touching each other on the baking sheet; this helps them bake up nice and tall. Sky-high biscuits is what we’re after.
  5. Check your leavening agents. Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. Both of these ingredients are important to getting a good rise in the biscuits.

FAQ

Can you make biscuits without salt? Yes, but be prepared for them to taste different. Salt adds flavor in cooking and baking, so when you remove it, you’ll lose flavor.

Can I replace the butter with margarine? Personally, I never ever bake or cook with margarine. It’s not good for you. I suggest waiting until you have butter on hand.


If you make a recipe from Salt & Baker please come back and leave a review! I love hearing the delicious foods you’re making in your homes ♥️

Two flaky buttermilk biscuits stacked on top of one another.
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5 from 1 vote

Buttermilk Biscuits

Soft and tender buttermilk biscuits are perfect as a side or with sausage gravy!
prep time 15 mins
cook time 15 mins
total time 30 mins
servings: 8 biscuits
calories: 189kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, cold
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cube the butter and place it in the freezer while you prep the other ingredients/begin.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F. In a food processor add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pulse for 5 seconds. Add the butter. MAKE SURE THE BUTTER IS COLD. (See notes).
  • Once you’ve added the butter, pulse until the butter becomes the size of peas. If you don't have a food processor you can use a pastry blender, and that works just as well. 
  • Transfer the butter and flour mixture to a large bowl. Add the cold buttermilk. Stir to combine, but don't overmix.
  • Flour a clean surface. Pat the dough, or gently roll out the dough, into a rough 6"x9" inch rectangle. The dough should be at least 1/2" inch thick. Fold one third of the dough over top, towards the center, and then fold the other side over, like a business letter. Turn the folded dough horizontal, and continue the folding process two more times. This step is important in achieving the classic and highly sought after flaky buttermilk biscuits. 
  • Now it's time to cut out the biscuits. The biscuit dough should be at least 1/2" or thicker before cutting the biscuits. Using a biscuit cutter (mine was about 3 inches in diameter), firmly press the biscuit cutter into the dough, but don't twist the biscuit cutter. Doing so will seal off the dough edges and preven the biscuits from rising as much.
  • Place the biscuits next to each other (edges gently touching) on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 450 for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  • Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with melted butter.

RECIPE NOTES

If you don't have a food processor that's ok. You can use a pastry blender to cut in the butter. Works just as well!
Nutrition Facts
Buttermilk Biscuits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 285mg12%
Potassium 172mg5%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 315IU6%
Calcium 79mg8%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: bread, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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This post was first published December 17, 2017 but has been updated on February 6, 2020 with new photos and tips and tricks to achieving flaky buttermilk biscuits.