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The Best Buttermilk Biscuits

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits are light, fluffy, with beautiful flaky layers and buttery flavor and I’ve got all the secrets to get you there! Serve them with butter and jam, or in a sandwich with breakfast sausage and you’ve got a breakfast fit for a King, or Queen 🙂 And, it’s not as hard as you think!

Also try our other favorite breakfast recipes –  White Chocolate Raspberry Scones, Cheese Blintz,  or these delicious Buttermilk Pancakes.

Buttermilk biscuits on a plate, on top of books with greens in the background.

What makes the Best Biscuits?

The best biscuits are flaky, slightly crispy on the outside, while light, slightly moist, tender on the inside with a beautiful buttery flavor. And, if the outside of the biscuit is brushed with honey butter, then you really got lucky to experience what the best biscuit is supposed to taste like, well, at least in my opinion.

Buttermilk Biscuits are an iconic American quick bread (a.k.a bread leavened with anything, but yeast) that is typically served for breakfast. They’re similar to scones but more tender and not so crumbly.

Biscuits on a plate with one biscuit bitten into, exposing the flaky layers.

Ways to serve a biscuit

My favorite way to serve these delightful biscuits is with a side of jam and butter. Splitting the biscuit horizontally in half, slathering it with butter, and then topping it with jam (or honey) is one of the best ways to start a day.

If you feel like enjoying it with something savory, you can pair the biscuits with breakfast sausage (as a sandwich or with gravy.

Pro tips to Creating the Best Biscuits

  • Cold ingredients: keeping the butter 🧈 and the other ingredients cold will ensure that your biscuits bake up flaky and light. As the butter chunks melt when baking they emit steam, this creates the layers of the best biscuits out there.
  • Handle the dough as little as possible to prevent the butter chunks from melting. We want to see the butter chunks in the dough, as they will create the air pockets needed for the flakiness.
  • Folding the dough after you incorporate the flour and butter is important as it helps to create the flaky layers as well.
  • Properly cutting the biscuits by firmly pressing down and not twisting. The twisting of the cutter is what will prevent the layers on the outer edges from separating and forming as the biscuit bakes.

The best biscuits with flaky layers exposed piled on a plate, with a cast iron pan in the background.

How to make the Buttermilk Biscuits at home:

  1. Butter the inside of an 8-inch round baking pan or an 8-inch round cast iron pan; or line the bottom with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients.
  3. Grate the frozen butter right into the flour mixture coating the grated butter in flour as you go. Alternatively, you can cut the butter into small pieces, then add to the flour, and using a knife keep cutting it with the flour until you get pea-sized pieces of butter.
  4. Drizzle the cold buttermilk into the butter and flour mixture and using a wooden spoon or a fork toss and press the ingredients together until you get a shaggy dough.

    Buttermilk biscuits being made, with step by step pictures.

  5. Shape the dough:

    Turn out the dough onto the clean working surface, bonus points if it’s marble or stone to help keep the dough cold). The dough will look dry or crumbly. Press down with a rolling pin until about 1 inch thick. Using a bench scraper or a wide knife fold the sides of the dough over the middle, envelop style. Sandwich any loose crumbs between the folds. Repeat the folds 2 more times, totaling 3 times. The folds will create the flaky layers of the biscuit that you’ll be able to peel once they’re baked.

    At first, the dough will be shaggy and have a hard time staying together. As you fold it will become more malleable and stick together into a dough.

    Pro Tip: Do your best to handle the dough with your hands as little as possible. Keeping the butter in the dough cold is the secret to flaky layers. As the butter bakes, it will emit steam, which will create the flaky layers of the biscuit.

    Step by step process of the biscuit dough being folded, envelope style.

    Working on a cold granite counter helps to keep the butter in the dough from warming up. Make use of your granite counters if you have them.

  6. Cut the biscuits:

    Lightly dust the surface with flour and shape the dough into a 7″x5″ rectangle. Use a 2.5″ biscuit cutter to cut out 6 biscuits, dipping the cutter into flour after each one. Do not twist the cutter as you press down, as this will prevent the layers from forming. Carefully transfer the biscuits into the prepared baking pan.

    The process of cutting the biscuits out with a biscuit cutter.

  7. Use the scraps:

    Then, carefully move the scraps together and pat down into one solid piece trying not to work the dough too much. Fold the dough in half, pat it down once more and cut out 2 more biscuits. Bring the scraps together once more and shape into a ball. This will be the odd biscuit. Brush the tops with buttermilk.

    Step by step pictures of cutting out the biscuits from the scraps.

  8. Freeze the biscuits for about 10 minutes, this will yield a better (a.k.a. flaky) texture.
    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes at 425F or until lightly golden.
  10. While the biscuits are baking mix the honey and butter and use this mixture to brush the tops of the biscuits as soon as they’re out of the oven. Enjoy!The biscuits being brushed with honey butter using a pastry brush.

Check out other breakfast favorites:

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits

5 from 2 votes

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits are light, fluffy, with beautiful flaky layers and buttery flavor. I've got all the secrets to get you there!

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: biscuits
Calories: 268 kcal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 biscuits

Ingredients

The Best Biscuit Dough

Honey Butter glaze

Instructions

How to make the Best Biscuits

  1. Combine dry: In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients (1 3/4 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 2 tbsp sugar).

    Grate Butter: Then using a large-holed box grater grate 1/2 cup of frozen or very cold butter. Keep tossing the butter shavings as you're grating it to coat them in flour. Drop the stick of butter into flour to get a better grip as you're grating it.

    Add the wet: Now drizzle in 3/4 cup of buttermilk into the dry mixture and keep tossing it and pressing with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.

  2. Envelop folds: Now turn out the dough onto a working surface. If you have marble/stone counters this will help the dough to stay cold as you're working with it.

    With a rolling pin press the shaggy dough together into a flat, 1-inch thick rectangle (it might not look like a dough yet and fall apart, that is OK). Then, using a bench scraper or a wide chopping knife help to fold the sides of the dough over the middle to make envelope folds. Sandwich any loose crumbs of the dough between the folds.

    Flatten and fold, envelope style, 2 more times (3 total).

  3. Cut the biscuits: Lightly dust the surface with flour and form the dough into a 7"x5" rectangle. Using a 2.5" round cookie cutter cut out the biscuits firmly pressing the cookie cutter down without twisting. Dip the cookie cutter into flour after each cut. Brush the tops with buttermilk and freeze for 10 minutes before baking.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven with the rack in the middle to 425F°.

  4. Bake the biscuits for about 20-25 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden in color.

Honey Butter Glaze

  1. Make the honey butter by mixing 1 tbsp of honey and 1 tbsp of melted butter. Use this mixture to brush the tops of biscuits as soon as they're out of the oven.

    Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then serve.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: 
Start by adding 1 3/4 cups, and add more if the dough is too wet. Do not add too much flour though, or the biscuits will be tough and heavy instead of light and fluffy.

Nutrition Facts
The Best Buttermilk Biscuits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 268 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 173mg8%
Potassium 217mg6%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 436IU9%
Calcium 99mg10%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Nykki

    I failed at my first 3 tries of baking biscuits, using other recipes. Well, they weren’t bad but they weren’t great like grandma biscuits. I believe this recipe will be great, can’t wait to try this one!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    · Reply
  • Love this recipe – easiest way to make really great biscuits.

    · Reply
  • Marina S

    Really looking forward to trying this: this will be my first time baking biscuits. I’ve been on a bread-baking kick lately and cannot wait to get home from vacation to bake already!

    · Reply
    • Oh, I think you’re going to love these! After all the testing (and eating) these, I’m obsessed! I hope you let me know how it goes 😀

      · Reply
  • Carol

    This is a bit different from other biscuit recipes that I generally use. I often make biscuits but never have frozen them before baking which would keep them nice and firm and result in a high rise. I cannot wait to try it!

    · Reply
    • Yes, I found that freezing them for a bit helps a lot with aesthetics and texture of this recipe. I hope you love it!

      · Reply

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