Perfect Homemade Biscuits aren’t hard to master, thanks to this easy recipe with all the best tips and tricks. Make any meal a special occasion with fresh, buttery, fluffy biscuits!
Light, Buttery Homemade Biscuits
Oh, biscuits. How I love you. There’s nothing quite like a fresh, warm, made-from-scratch biscuit with your meal, whether you use it to sop up Homemade Sausage Gravy or save it for “dessert” with some honey, syrup or Chia Cherry Jam. Buttery, flaky, soft, and light, a good biscuit is a real treat! But unlike their fussier cousins (looking at you, yeast rolls and croissants), biscuits are surprisingly easy to make, once you know how.
This recipe will show you exactly how to make real, homestyle biscuits from scratch, using basic pantry staples and a few easy techniques. The result? Mouthwateringly tender, buttery biscuits that everyone will rave over!
By the way, if you’re looking for a recipe for authentic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits with shortening and butter, I’ve got you covered! You may also want to check out this easy 7-Up Biscuits – so fun.
The ingredients for biscuits are super-simple – all you need are butter, flour, and a few other basic items. Here’s the full list (note: for the recipe card with amounts and nutrition info, scroll on down to the bottom of the post):
- Flour: For this recipe, I recommend using plain all-purpose flour. You can read more about the right kind of flour for biscuits in the section below.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: For a good rise, it’s important to use fresh baking powder and soda, and the right amount of each. I always recommend checking the dates on your rising agents to make sure they are fresh and effective!
- Butter: Make sure the butter is good and cold, right out of the fridge, for the best biscuits. Cut it into cubes.
- Buttermilk: Don’t have buttermilk? No problem! Measure 2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons of vinegar into a measuring cup, and pour in enough milk to make 1 ¼ cups total… Let this sit for a few minutes, and you’ve got a great homemade buttermilk substitute.
What Kind of Flour Do You Use to Make Biscuits?
Plain all-purpose flour works well in this recipe, and it’s easy to find almost everywhere. However, you can substitute pastry flour instead, for an even softer biscuit dough. Lots of recipes specifically call for White Lily flour, which is sold as all-purpose but is technically a pastry flour. It’s your call! I do not recommend using whole wheat flour, spelt, einkorn, or other specialty flours unless you are an experienced baker and can tweak the ratios for them.
What Does Buttermilk Do in Biscuits?
Buttermilk is a special ingredient in biscuits for two reasons. First, it helps the biscuits to rise by reacting with the baking soda to make things bubbly and light. Second, buttermilk adds a subtle, tangy flavor and some richness to the biscuit dough. (It’s also an excuse to buy buttermilk, which is tasty on its own with cornbread and other snacks.)
How Do You Make Homemade Biscuits?
Now for the fun part! I love making biscuits at home, because rolling and cutting the dough is so easy and satisfying. It’s a great project to have kids help with, too! Pro tip: when kneading the dough, flour your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them.
- Prep Your Oven and Baking Sheet. To begin, make sure your oven is preheating to 350°F. That way, when the biscuits are cut you can slide them right into the hot oven. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray it with baking spray as well. Set this aside while you work on the dough.
- Combine the Dry Ingredients, and Cut in the Butter. Measure your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. You can also sift these, if they seem lumpy – that happens sometimes. Give everything a whisk to combine, and then drop in the cubes of butter. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until you have about the consistency of breadcrumbs. A few pea-sized bits of butter scattered throughout the mixture is fine.
- Add the Buttermilk. Once the butter is cut into the dry mixture, pour the buttermilk in and give it a stir. You are looking for a wet, sticky dough that is not fully combined at this point.
- Knead and Cut the Dough. Turn out your dough onto a clean, floured surface, and knead it just until it starts to come together. Then roll it (or press it with your hands) into a thick disc, about ¾ of an inch thick. Cut out 12 biscuits with a biscuit cutter. If you run out of dough, press the scraps together gently, roll again, and cut more biscuits.
- Bake! Carefully place the biscuits onto your baking sheet, and bake them for 25 minutes or so, until they are risen and a pale golden-brown.
- Enjoy. Serve your homemade biscuits warm from the oven, with your favorite main course (or with butter, honey, jam, a glass of milk… anything!).
What Is the Secret to Light, Fluffy Biscuits?
If you’ve ever made a pan of disappointingly heavy, flat, or hard biscuits, you know how frustrating that can be! But no worries – I’ve got all the tips and hacks for great biscuits, with plenty of fluffy layers.
- Keep Cold Things Cold: One of my top tips for the best biscuits? Keep that butter cold. Unlike other recipes where you really need to soften the butter, biscuits bake up better when you use hard, cold pieces of butter. This is because biscuits get some of their rise and flaky layers from the butter melting and creating steam during the baking process.
- Handle with Care: It’s essential to use a light touch when you work with biscuit dough. In fact, while you do have to “knead” it a bit, it’s helpful to remember that this is nothing like kneading bread dough. You want the dough to come together into something roll-able, it’s true, but don’t go beyond that, or you risk overdeveloping the gluten and making chewy biscuits.
- Use a Pastry Cutter: While some cooks make great biscuits breaking up the butter by hand, a pastry cutter is a great tool for this job. It cuts the butter into satisfyingly small pieces, without melting it.
- Use a Biscuit Cutter: Another great tool to have on hand is a real biscuit cutter, or a metal cookie cutter with tall sides. You could also use a glass, but cutting biscuits with a blunt or rounded edge tends to smush the dough. Smushed dough won’t rise as well as sharply cut dough with all those layers and chunks of butter intact.
Like good dinner rolls or garlic bread, biscuits go with just about any main course you can imagine. For some people, homemade biscuits are a must-have at every dinner! These are a few tasty recipes that we like with biscuits:
- Crockpot Chicken: Crockpot recipes tend to be heavy on scrumptious pan juices, making them perfect for serving with biscuits. Try this Crockpot Mississippi Chicken for a weeknight dinner the family will crave.
- Ham: Ham and biscuits are a classic combo – and Air Fryer Ham is probably the easiest ham you’ll ever make! For bonus points, make some Beer Bacon Collard Greens on the side, and you’ve got a down-home Southern meal that’s as simple as it is delicious.
- Anything with Gravy: Whether it’s a pot roast, a pan of sausage gravy, some pork chops with onion sauce, or this simple Instant Pot Turkey and Gravy, serve it with biscuits! Your mouth will thank you.
Storing and Re-Warming Homemade Biscuits
Biscuits may be stored in an airtight container or baggie for up to 3 days. It’s best to wait until they’re cooled down before storing them, so they don’t steam up and get gummy inside.
Can I Freeze These?
Sure can! Freeze these biscuits baked, and warm them up later – or freeze them unbaked, and get that right-out-of-the-oven taste anytime. Here’s how:
- Freezing Baked Biscuits: Let the biscuits cool to room temperature first. Then, wrap each biscuit in plastic wrap or foil. Place the wrapped biscuits in a freezer bag, mark with the date, and store for about 3 months. Thaw before reheating.
- Freezing Unbaked Biscuits: Make and cut out the biscuits according to the recipe. Line them up on a baking sheet, but don’t bake them – just pop the baking sheet in your freezer until the biscuits are frozen solid. Then place the frozen biscuits in a freezer containers or a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Bake directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes of baking time as needed.
Easy Homemade Biscuits
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup chilled, cubed butter
- 1 ¼ cups cold buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Add the cubed butter, and cut it into the dry ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter.
- Next, add the buttermilk and mix until incorporated. The dough will be wet and sticky.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean, floured surface. Lightly knead until the dough starts to come together. Press or roll into a ¾ inch thick disc. Using a cup or biscuit cutter, cut out 12 biscuits. You may have to re-roll the dough to make all 12.
- Transfer the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet, and place into the preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and are fluffy and golden.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and serve warm.
- Storage: Biscuits may be stored in an airtight container or baggie for up to 3 days. It’s best to wait until they’re cooled down before storing them, so they don’t steam up and get gummy inside.
- Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own soured milk by combining vinegar (or lime juice) and regular milk. Measure 2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons of vinegar into a measuring cup, and pour in enough milk to make 1 ¼ cups total. Let this mixture stand for 5 minutes to thicken before adding it to the biscuit dough.
- Flour Your Hands: When kneading the dough, flour your hands to keep the dough from sticking to them.
- Pastry Cutter: Using a pastry cutter will ensure that the butter gets cut into the dry ingredients well, resulting in buttery, flaky layers.
More Bread Recipes to Try
- Homemade Pita Bread Recipes
- Easy Homemade Bread Recipe
- Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread
- Buttery Beer Bread
- Easy Irish Soda Bread
- Sweet Corn Bread
- Homemade Hawaiian Rolls
- Mexican Bolillos
- Homemade Crescent Rolls
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls with Cinnamon Butter
- Brioche Buns
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