Let’s talk biscuits today! Flaky, tender, buttermilk biscuits. A good buttermilk biscuit pulls on my heart strings. I immediately get taken back to my childhood. We would have biscuits for breakfast with eggs and bacon or sausage. We would have biscuits for dinner served with sausage gravy. We would have biscuits as a dessert with some butter and honey or jam.
Basically I ate a lot of biscuits growing up. I have zero biscuit regrets!
The only thing that has changed from my childhood biscuits to the biscuits I make as an adult for my children is the quality of ingredients. As a kid growing up on a farm we had cheap, refined white flour. Flour was flour, right? Now, I only use unbleached flour with no added in suspicious ingredients. Organic is even better. Bobs Red Mill flour is typically what I use.
Growing up a common ingredient used was shortening or lard. You get nice flaky biscuits this way! Again, it was cheap and it worked. Butter works just as well if not better, but we saw using so much butter in a dough as a waste. Why waste the butter in a dough when you can use it to smear onto the finished biscuit? I use a good quality butter such as Kerrygold butter. This butter is made from grass-fed cows and the taste is superb. I believe happy and healthy cows will produce a much higher quality milk/butter than sad, unhealthy cows. The same goes for buttermilk. Get a good quality thick buttermilk.
Can you see those little chunks of butter in the dough above? Those are the secret weapons that make a flaky biscuit! Here are a couple of tips to making awesome biscuits. First, make sure everything is very cold. Your butter, buttermilk, eggs, even the bowl you mix it in. Cold = good. Next tip is how you “cut in” the butter. You can cut up the butter into little squares before you mix it with the flour. Or you use a cheese grater and grate your butter as if it was a block of cheese. The cheese grater trick works great! Just remember to keep your butter cold before cutting or grating.
I use a pastry blender to “cut in” the butter to the flour. This the easiest and most efficient way to do this. Push down the butter into the flour with with pastry blender. Move it all around to incorporate the butter and flour all the while you are pushing (aka: cutting) the butter into the flour. After you do that you will end up with a buttery ball of tacky dough like shown above. Now after the butter has been cut in you will want to cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 45mins to chill the dough. You can leave it overnight and have the dough ready to roll out in the morning for quick homemade biscuits.
Here’s the dough after it’s been chilled. My daughter is helping me “smoosh” out the dough. I tape down some parchment paper to a clean a counter (this makes clean up so much faster) and sprinkle some flour onto the parchment paper and flour my hands. Then I plop the buttery dough ball down onto the floured surface. I knead the dough and add a sprinkle of flour as I go until the dough is no longer tacky. This doesn’t take long. A couple of minutes worth of kneading should get the job done. I don’t use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. The dough is tender enough to do this by hand. I generally shape it into a circle with it being about 1/4 of an inch thick.
Use a biscuit cutter and cut out the biscuits. Quick tip: Always flour your biscuit cutter before cutting out the biscuits and re-flour it as you go to prevent sticking. After I cut out first set of biscuits I gather up the dough scraps and re-roll out. I do this no more than 2 times or the dough will become too worked and warm.
Brush the tops with an egg wash mixture. This gives them that nice golden color while baking. I place the cut out biscuits fairly close together. This guarantees a higher rise on the biscuits.
And there ya go! Fresh, hot, buttermilk biscuits. Ready to be devoured.
Look at that tender, flaky goodness! My mouth is watering all over again.
So there you have it. Homemade southern buttermilk biscuits. Cut them in half and serve with a pat of butter. Or my personal favorite way: a pat of butter and drizzle of honey! Or make up a skillet full of sausage gravy to serve over the biscuits. The possibilities are endless. I will have to share my sausage gravy recipe with y’all later. I promise it will be worth the wait!
- 4 Cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 T baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 sticks or 24 Tablespoons very cold, salted butter (grated or cut into small cubes)
- 3 large eggs, divided
- 1.5 Cups buttermilk, plus 1 T
- In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients.
- Take the grated or cubed butter and cut into the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter with the flour until the dough comes together and the butter is pea sized.
- In a separate small bowl beat 2 of the eggs. Pour the eggs in with the dough and fold in well with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until incorporated.
- Pour in the 1.5 cups of buttermilk into the dough mixture. Mix until well combined and the dough is tacky. If it seems too dry add 1 tablespoon of buttermilk at a time and mix well until dough becomes sticky/tacky.
- Cover the bowl and place into the fridge for a minimum of 45mins or up to overnight.
- After dough has chilled for at least 45mins, pre-heat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- While oven is heating, tape down a good sized sheet of parchment paper onto your work surface (or make sure work surface is very clean). Sprinkle a liberal amount of flour on to parchment paper covered work surface. Plop dough down into the center of the floured work area.
- Flour hands and knead the dough until it’s easy to work with and no longer sticky. You may need to add a sprinkle of flour. This should only take a minute or 2 to have the dough come together.
- Start pressing out and shaping the dough into a circle that comes out to be 1/4 of an inch thick.
- Flour your biscuit cutter and cut out biscuits. Place the cut out biscuits close together onto lined baking sheet. Take the excess dough pieces and re-roll back out to another circle and cut out biscuits again. You can do this one more time if need be.
- Take the last egg and beat in a small bowl with the tablespoon of buttermilk. Brush the egg mixture onto the top of each biscuit.
- Place baking sheet of biscuits onto the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 15-20 or until golden brown.
- Take the baking sheet out of the oven to cool for 10mins. Now, enjoy the biscuits while still warm. Best served with butte and/or honey.