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November 22, 2021

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

When summer comes around I'm always reminded of biscuits. I think part of that is because we took a trip to Key West a few years ago and had biscuits at a restaurant there. Sunshine + water + the comfort of biscuits = perfection.

Well, now enter these oh-so-flakey, traditional, southern-style biscuits. They’re basically perfect and can be enjoyed with a strawberry jam, as a sandwich bread, biscuits and gravy or on their own!

Origins of biscuits

Biscuits get their name from the latin word biscoctus, translating to “twice-cooked”, which references back to the slabs of bread that were divvied out to sailors prior to their long overseas trips. Really, interesting! The bread was baked, then sliced and baked a second time to dry them out and preserve them (similar to how you would make the Italian “Biscotti”).

While the name remained, the technique and, in our opinion, the quality, did not. Southern-styled biscuits are much softer and flakier. Traditionally, down south, lard was often a common ingredient to replace butter. If you haven’t tried biscuits using lard, you are missing out. Definitely worth a try.

We kept things basic for this recipe because of the versatility of this biscuit recipe but you can certainly play around with other options such as a maple-bacon fat biscuit we made the other day. Simply replace the butter for equal parts lard or animal fat and remember to keep it chilled!

Ingredients for homemade buttermilk biscuits

Biscuits are a great recipe to have in your arsenal because they don’t require many ingredients (7-8 total) and most of those ingredients, with the exception of maybe the buttermilk, are household staples. In need for a recipe to keep the children happy and full for the first portion of the day? Try whipping these together, you may achieve hero status, even if it only lasts until lunch!

  • Baking powder + soda: These are the two leavening agents we use in this recipe to help create beautiful and airy layers in the biscuits.
  • Unsalted butter: For the butter, it is very important that you pre-dice the butter and then chill, or even freeze briefly (about 20 minutes), because you don’t want the butter to melt into the dough or else you wont get those flaky layers and your biscuits will become short and dense.
  • Buttermilk: While milk can be used instead of buttermilk, we prefer to use buttermilk because of its nice acidic tang. The buttermilk flavor pairs nicely with the butter in the biscuits and serves as a nice component to break up some of the richness.
  • Honey: We love adding just a little bit of honey to our biscuit, along with a splash of salt to bring that sweet & salty aspect to the table. If you plan on serving them with something sweet you can certainly leave the honey out but you really can’t go wrong either way.
  • 1 egg or melted butter: After portioning the biscuits, we like to brush the tops with either egg wash, which is simply an egg that is whisked, or melted butter. We do this to promote a deep coloring of the tops of the biscuits while baking. The result is a perfect deep golden-brown biscuit.

Tips on making buttermilk biscuits

These biscuits are made in the style of a traditional buttermilk biscuit. With the use of butter, buttermilk, and the addition of honey, these biscuits are tender and rich with just a hint of sweetness!

  • Keeping the butter cold: This will allow you to develop layers as opposed to the butter melting into the dough which would make a more dense and less flakey biscuit.
  • Do not overwork the dough: This is why we chop the butter into the flour using the food processor and then transfer to a bowl to hand mix-in the buttermilk. If you overwork the dough the biscuits will turn out chewy and dense.
  • Work quickly and keep the dough cold when rolling out the biscuit: If the butter starts to melt or becomes room temperature, the biscuits won’t maintain the same texture and structure when baked.
  • Fold the biscuits over: When rolling out the biscuits, make sure you fold them over themselves and continue to roll at least 4 times. This creates layers and will result in a flaky and airy biscuit.


We hope you enjoy these incredible homemade buttermilk biscuits.


Cheers and eat well!

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

These flaky, buttery, and tender buttermilk biscuits will transport you directly into a southern country kitchen. Try them with your favorite preserves, use them as the bread for a sandwich, or enjoy them straight up.

Author:

Alejandra Diaz del Valle

Prep:

20

min

cook:

20

min

total:

40

min

serves:

9

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (diced and chilled)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 egg (for egg wash) (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the food processor and pulse a few times to mix the ingredients together.
  4. Add the cold, diced butter and pulse a few times until the butter breaks into pieces the size of small beans. Do not overwork the butter.
  5. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl, making a well in the middle as if you were making pasta dough.
  6. Add the honey, then the buttermilk into the center and gently mix to bring everything together. The dough will still be a little wet when fully incorporated. Do not overmix or your biscuits will be dense and tough.
  7. Dust your counter with flour and transfer the dough onto the counter.
  8. Dust the top of the dough with more flour and using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough so that it is about ¼ inch thick. Fold half of the dough back over itself so it is now about ½ inch thick and gently roll the dough, pressing the two halves together.
  9. Repeat the process three more times, gently working the dough. The dough does not have to be rolled to ¼ inch thick each time. It may be a little thicker.
  10. After rolling out the dough, the dough should be about ¾ inch to 1 inch thick. At this point, cut your biscuits into the shapes you desire, about 2 ½ inches wide and place them onto a baking sheet that is sprayed, buttered, or lined with parchment paper. You can reroll the scraps but do not overwork them.
  11. Once all of the biscuits are rolled and shaped and on your baking sheet, brush them with either melted butter or egg wash on top and bake for 16-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time. The biscuits are finished when they are a deep golden brown on top and no longer doughy in the middle.
  12. Upon removing from the oven, either drizzle with honey, brush with butter or top with coarse sea salt.

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