Fluffy & Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits! I worked on this recipe for quite some time to get just the right combination of fluffiness and flakiness. I’ll show you a special technique to creates layers of buttery goodness.

a biscuit on a beige cloth.

Why this is the best Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

I’ve tried many biscuit recipes over the years. Some make a very, very wet dough that could almost be scooped like a muffin rather than cut with a biscuit cutter. A very wet dough that is minimally handled produces a super fluffy and moist biscuit.

I’ve tried other recipes that make a firmer dough that is rolled and folded to create flakiness. I found some of those recipes produce a biscuit that is flaky, but too much of the fluffiness is lost.

I want the best of both worlds so I tinkered with this recipe until I got a result that was both light and flaky. This dough is so tender you don’t need a rolling pin. You can easily pat it into shape using your hands.

Ingredients

ingredients for buttermilk biscuits in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour – This recipe uses a mixture of 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 cake flour. All purpose flour gives the biscuit dough enough body to create layers, and cake flour has a lower protein content to keep toughening gluten at bay. Pastry flour can be used instead of the flour mixture.
  • Buttermilk – Acidic Buttermilk tenderizes the dough and has lightly tangy flavor that is perfect in this recipe. Fresh buttermilk will make a superior biscuit, but you can use powdered buttermilk or milk mixed with lemon juice.
  • Baking Soda/Baking Powder – There is a good amount of leavening in this recipe for the lightest biscuit possible. Baking soda works with the acidic buttermilk to help rise the dough.

How to make Buttermilk Biscuits

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

a bowl of biscuit dough with a spatula.
  • Cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
  • Add the buttermilk all at once and mix with a spatula until most of the flour is absorbed.
a pile of loose biscuit dough on a wooden surface.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  • Knead a few times to bring the dough together. Do not over knead or the biscuits will become tough.
a folded piece of biscuit dough.
  • Pat the dough to 1/2″ thick and fold in half.
a folded rectangle of biscuit dough.
  • Fold the dough again.
  • Pat to 3/4″ thick and cut the biscuits. Re-knead the scraps of dough and continue cutting biscuits until all the dough is used up.
unbaked biscuits on a baking sheet.
  • Line the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Brush with buttermilk before baking in a hot oven.

Work Ahead Storage

To work ahead you can combine all the dry ingredients and set them aside at room temperature. Slice the butter and keep it chilled until you’re ready to mix the dough. The biscuits can be mixed, cut and held in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Buttermilk biscuits are best eaten still warm from the oven. Leftovers can be frozen and rewarmed in a 200F oven or buttered and toasted on a griddle.

a split biscuit on a plate with butter.

You might also want to try making Cornmeal Biscuits. If you’ve got a sourdough starter, try these delicious Sourdough Biscuits

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a split biscuit on a plate with butter.
Print Recipe
4.40 from 28 reviews

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits that are both fluffy and flaky. It's all about how you handle the dough!
Prep Time20 minutes
Bake Time12 minutes
Total Time32 minutes
12 biscuits
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Ingredients

  • 10 oz all purpose flour (2 cups, see note)
  • 9 oz cake flour (2 cups)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz unsalted butter (cold and cut into 16 pieces)
  • 16 oz buttermilk (2 cups)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • Combine 10 oz all purpose flour, 9 oz cake flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients to combine.
  • Mix 8 oz unsalted butter into the flour with your fingers until it's broken down into bits slightly larger than a pea. Add 16 oz buttermilk all at once and mix until about ⅔ of the dry ingredients are absorbed.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead together just to incorporate the remaining dry flour (this should only take about 6-8 kneads).
  • Gently pat dough to a ½" thick, brush off excess flour and fold the dough in half. Pat gently to stick the dough together and and fold again. Pat to ¾ " thick disc and cut with a 3" biscuit cutter. Gather the scraps together, pat to ¾" thick and continue cutting until all the dough is used up.
  • Set the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  • If the bottoms of the biscuits are browning too fast set another sheet pan under the biscuits after 5 minutes of baking.

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Notes

If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 469mg | Potassium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

14 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    These biscuits were delish but the dough was very sticky I had to add at least a half cup extra flour just to roll them out

    1. It is a wet dough, that’s why the biscuits are light and moist. Did you use volume measurements? If so, be sure to use the “dip and sweep” method for filling the cup with flour. Also, I don’t roll this dough with a rolling pin. I pat it out with well-floured hands.

  2. This is the best biscuit I’ve ever had, thank you so much for the recipe! And thanks for providing the weights! I only had 6oz of buttermilk left so I multiplied the quantities by 3/8 and it scaled down perfectly, and made 5 beautiful biscuits. I also used an egg wash on the top due to my buttermilk shortage, but I’m interested to try that! I’m in Georgia and have had a lot of biscuits and have made several recipes, including an old southern family recipe, and this is hands down my favorite! The mixture of cake flour and AP flour is dreeeeamy!

    1. If you do decide to freeze the unbaked biscuits I would let them defrost before baking. Because they bake at a high temp I’m afraid the outside would get pretty dark before the interior is baked through. Once the liquid is added to the dough the baking powder begins to react. The reason it’s called “double acting” is because the baking powder reacts when it comes in contact with the liquid and then again when it hits the heat of the oven. I’m reluctant to freeze the unbaked biscuits only because I think you’ll loose a little of the lift from the baking powder by freezing them and then leaving them out to defrost. To be honest though, I haven’t done it. When I want to work ahead I measure and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl so all I have to do is mix in the buttermilk and cut when I’m ready to bake. Also, the baked biscuits freeze really well. Just a few minutes in the oven to recrisp the outside.

  3. Thanks for the folding technique- I never seem to make good biscuits, but my kids and I love them~ I will definitely try this recipe…AND I have all the ingredients, so no excuses!

  4. These biscuits look dreamy! I have a basic biscuit recipe that I use when I’m in a big hurry, but I haven’t made real buttermilk biscuits with all the layering. I’ll have to try these sometimes – my mouth is already watering!

      1. They really come together pretty quickly, two folds and you’re done-and they disappear pretty quickly too!

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