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Fluffy & Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Fluffy & flaky Buttermilk Biscuits! I worked on this recipe for quite some time to get just the right combination of fluffiness and flakiness.

I’m happy to share it with you in case you haven’t found your perfect buttermilk biscuit recipe yet.

buttermilk biscuits on a cloth

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.

How to make Buttermilk Biscuits that are both fluffy and flaky:

  • Make a fairly wet dough that holds it’s shape well enough to be folded.
  • Gentle folding will develop layers of dough that will bake into lovely, buttery layers in the final biscuit.
  • It’s easy to create flakiness by layering the dough. The trick is to handle the dough gently so you don’t develop the gluten, which will toughen the dough. 
  • Use 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.
  • Use your hands from start through finish to avoid over-working the dough.
  • This dough is so tender you don’t need a rolling pin. You can easily pat it into shape using your hands.

Click through the step-by-step photos to see how to make fluffy and flaky Buttermilk Biscuits:

a bowl of buttermilk biscuit mix

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk all at once.

a pile of buttermilk biscuit mix

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times to bring the dough together.

 

folded buttermilk biscuit dough

Pat the dough to 1/2″ thick and fold 2x. Then pat to 3/4″ thick and cut the biscuits.

 

a tray of unbaked buttermilk biscuits

Line the biscuits on a parchment lined pan and brush with buttermilk before baking in a hot oven.

buttermilk biscuit on a plate with a pat of butter

The biscuits are best eaten still warm from the oven. Leftovers (I doubt they’ll be any leftovers!) can be frozen and rewarmed in the oven or buttered and toasted on a griddle.

Hey, 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.

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

Buttermilk biscuits that are both fluffy and flaky. It's all about how you handle the dough!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (10 oz, 280g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (8.5 oz 240g) cake flour
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 oz (2 sticks, 224g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 16 pieces
  • 2 cups (16oz, 480ml) buttermilk plus more for brushing

Instructions

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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Elaine Mercer

Friday 17th of April 2020

can you freeze the biscuits before baking. And can you bake from a frozen state?

Eileen Gray

Saturday 18th of April 2020

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.

Carol Borchardt

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

These are really beautiful! Shared on my FB page this morning!

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

Thanks, Carol. The recipes on your blog always look so tempting and your photos are beautiful.

Barrie

Tuesday 5th of April 2016

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!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 5th of April 2016

Great, Barrie. Let me know how the kids like them.

CakePants

Monday 4th of April 2016

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!

CakePants

Monday 4th of April 2016

Oops - "sometime"