It took me quite awhile to perfect my biscuit recipe, but now I think it is the perfect biscuit. Flakey, rich, and thick are all the qualities I was looking for in a biscuit recipe. One of my best childhood memories is eating the warm biscuits from a small diner in town. They served them with almost all the breakfast orders… and for a good reason. These biscuits are pretty close to those (although I haven’t been there in a decade).
You start by whisking together the dry ingredients well. This recipe makes a lot of biscuits, so it’s important that everything is mixed in evenly. Next you cut in the cold butter. I use a pastry cutter/blender but you can also grate the cold butter into the flour mixture with a cheese grater and then mix it in with a spoon. Before I purchased a pastry blender I always used the cheese grater method and it came out just as perfect.
You want to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a coarse crumb. If there are a few bigger chunks of butter that’s okay. Just make sure the majority of the butter is blended in. See the photo below.
Next you’ll add the wet ingredients. I mix them together in the same measuring cup I use to measure the buttermilk, just to make clean up a little easier. I mix them together first because I want the wet ingredients to incorporate evenly into the dry.
You will combine all the ingredients only until the dough is slightly crumbly still(see photo above). Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop and mix it the rest of the way with your hands. If it is too sticky, add more flour. If it is too crumbly, add buttermilk in a teaspoon at a time. Then you will fold the dough in thirds and press it back out with your hands. Repeat the folding three more times. This creates the flakey layers.
Next, simply flatten the dough out with floured hands until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or glass, cut the biscuit shapes out. I have a couple tips for getting nice tall & thick biscuits. When you cut them out, don’t twist the cutter. This might seal the edges of the biscuit and in result it might not rise as tall as it should. Another tip is to make sure your biscuits are touching each other in the baking pan when it goes into the oven! This way the biscuits will work together as a team and rise higher instead of spreading out.
You’ll know your biscuits are done baking when the tops are golden brown and the sides look done!
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
- 5 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
- 2 cups buttermilk / sour milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 large egg
- 2 tbsp melted butter for topping
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt together well in a large mixing bowl.
- Either shred the cold butter into the flour mixture with a cheese grater, or cut it into small pieces and cut it into flour with a pastry blender. The mixture should look like a coarse crumb (see photos above) once the butter is incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg and honey together well. Pour this mixture into the flour and butter mixture and combine until the dough is still a bit crumbly. Turn out the dough on a clean counter top and mix the rest of the way with your hands. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If the dough is too crumbly, add a little more buttermilk one tsp at a time.
- Once the dough comes together, fold it into thirds and then flatten it back out with your hands. Repeat this three more times. Then flatten the dough out with floured hands until it is about 1/2 an inch thick, or until it is at your desired thickness. Cut the biscuits out with a biscuit cutter or a mason jar/drink glass. Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet or baking dish so they are touching, then brush the tops with milk or butter milk. Bake on a baking sheet with the biscuits touching for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Take the biscuits out of the oven and brush the tops with melted butter. You can also add 1/2 tsp of honey to the melted butter for a sweeter topping! Let them cool completely in the pan and then enjoy. This recipe makes about 20 biscuits depending on how thick you make them.
Substitions: Instead of buttermilk, you can make your own sour milk! Just add 2 tbsp of vinegar to the bottom of your measuring cup and then pour in your milk. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until it appears curdled.