Perfecting outrageously flaky buttermilk biscuits has been on my culinary bucket list for years. Finally conquering this southern classic, I want to show you how easy it is to do the same!
These buttermilk biscuits are flakier than a millennial showing up to work a minimum wage job. OK, nothing is that flaky, but these are still close. Lately, I've been absolutely obsessed with biscuits, making them once a week or so. I'm happy to say I have the recipe nailed, and I am excited to share it with you.
I have been trying to perfect the classic southern buttermilk biscuit for years, but no recipe or method I tried gave me the towering, flaky biscuit I desired. Sure, a lot of recipes out there will yield delicious biscuits, but I want them to reach the sky and be a light as air! If you want the same, read on...
The problem with baking is the method is as important as the recipe. So, to execute the recipe perfectly, let me help you understand the method.
How to Make Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
Butter: Butter is the key to towering flaky biscuits. The most important part of this recipe is to keep the butter as cold as possible so it does not melt in the dough before it goes in the oven. That is why I recommend freezing the butter and working the dough with your hands as little as possible.
Ideally, the butter will be in solid little pieces within the dough that melt during baking, creating little air pockets. Adding baking powder and baking soda to the recipe helps make these air pockets larger as they give the biscuits rise.
It is for this same reason we cut the dough in half and stack it on itself four times in this recipe. Just like making croissants, this technique creates layer upon layer of butter pockets.
Finally, cutting the dough is as important as the layering you just created. You need a nice clean cut that doesn't squish the vertical edges of the biscuit. You need these edges to be able to expand and rise without restriction. If the side of your biscuit round is pressed or squished, it is like having an anchor on it.
How to Cut Biscuits
You can cut your biscuits into rectangles if you wish to maximize your dough, I recommend using a sharp knife for this. However, I like to make mine into classic rounds. For this, I use a thin round cookie cutter.
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If you are making flaky buttermilk biscuits it would be an unforgivable sin (seriously, I think it is in the Bible, check Leviticus) not to make a hearty batch of Sawmill Gravy to slather over it. Check out my recipe!
Outrageously Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 6 tbsp butter , frozen (plus more for greasing baking sheet)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix to combine.
- Using a box grater, shred 6 tbsp of cold butter (best if frozen, but refrigerated works). Add butter to bowl with flour.
- Add buttermilk to the flour bowl, and using a wooden spoon, mix to combine. (try not to use your hands so you don't transfer heat which melts the butter)
- Once the dough is starting to come together into a ball, pour it out onto a floured surface and form it into a ball.
- Using a dough scraper, cut the ball in half, then place one-half on top of the other, and repeat to do this a total of four times.
- Roll the dough to be 1" thick, being careful not to overly press the dough.
- Using a round cookie cutter, press straight down into the dough to cut out biscuit rounds and place them on a greased baking sheet.
- Remaining dough scraps can also be made into biscuits but they won't rise as much.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place baking sheet into the freezer for 10 minutes to allow butter to re-chill.
- Place in oven for 10-12 minutes, until biscuits rise and cook through.
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