Say “good-bye” to tough biscuits that taste like hockey pucks. These southern-style buttermilk biscuits are made from scratch with only three ingredients and the end results are light biscuits ready for strawberry jam, ham, or whatever biscuit toppings and fillings you like. They’re made with basic ingredients and ready in about half an hour.
How To Make Homemade Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
The first thing you need to do is to gather your ingredients. The French call this mise en place. You need the following three items:
- 2 ½ cups of self-rising flour
- 6 Tablespoons of cold butter
- 1 cup of buttermilk
To make buttermilk biscuits, place flour in a large bowl and add butter that has been cut into chunks. Using a pastry cutter or forks, “cut” the butter chunks into pea-size pieces or coarse crumbs. It helps to coat the butter in a little flour.
Add buttermilk and mix well with a spoon. The mixture will be “sticky.”
After you have mixed the biscuit dough together, pat it out on a lightly floured work surface. You want the dough to have about 1-inch thickness. There’s no need to roll dough like it’s a pie crust.
Next, use a round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits from the dough.
I like to use a drinking glass. You can dip the open end in a little flour to help prevent sticking. Then when you are finished, rinse it off and then you can put it in the dishwasher to clean.
I am able to get about 9 biscuits out of a batch of dough.
Place the cut biscuits on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or Silpat (or use a baking stone). Be sure to leave a couple of inches of space between the biscuits. You don’t want them to bake together.
All that is left is to bake them in a 450-degree oven for 11-12 minutes. Carefully remove them when they have a nice, golden top. Brushing a little bit of butter over the top while they are still warm is always a good idea.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 ½ cups self-rising flour plus additional 1/4 cup for dusting the work surface
- 6 Tablespoons cold butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Place approximately 1 cup of flour in food processor. Cut butter into pieces and add to flour. Pulsate until butter is in pea-sized pieces.
- Combine mixture with additional 1 cup of flour. Add buttermilk and mix with spoon. Mixture will be “sticky.”
- Pat out mixture on floured surface until about 1 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter (or drinking end of cup). Place on baking sheet.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 11-12 minutes or until golden brown.
If you’re from the South, these are sure to remind you of your grandma’s buttermilk biscuits. All you need now is some red-eye or cocoa (chocolate) gravy to top them with. Of course, they are always great with sausage gravy.
Tips and Tricks For Making Buttermilk Biscuits
They’re freezable! That’s right – you can freeze uncooked biscuit dough. Simply follow the directions through step number 3. However, instead of baking them, place them in the freezer for 3-4 hours. Once they are frozen solid, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a freezer ziptop bag.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the desired number of frozen biscuits and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
These fluffy southern buttermilk biscuits can be stored in an airtight container like a freezer bag for a couple of days – if you have any that last that long.
Self-Rising Flour Substitution
If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, don’t worry. Here is a handy recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour: place 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder, and enough flour all-purpose flour to fill up a one-cup measuring cup.
For this recipe you will have to double those ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons baking powder, plus enough flour to total 2 cups along with an extra 1/4 cup of flour.
Whisk the dry ingredients well to get the ingredients mixed thoroughly. You can use organic flour and make a nearly-organic option. (You will not find organic self-rising flour in a store or online.)
I recommend using organic buttermilk if you are able.
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a buttermilk substitute by placing 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the remainder of the cup with whole milk or 2% milk, stir well, and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes before using it. (Here is my recipe for Southern Biscuits Without Buttermilk.)
I like to take shortcuts when I can and so for these homemade buttermilk biscuits, I used to use my food processor to incorporate butter into the flour mixture. It was so much easier than a fork, knife, or a pastry blender. All one had to do is pulse butter in flour a few times until the pieces were about pea-size. If they were, then you could stop.
However, I discovered that an even easier way to make them is to use melted butter. Yep. That’s right. Melted butter.
You see, when you pour COLD buttermilk over melted butter, it often causes the butter to re-harden. Just stir the buttermilk, melted butter, and flour together while you are pouring in the buttermilk. A shaggy dough forms initially, but stir a little more and then you should be able to knead it a little and then roll it out.
For an elegant treat, serve them with Chocolate Cherry Jam.
While these easy biscuits are great any day, they also make a great addition to weekend brunches with all of the fixin’s like cheesy hash browns, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, bacon, and sausage.