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Easy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

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Say “goodbye” to tough biscuits that taste like hockey pucks. These southern-style buttermilk biscuits are made from scratch with only three simple ingredients and the results are light biscuits ready for strawberry jam, ham, or whatever biscuit toppings and fillings you like.

Fresh baked southern biscuits on a baking stone.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Good old-fashioned southern biscuits made with self-rising flour, buttermilk, and butter- just like your granny used to make (if you’re from the South!).

If you have half an hour, you can make a batch of these classic 3-ingredient biscuits from scratch.

Ingredients

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

How To Make These Homestyle Biscuits

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. You can line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use an ungreased baking sheet. To make buttermilk biscuits, place flour in a large mixing bowl and add butter that has been cut into cubes. Using a pastry cutter or forks, “cut” the butter cubes into pea-size pieces or coarse crumbs. It helps to coat the butter in a little flour when doing this.

Add buttermilk to the flour and pieces of butter and mix well with a spoon. The mixture will be “sticky.”  Sprinkle your work surface with flour and then place your dough on top. Mold the flour mixture into a cohesive ball and then pat it into a circle or rectangle so that it’s about an inch thick. There’s no need to pull out your rolling pin to roll the dough like it’s a pie crust.

Biscuit dough patted out into a circle on a baking stone.

Next, use a round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits from the dough. The number of biscuits you get will vary depending on the size of the biscuit cutter – or cup- that you use. If you use a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, you might get 8-10 biscuits. If you use a 3-inch biscuit cutter, you will get fewer biscuits.

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 get about 9 biscuits out of a batch of dough.

Using a glass to cut biscuit dough.

Place the cut biscuits on a prepared baking sheet or baking stone. Be sure to leave a couple of inches of space between the biscuits. You don’t want them to bake together.

Baking Time

Bake them in the preheated oven for 11-12 minutes. Carefully remove them when they have a nice, golden top. Brush biscuits with butter while they are still warm. Store leftover biscuits at room temperature.

Freshly baked biscuits on a baking stone.

If you are a biscuit lover and can’t get enough biscuits, check out my other biscuit recipes:

If you’re from the South, these will probably 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.

Can buttermilk biscuits be frozen?

Absolutely! 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 22-24 minutes or until golden.

How do you store baked biscuits?

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.

Recipe Notes

If you using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the self-rising flour.

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 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.

Whisking flour, salt, and baking powder together.

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.)

Buttermilk Substitution

Don’t have any buttermilk? You can make a simple sour milk substitute by placing a tablespoon of vinegar into a measuring cup and adding whole milk so that the combination reaches the 1-cup mark. Stir and let it sit for 10 minutes so that the milk will “sour.”

Alternatively, you can use fresh lemon juice to make sour milk. Just follow the above directions but use 1 tablespoon lemon juice instead of vinegar.

Bottle of Organic Valley buttermilk.

Shortcuts and Tips

I like to take shortcuts when I can and for these homemade buttermilk biscuits, I use my food processor to incorporate butter into the flour mixture. It is much easier than a fork, knife, or pastry blender. Simply pulse butter in flour a few times until the pieces are the size of peas.

Pea size butter for making buttermilk biscuits.

Another option for getting small pieces of butter is to use a cheese grater. You want the butter to be really cold. Freeze a stick of butter for 10-15 minutes for the best results.

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.

Pouring buttermilk into flour mixture to make biscuits.

For an elegant treat, serve biscuits with Chocolate Cherry Jam. While these easy biscuits are great any day, they also make a great addition to weekend brunches with all the fixings like cheesy hash browns, scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, bacon, and sausage.

Stack of buttermilk biscuits on a baking stone.
Southern biscuit

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Good old-fashioned southern biscuits made with self-rising flour, buttermilk, and butter- just like your granny used to make (if you're from the South!).
4.52 from 37 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 9 biscuits
Calories: 180kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups self-rising flour plus additional 1/4 cup for dusting the work surface
  • 6 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  • Place approximately 1 cup of flour in food processor. Cut butter into pieces and add to flour. Pulse until butter is in pea-sized pieces.
  • Combine mixture with additional 1 ½ 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1biscuit | Calories: 180kcal
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22 Comments

  1. I imported Southern soft wheat self rising flour to my Northern home and the biscuits came out twice their height and vey fluffy. One thing, the ingredients list says 2 ½ c flour plus more for work surface, but the food processor directions only have two cups listed. I just added more until it was handle-able.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have corrected that error and appreciate you brining it to my attention. I hope you enjoyed your biscuits!

    1. Could your self-rising flour been out-of-date? The leavening agents in it could have been too old and caused it to not rise properly.

    1. Hi, I am glad they tasted great. Any idea of how old your self-rising flour is? If it is too old, perhaps the leavener has lost some of its oompf.

    1. That’s a great question and I have wondered that myself. I imagine that you can, then bake them the way you would any other frozen biscuit dough.

  2. Yummy! I like them hot out of the oven with butter and then take Golden Eagle table syrup, pour it on plate, mix in more butter and sop it up with a hot biscuit! Excuse me, I need a moment alone. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Your recipe is correct and very good!!!
    We use White Lily Flour down heer (southern
    for here) where I’m from. If you can get it, it’s a soft
    wheat flour that you will really love.
    You did good!!!

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