Fluffy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, served with a rich sausage gravy or topped with eggs, bacon, country ham or jam are a staple in the South. The smell of them baking is only eclipsed by the first heavenly bite. If you gathered any number of Southern cooks together, none of them would make their biscuits exactly the same way. Each cook would have their own favorite techniques and tricks to give their biscuits the edge that sets them apart. Serve these fluffy biscuits at any meal and enjoy a taste of the South at your own kitchen table.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Helpful Tips for Making Biscuits
- Start with quality ingredients. Biscuits require so few ingredients to make it’s worth making sure everything is fresh.
- Don’t overwork the dough or the biscuits could be tough.
- Use fresh baking powder.
- Use a sharp cutter. When cutting the dough into rounds, dip the cutter in flour, press down, then lift, never twist to make the cut.
- Use cold butter. The butter will melt and create steam while baking resulting in a fluffier biscuit.
- Be gentle when mixing the dough and knead as little as possible to avoid developing the gluten in the flour.
- If preferred, the biscuits can be baked closer together, to encourage them to rise upwards while baking.
Variations Of Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
The most common biscuit served is savory with occasional add-ins such as cheese, chives or bacon. Buttermilk biscuits can also be served as a sweeter version with sugar and cinnamon, or dried fruit and topped with a sweet glaze. Then there are the beloved “Angel Biscuits” which are a cross between a buttermilk biscuit and a yeast roll. Whatever your preference, a classic buttermilk biscuit and a few simple technique tips will put you on the path for biscuit making success. Biscuits come in many flavors, but this basic buttermilk biscuit recipe is probably the one that people most often make and enjoy and one that will never go out of style. See also Cinnamon Biscuits with Honey Butter and Blueberry Cream Biscuits.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Fluffy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 5 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup chilled butter or vegetable shortening
- 1 - 1 1/4 cup cold buttermilk
- melted butter or heavy cream to brush the tops
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Cube the butter or shortening then cut it into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or pulse in a food processor. Cut until it becomes crumbly and resembles peas.
- Mix in 1 cup cold buttermilk, just until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Add up to 1/4 cup additional buttermilk, if needed. The dough shouldn't be overly wet but, slightly sticky.
- Roll or pat out on a lightly floured surface about 3/4-1 inch thick. Cut into rounds using a 2-inch cookie cutter dipped in flour. Do not twist the dough with the cutter. Cut the dough, then lift the cookie cutter up.
- Place biscuits 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter or heavy cream. Bake at 450°F for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden and puffed.
- Brush with melted butter after removing from the oven. Serve immediately.