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How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits… from Scratch

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Canned biscuits have artificial color to turn them that perfect golden, brown color. And both canned biscuits and biscuit mix use soybean oil instead of that staple of Southern food: butter. But real, homemade biscuits are a treat with a texture and taste all their own. Experimental Wifery teaches you to make buttermilk biscuits the Southern way… from scratch. Serve them in the morning with eggs and sausage or bacon. Serve them at meals in place of dinner rolls. Or serve them with jam and honey as a delightful, sweet snack.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes about 10 biscuits

  • 2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour—plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 8 tablespoons of cold butter—yes, that is a whole stick
  • 3/4 cup and up to 2 tablespoons of buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the butter into small pieces. Try cutting it into thirds lengthwise. Turn it so an uncut side faces up and cut it into thirds lengthwise again. Now cut into eighths widthwise. You’re looking for pieces that are very small cubes.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix, then add the butter. Process until the butter and flour are combined into a fine, even meal—about the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  4. Add the buttermilk and pulse a few times to combine. If there is still a lot of flour around the edges of the food processor, add up to 2 tablespoons more buttermilk, 1 at a time. You shouldn’t need more than that. Process as little as possible.
  5. You can also make biscuits by hand in a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter cubes and flour together between your fingers until they are completely combined. When you knead the dough, knead only until the ingredients are combined.
  6. Let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Lightly dust a clean surface (a counter-top covered with wax or parchment paper works best) with flour. Remove the dough onto the prepared surface. Handle the dough as little as possible. For quick breads like biscuits, the more you knead, the tougher and “doughier” your bread will get.
  8. Use a rolling pin or your hands to roll the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Coat the lip of a glass or round cookie-cutter with flour and stamp out your biscuits. Be sure to press straight down—moving the cutter around could seal the edges of your biscuits together and prevent them from rising.
  9. Move your biscuit to a cookie sheet—an insulated cookie sheet works best and helps baked goods cook more evenly. Gently press together the scraps of dough into a biscuit shape and add them to the cookie sheet as well.
  10. Bake for up to 15 minutes or until golden brown on the top.
  11. Serve hot and fresh. These biscuits are especially buttery already, so encourage your friends and family to try one before they add more butter at the table.

Looking for step-by-step instructions for how to make your favorite foods from scratch? How to Cook Everything is a great resource for beginning cooks and foodies alike.

3 responses »

  1. Soy is chocked full of estrogen. Keep your man away from all sources of soy!

    • We don’t each much more soy than a tofu dish once a month or less or maybe some Chinese food with soy sauce on it. But we also avoid using plastic products. Up to 95% of plastic products, even those advertised as BPA-free, leach artificial estrogens into food and drinks. Styrofoam cups, too!

      • I hate to be “that” person, but I guess I’m just ignorant – what is the issue with your man having soy?

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