Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 12 mins

These buttermilk biscuits are authentic. This recipe came from my great-great-grandmother, and was handed down to all the women in my family, and we are all Southern. I am the first one to commit the sin of using a food processor (lol) but I find it works very well. I would put these biscuits up against anyone's - they are perfect in every single way. I hope you all enjoy them.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
  4. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.
  5. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
  6. If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
  8. Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
  9. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
  10. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  11. Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet- if you like soft sides, put them touching each other.
  12. If you like"crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.
  13. Bake for about 10-12 minutes- the biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom.
  14. Do not overbake.
  15. Note: The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
  16. The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
  17. I have found that a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there's less chance of overmixing.
  18. You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
  19. Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.
  20. Note 2: You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
  21. When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.
Most Helpful

These biscuits were exceptional: tender and moist. The instructions were easy to follow and clear, and my biscuits were perfectly golden brown after the stated 10 minutes. My yield was exactly 24, and the entire plate was devoured by myself, my hubby, and our 2 dinner guests. (Biscuits are not all that common here in Canada and seem to be a real treat; my girlfriend's husband couldn't get enough and demanded my friend get the recipe.) My only variation was due to the fact that I was out of unsalted butter, so I used regular butter and cut back on the salt. While I do use buttermilk to bake with, I had never made biscuits with it; that's going to change from now on, as this recipe will become one of my standards.

Lennie October 20, 2002

Luscious, melt in your mouth, buttery biscuits! The dough was easy to handle and cut which made it possible for my 6 year old to help roll and cut the biscuits (she was thrilled). Your instructions were great in mentioning not to overbake by looking for a golden brown color rather than brown which saved me from baking the biscuits too long. Best yet, my 12 year old actually ate an entire biscuit and she's about as picky as they come. Thanks!

Caryn October 14, 2002

Delicious, light and tender biscuits... this is my default recipe for biscuits!! I even passed the recipe on to my sister's Very Southern MIL, and she uses it as her default recipe too. DO NOT skimp on the butter... and handle them as gently as possible! I usually do fold the dough over a few times while lightly kneading in order to get those layers that I love. Thanks for the recipe!

Tracy K May 02, 2002

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