How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

There's nothing quite like a warm buttermilk biscuit slathered with melting butter or jam—it's truly the comfort food of the South.  But did you know that when it comes to making biscuits, you can decide to make them either fluffy or flaky by using different flours and dough-handling techniques?  While flaky biscuits call for a denser flour along with rolling and cutting of the dough, fluffy biscuits use a lighter flour and are shaped by hand.  So grab your cake flour, get your biscuit-shaping hands ready, and follow these steps to bake up a batch of tender, fluffy biscuits in true Southern style.

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1 Cut Butter

Cut 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter lengthwise into thirds.  Turn 1/4-turn and cut lengthwise into thirds again.  Cut crosswise into small cubes.

Keeping the butter cold allows it to appropriately melt into the flour while the biscuits bake, making air pockets that help the biscuits rise and create a tender, light texture.

2 Cut Butter Into Flour

Place 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup cake flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl; stir to combine.  Add butter and use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut butter into the flour until it becomes crumbly, similar to coarse cornmeal.

For fast and easy prep, place the butter and dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse 6 to 7 times until crumbly. Be careful to not over-mix.

3 Add Buttermilk

Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and stir until flour-and-butter mixture is just moistened.  As over mixing creates tough biscuits, use lightly floured hands to finish bringing the dough together.

If needed to bring the dough together, add more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Use no more than a total of 3 tablespoons additional buttermilk.

4 Shape Biscuits

With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  Gently pat each piece a few times with your hands to form a rough flattened ball.


5 Bake

Place shaped biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes until they are a light golden brown on top.

For soft biscuit sides, place shaped biscuits close together as pictured. For crusty sides, space shaped biscuits about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.

6 Brush with Butter

Remove biscuits from the oven and brush each top with melted butter.  Serve immediately with additional butter or jam.

Store leftover biscuits in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature. When ready to enjoy, warm in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds.

About Kitchen Is My Playground

Tracey is the creator of the popular blog The Kitchen Is My Playground, which she founded in 2011. Her goal is to share recipes with other home cooks looking to create flavorful (and somewhat adventurous) food for their families and friends. Connect with her on PinterestFacebookTwitter or Google+.