One of the most quintessential recipes a Southerner can have in his/her recipe arsenal, in my opinion, is one for fail proof Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits. I’m also pretty sure that this is probably the very same recipe YOUR grandmother handed down to you, or at least, very similar.
Personally, I was fortunate to grow up with a set of both grandmothers as well as my maternal great-grandmother and while I don’t have a ton of memories of my great-grandmother, the smell of homemade biscuits always transports me right back to her screen porch just outside the kitchen.
I’ve told this story before, but it was this same great-grandmother who taught me the art of freshly brewed cafe au lait and the happiness that comes from lightly dipping a biscuit into the coffee + milk concoction.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of butter, cubed & very cold + 2 tablespoons melted
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles wet sand. You can also use a food processor for this step. Just blend the dry ingredients then add the butter and pulse a few times.
- Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined. Don't worry if the dough looks wet and sticky- that's what you want.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and using floured hands, gently
- pat (don't use a rolling pin) the dough into a rectangle and until it's about ½" thick. Fold the dough in half, and continue patting out until it's about ½" thick. Repeat.
- Using a biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter), cut circles into the dough.
- Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet.
- **If you like soft sided biscuits, use a pan with edges and allow the biscuits to touch each other.
- If you like "crusty" sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together but will give you crispy edges and soft interior. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter over the tops of the biscuits.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly golden brown.
- Do not overbake.
Her recipe didn’t call for the extra butter on top, but I find that brushing a bit of butter creates a golden buttery crust to the tops of the biscuits. And while I’ve shared lots of biscuits on the blog here before, these are my preferred milder, fluffier biscuits. These are also the biscuits I use if I know I’m going to include a sausage gravy, although, they are delicious on their own.
The beauty of these fluffy pillows of goodness is that there is no yeast to deal with, no dough to watch rise, no punching of said dough. Just mix, knead, cut and bake.
You can also make them ahead of time, too! Just because they take a matter of minutes to create from scratch, sometimes, you just may not be in the mood to dirty the kitchen. Pre-made biscuits to the rescue.
Prepare the biscuits as usual, place the rounded unbaked biscuits onto a cookie sheet and cover with freezer paper. Allow the biscuits to freeze completely. Place the frozen biscuits into a freezer bag, labeled, with instructions to heat at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
The biscuits will last about a month in the freezer.