How To Make Flaky, Awesome, Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits, Breakfast

In the first season of Felicity (yes, I’m re-watching it right now AND loving it), Ben Covington (Scott Speedman) says that everyone is good at three things. Three things! So, I asked myself: What three things am I good at?! I thought long and hard about these answers; here they are:

1. I’m a good daughter. I call my parents, include them in my life (despite us living across the country from one another), I listen to them, and make time them. Because, as I’ve learned over the years, all parents really want is time.

2. I’m a really good girlfriend. And a really really bad ex-girlfriend. Like, I might throw out your clothes/DVDs/electronic equipment that you leave at my house. Might. Whatevs!

3. I’m a very good biscuit creator/dreamer/taster/eater. I wasn’t born this way. No. My talent for making biscuits comes from just straight obsession. No talent needed, just facts and a few tips and tricks.

My love for biscuits is well documented on this here corner of the internet that is A Cozy Kitchen, but I wasn’t always good at making them. I actually remember making my first batch of biscuits in college and remember them being flat, sort of bland and dry. Now, they’re tall, flaky, buttery and kind of amazing.

(Take the jump, let’s rock out with some biscuits.)

Step 1: Get your dry ingredients together. Get your butter together. Biggest thing with this step: make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh.

Look at the expiration date. If they’re old and expired, they won’t work, which will result in biscuits that are flat and not so cute.

Step 2: Grate the butter into the flour mixture and place it in the freezer to chill. The key to tender and delicious biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible.

Grating the butter into the flour mixture helps with this. Think about it. There’s no need to break up large chunks of butter. The grater makes it so the butter is practically already at an ideal size: pea-sized.

Step 3: While the flour and butter are chilling out in the freezer, combine the wet ingredients. And make your egg wash.

Step 4: Take the flour and butter bowl out of the freezer. Break up the butter, gently, until it’s combined into the flour mixture.

All at once, pour in the cold buttermilk and egg mixture.

Grab a spoon and mix it all together. It should come together pretty quickly. Knead it in the bowl a few times and dump it out onto your kitchen counter…

Step 5: I don’t use a rolling pin for biscuits, usually. I find it something sort of unnecessary and just another thing I need to clean. Instead I just pat the dough into a sort-of circle and cut the biscuits out.

If you twist your cutter, the biscuits may have a tendency not to rise as much. So don’t do that. Just straight down and firm.

Step 6: Egg wash. And into a very well preheated oven is super important. These biscuits have a good amount of baking powder and a little bit of baking soda, which will make them rise. But height is also created from those bits of butter throughout the biscuit hitting the heat and creating steam. This steam pushes the biscuit upward, resulting in a tall, good-looking biscuit.

Also, since this blog here is a nice little community, and not a dictatorship, if you happen to know other tricks or tips I didn’t mention above, feel free to leave them in the comments. Most likely other people reading will benefit, and I will too.

All week I’ve been going around and asking all my friends what three things they’re good at.

So, YOUR TURN…!

How To Make Flaky, Awesome, Perfect Buttermilk Biscuits

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serving Size: 6 to 8 biscuits

Ingredients

Dry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter

Wet:

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, cold and shaken
  • 1 large egg, cold

Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. Transfer the bowl to the freezer while you gather the wet ingredients, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Measure out the buttermilk and add the egg; whisk until combined. In a small bowl, make the egg wash, whisking together the egg and milk. Transfer both to the refrigerator.
  • Grab the bowl out of the freezer, and gently break up the butter and combine with the flour, using your hands, until it resembles small peas. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Mix until barely combined; and lightly knead the dough. until it forms one solid mass. Sprinkle your kitchen counter with flour and dump the dough onto it. Press the dough into a 3/4-inch thickness.
  • Cut out the biscuits using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, ending up with about 6 biscuits. You can recombine the scraps and get 2 more biscuits. Transfer them to the baking sheet.
  • If you think you’ve been moving a little slow (like I was because I was..ahem..taking pictures), stick the baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will get the bits of butter nice and cold again.
  • After the biscuits are cold, brush the tops of with egg wash and bake in oven or 10 to 15 minutes, until tall and medium golden brown. Serve biscuits warm with honey and jam. YUM.
Serving: 6g
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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133 Comments

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  • Reply szwiredie April 24, 2020 at 8:17 am

    sure gonna try this recipee

  • Reply iceganseals seals April 21, 2020 at 9:07 am

    wow yummy

  • Reply Biscuit Packing Machine December 10, 2018 at 4:44 am

    WOW ! looks great good work always love your articles keep posting like this thanks 🙂

  • Reply Anna November 22, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Why!! Somehow my biscuits ended up sad squishy blobs in a *POOL* of butter on my baking sheet. Was v careful not to overwork the dough and keep the butter nice and cold. Where am I going wrong #halp

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 22, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      Did you add too much liquid? That’s the only thing that could’ve resulted in this. Or too much butter!

  • Reply Harleen June 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Adrianna,
    I made them and it was successful this time.My kids love these buttermilk biscuits.Usually they like to eat ginger biscuit cookies but this time they were taken away by the taste of these buttermilk biscuits.I’m I made this twice thrice but finally got it right.

  • Reply Harleen May 22, 2017 at 3:39 am

    Thank you Adrianna.I am hoping to make this again during the weekend.Let’s see what will happen.

  • Reply Harleen Quinzel May 17, 2017 at 1:27 am

    I love to eat biscuits and I love trying out recipes too.I made this recipe for 32 but it wasn’t a success.I multiplied quantities by 4 and according to my sense added needed amounts and made this.I have no idea why it went wrong.Hoping try out this again.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 18, 2017 at 10:06 am

      So multiplying baking recipes sometimes doesn’t work. It works if you weigh out the ingredients but there can be problems if you don’t. For instance, a lot of times when people scoop out 1 cup of flour, it’s usually 7 to 8 grams more of flour. Usually that’s not a problem for a small batch recipe but if you multiply that discrepancy by four, then that means 40 to 50 grams more flour. Apply that to every ingredient and you can be in some serious trouble. I would try this recipe just making the single batch–it should work 🙂

  • Reply Thea Drake March 13, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to try your recipe. Your dog is adorable btw.

  • Reply Emily May 24, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    You can make buttermilk if you do not have any on hand, (or just don’t buy it, mine always goes to waste) 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup milk, let stand for 5-10 minutes.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      You can do this but I don’t recommend it. It’s not the same thing. The texture is way off and the flavor is too.

  • Reply Doug January 26, 2015 at 8:47 am

    After searching for years for a biscuit recipe that I can follow and not be ashamed to serve the results – I have found it at last! Made these this morning and …oh man! Not much to say other than these are the real deal!! From experience I have learned that biscuit making is somewhat of an art form (one I have never been able to master) but these weren’t that hard and aside from tasting delicious, they were tall and handsome and flaky but not crumbly… they will be a regular at my house from here on. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 26, 2015 at 9:11 am

      OMG YES! I looove these biscuits. They’re one of my favorite things to make ever. I’m so glad you were successful with them. YAY!

  • Reply Lucy October 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Hi! This looks like SUCH a yummy recipe! I just had one question. Could I make these using regular milk? (such as 2%) Thank you!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Hi Lucy, Unfortunately it’s not an even swap out. You really need the acid that the buttermilk has to react with the baking soda. Sorry about that!

  • Reply Jeweliby Castle August 30, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Hi there,

    As a college kid, these would be marvellous if I could just pop them out of the freezer and toast them. Do you have any tips for making them and storing them for later use? Or would you say that this recipe isn’t really meant for freezing?

    Many thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme August 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Hi! Yes, you absolutely can freeze these. I would recommend rolling out the dough, cutting it and then putting it on a baking sheet (separated) and sticking that in the freezer for about 1 hour. This should flash freeze them. Then I’d transfer the almost-frozen biscuits to a freezer-safe plastic bag and sticking them in the freezer until you’re ready to bake them off. You might need to bake them a few minutes longer but it should work out just great!

  • Reply tropical kitchen June 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    try a dash or three of cayenne in the dry ingredients for spunky biscuits. I’ll share my results from your recipe. many thanks.

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