This Southern buttermilk biscuits recipe results in enough tall fluffy biscuits to feed a large gathering. Making biscuits from scratch is easy and fun.
[NOT A LOW CARB RECIPE!]
Baking relaxes me.
There’s something inherently relaxing in the process of making biscuits; measuring ingredients, cutting the butter, rubbing the silky, cool flour and firm, cold butter between my warm fingers until the butter is the size of peas, then stirring the cold buttermilk and eggs into the dry ingredients with my Nana’s wooden spoon.
Then comes the fun part: pouring the wet, sticky, dough onto the floured work surface and kneading gently with floured hands, until the dough is beautifully smooth and springy. The feel of the rolling pin as it bumps its way across the dough and the way my wrists finish with a flick. The cold, metal biscuit cutter biting into and through the dough with a gentle resistance and stopping with a light bump against the counter top…
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight. Lay the soft disks of biscuit dough on the baking sheet; like familiar friends sitting shoulder to shoulder. Gather the scraps of dough together to do it all again until there is no more dough left – just the odd scraps scraped and pressed together to make that last misshapen biscuit. (That’s okay, I’ll eat that one when no one is looking.) Then, into the hot oven, where being held in place by their neighbors, the only place to go is up-up-up until the doughiness is cooked away, leaving pillows of soft fluffy biscuits ready for almost any meal or adornment.
Biscuits are the epitome of simple food made from simple ingredients and these Southern buttermilk biscuits are just that – fluffy and simple. They don’t require much skill or time, but make a meal a little heartier and homier. Topped with berries and cream, they become a humble dessert and a simple concoction of chicken and gravy is elevated to mega-comfort-food-status simply by adding a biscuit. I mean, who doesn’t like chicken and biscuits? And, let’s not forget the ever popular southern buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy – perfect with cheesy grits, no?
This recipe, heavily adapted from Bo Friberg’s wonderful book The Professional Pastry Chef, makes soft, pillowy, light, fluffy, buttery and tender on the inside biscuits with a crispy golden brown exterior.
Some of you may be wondering why a Low-carber is posting a recipe for Southern buttermilk biscuits. Well, not everyone in my life follows a low carb life style and it’s nice to keep up my baking skills – it’s been years since I have cooked with regular ingredients.
This recipe makes a lot of fluffy buttermilk biscuits – a whole sheet pan full, but they will wait patiently in the freezer until you need them and taste just as good as they did the day they were made.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe from Scratch (fluffy)
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour 10 ounces
- 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour 15 ounces
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 sticks salted butter 8 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour for rolling 4 ounces
- Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper
- Measure the cake flour and the all purpose flour into a large bowl. Add the baking soda and baking powder and mix together with a large whisk.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the dry biscuit ingredients. Rub the mixture between your fingertips, until the butter is incorporated into the flour and the largest pieces resemble peas. Not old school? Use a handled dough blender for this step.
- Into a smaller bowl, add the buttermilk, heavy cream and the three eggs. Blend together thoroughly, then pour into the dry biscuit mixture. Stir the ingredients together with a spoon or spatula until almost all of the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rest for five minutes. This gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid.
- Flour the work surface and turn the buttermilk biscuit dough into the middle, heavily dusting its surface with more flour. Gently knead the dough until it becomes smooth; about 30 - 60 seconds. Cover with a tea towel and wait for another 5 minutes.
- Uncover the dough, flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a rectangle - the thickness doesn't matter. Fold 1/3 of the dough into the center and the other end of the dough on top of it -- folding it like a business letter. Dust the work surface again and also the top of the buttermilk biscuit dough. Again, roll the dough into a rectangle and fold like a business letter. Dust the work surface again and roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2 of an inch thick.
- Preheat the oven to 400, positioning the rack in the middle.
- Dip a 2 inch biscuit cutter into the flour and begin cutting out the buttermilk biscuits. DON'T TWIST the cutter, just PUSH STRAIGHT DOWN. Place the cut rounds of biscuit dough onto the sheet pan, making sure they are touching. Gather the scraps and gently work back together. Flour the work surface, flour the top of the dough and roll out again to about 1/2 of an inch in thickness. Cut. Repeat the process and fill the pan.
- Place the buttermilk biscuits into the oven and immediately turn the heat up to 425. Cook for five minutes. Turn the heat up to 450 and cook for five minutes. Turn the heat down to 400 and cook for 3-8 minutes more depending on your oven. If your biscuits are thicker, it may take a few minutes more.
These biscuits try to rise so high that they tip over a bit. Bigger biscuits will counter act the tip.