Recently Clabber Girl challenged me to use their baking powder in a series of posts all about biscuits (I have the best job ever). So I kicked off the series testing out butter vs. shortening biscuits, be sure to check out that post to see which is the best!
Now I’m moving on to showing you exactly how to make perfect biscuits with step-by-step photos and ALL of my favorite tips, tricks, and advice to ensure flavorful, buttery, flaky, and tender biscuits. There’s nothing as comforting as a batch of warm homemade biscuits fresh from the oven.
Warning: this post is chock-full of helpful and mouthwatering photos! So if you’d like to learn how to make glorious, heavenly, scrumptious biscuits, keep reading.
Also be sure to follow Clabber Girl on Facebook for tons of baking recipes and tips and stay tuned for another post all about biscuits coming soon!
Biscuits require just a few simple ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand! I like to add a touch of sugar to my biscuits for a lovely well-rounded flavor, but feel free to leave it out if you prefer.
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, Clabber Girl baking powder, baking soda, and fine salt. Next add in 6 tablespoons of chilled and cubed butter. I like to cut my butter into little cubes and pop them in the freezer while I gather the other ingredients and preheat the oven. The key to flaky biscuits is ultra cold chunks of butter that melt while the biscuits bake and create tiny pockets of steam to lift the dough into flaky layers. Yum!
Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal (I love this sturdy pastry blender from OXO). You want some larger chunks of butter to remain. The faster you do this, the better, because remember the butter must keep cold!
Next pour in the buttermilk and stir until JUST combined, until the flour is just incorporated and then whatever you do, stop mixing. The key to tender biscuits is a light hand; if you overmix the biscuits will end up dry, tough, and dense. No one wants that!
TIP: Use real buttermilk if possible, not a DIY substitute, because it is a crucial part of the biscuits.
As you can see, the dough will be quite loose and sticky which is just what we want.
All these steps can also be done in the food processor, which is actually my preferred method of biscuit making. It’s quick and easy and best of all, the food processor works fast enough to keep the butter perfectly cold.
Just make sure you do not over-process the dough, it will only take a few pulses to bring all the ingredients together.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and sprinkle with more flour. Gently pat the dough out into a 1/2-inch thick round, rotating often to ensure the dough isn’t sticking. If you want REALLY tall biscuits, feel free to shape the dough to 3/4-inch or even 1-inch thickness instead. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to push straight down through the dough to cut out circles. Do not twist the biscuit cutter; doing so may prevent the biscuits from rising. Straight up and down! Place the biscuits on parchment lined baking sheets.
TIP: If you want to skip rolling out and cutting the dough, simply drop the biscuit dough by scant 1/4-cup portions onto the baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits at 450°F until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
TIP: Make sure your oven is at the right temperature as it needs to be nice and hot! I like to use an oven thermometer to make sure, my oven will often say it’s preheated when it’s really 15 to 20°F cooler.
The best part about making homemade biscuits is that the options for flavor customization are virtually limitless! I LOVE to add cheese to my biscuits, especially sharp cheddar!
Simply add in any extra flavorings and ingredients as the dough comes together, again being careful not to mix too much.
Who could say no to these golden brown cheesy, buttery, flaky, tender biscuits?! Here are some more scrumptious add-in ideas, feel free to get creative and mix-and-match.
Cheese – 1 cup shredded or crumbled cheese such as cheddar, Gruyere, Parmesan, Asiago, goat cheese, feta
Bacon – 4 to 5 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
Green Onions – 1/4 cup sliced green onions
Fresh herbs – 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, thyme, chives, sage, parsley
Garlic – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Jalapeno – 1 jalalpeno, seeded and diced
Chipotle – 1 tablespoon finely minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and more for sprinkling on top before baking
Biscuits also taste great with gravy, of course, or a smear of jam or a spoonful of honey. They make fabulous breakfast sandwiches.
Make Ahead and Storage:
To make the biscuits ahead of time, simply place the unbaked rounds of biscuit dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Remove them to an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Bake as directed, adding an additional 5 minutes to the baking time, or until golden brown. This is also perfect if you don’t want to bake the entire batch or want biscuits ready on demand.
(9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Clabber Girl baking powder
unsalted butter, very cold
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter or the shortening and pulse the food processor several times to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. You can also do this by hand with a pastry blender. The faster you do this the better, you want the fat to remain cold. Stir in the buttermilk until just combined. DO NOT overmix, the dough will be slightly sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and dust the dough with flour. Gently pat the dough out until it’s a 1/2-inch in thickness. Use a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to push straight down through the dough to cut out circles, try not to twist the cutter. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing 2-inches apart. Reform the scrap dough into 1/2-inch thickness, being sure to work with it as little as possible, before cutting out more circles.
Bake the biscuits until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl. All opinions provided are my own.