Filed Under: Bread | How To

How to Make Biscuits

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
December 8th, 2014
5 from 5 votes
5 from 5 votes

A step-by-step photo tutorial on How to Make Biscuits with make ahead baking advice and customization ideas with flavorful add-ins.

Yield: 10 -12 biscuits

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Step-by-step guide with all the tips & tricks for making PERFECT flaky biscuits!

This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl. All opinions provided are my own.

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.

Step-by-step guide with all the tips & tricks for making PERFECT flaky biscuits!

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!

How to Make Biscuits
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.

How to Make Biscuits: a step-by-step guide!
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!

How to Make Biscuits: a step-by-step guide!
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!

How to Make Biscuits: a step-by-step guide!
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.

How to Make Biscuits: a step-by-step guide!
As you can see, the dough will be quite loose and sticky which is just what we want.

How to Make Biscuits Step-by-Step
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.

How to Make Biscuits: a step-by-step guide!
Just make sure you do not over-process the dough, it will only take a few pulses to bring all the ingredients together.

How to Make Biscuits: a step-by-step guide!
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.

Step-by-step guide with all the tips & tricks for making PERFECT flaky biscuits!
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!

Step- by-step guide for making perfect cheesy bisucits
Simply add in any extra flavorings and ingredients as the dough comes together, again being careful not to mix too much.

Step- by-step guide for making perfect cheesy bisucits
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.

Biscuit Add-Ins:

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.

Step- by-step guide for making PERFECT cheesy biscuits. These are mouthwatering!

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.

5 from 5 votes

How to make
Biscuits

Yield: 10 -12 biscuits
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
A step-by-step photo tutorial on How to Make Biscuits with make ahead baking advice and customization ideas with flavorful add-ins.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Clabber Girl baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake the biscuits until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American

This post is sponsored by Clabber Girl. All opinions provided are my own.

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — December 8, 2014 at 5:51 am

    My husband LOVES biscuits, and is always going on about how his dad makes the best. So, I just never bothered to try to compete…mostly, because I had no idea how.
    Now, the competition is ON! Love this! Pinned 🙂

  2. #
    Melissa — December 8, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Tessa, I’m curious about your comment regarding the buttermilk. What does it do that makes it so integral to the recipe, i.e. should not be substituted? I only ask as I am lactose intolerant and, obviously, can’t have buttermilk. (Oddly, butter’s fine because there’s no lactose enzyme in the cream made to make butter). Anyway, I was hoping you could clear that up. I love biscuits – I usually use the recipe from the old betty crocker cookbook – but would love to try yours. They look much more golden brown than my recipe. Thanks for the post!

    • #
      Tessa — December 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Good question! The buttermilk is such a huge flavor component of classic-style Southern biscuits and I’ve tested both biscuits and even muffins with buttermilk vs. regular milk vs. almond milk and it truly does make a difference in flavor. I am so not an advocate of asking people to buy extra ingredients at the store, but real buttermilk is worth it in this case. HOWEVER, since you can’t have buttermilk or milk feel free to use your favorite lactose-free alternative. Sadly there’s nothing I know of that can really compete, but it’s better than having a stomach ache!

    • #
      Deloris Berry — November 3, 2019 at 8:58 am

      Hi Melissa, I use either almond or soy milk to make the buttermilk. It may not be the same but it works for lactose intolerance. Almond or soy milk are the best ones to get curdled milk. Hope this helps you.

  3. #
    Charlotte Moore — December 8, 2014 at 7:58 am

    There is nothing better than a buttermilk biscuit. My recipe is almost the same as yours. The only difference I pat mine out then fold over like a letter and fold over agin. Then pat out again and do the same thing. I do this 3 times then cut them out on the last patting put. They will rise even taller because it builds layers. I just learned this trick a year or so ago. I tested one without folding and then folded the rest of the dough. They were twice as tall as the one I didn’t fold.

    • #
      Tessa — December 8, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      Excellent tip!!

  4. #
    Carolyn — December 8, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Those really are remarkably perfect biscuits!

  5. #
    Deborah — December 8, 2014 at 9:09 am

    I would have loved one of those with my egg this morning!! I love Clabber Girl – it’s the only brand of baking powder I buy!

  6. #
    Alvin — December 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Melissa: I would think it is just the flavour of the buttermilk. I’m sure you can do the DIY buttermilk with lactose free milk but they would have a somewhat different flavour.

  7. #
    Liz — December 8, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Whoa, do your biscuits look perfect! And the options are all magnificent…I’ll start by adding cheese and work my way through the list 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — December 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you and good plan 🙂

  8. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — December 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    You are amazing- this is such a perfect, comprehensive guide to follow. Love!

    • #
      Tessa — December 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks so much Lori!

  9. #
    Gaby — December 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Great guide, the cheesy ones look fantastic!

  10. #
    Jenny Flake — December 8, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    These look awesome Tessa! Great tutorial!!

  11. #
    leslie — December 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    There is nothing better than a buttermilk biscuit!!!!

  12. #
    Carla — December 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I use Clabber Girl baking powder as well when I bake. I love freshly made biscuits, especially biscuits and gravy. Love the tips and tricks in this post.

  13. #
    Judy — May 6, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I don’t use liquid buttermilk because it would go bad before I used it all. So I use the powdered buttermilk that’s for cooking. You mix the powder in with the other dry ingredients,,,I sift everything together…..then add water and prepare as usual. The biscuits come out just as pretty and delicious.

  14. #
    dbearhugnc — December 29, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Tessa, you make the point about butter vs. shortening. But, have you ever compared flour? Living in the North Carolina, I guess I’m lucky. But, I’ve had much better luck with my biscuits using either White Lily Self-Rising (a soft, winter wheat with a lower protein content than others which used to be milled in Knoxville TN – but now milled elsewhere after being purchased by Smuckers) or Southern Biscuit Self-Rising (also a soft, winter wheat milled in Newton NC). Even when I’ve used all-purpose flour and triple sifted the dry ingredients, the self-rising still beats the outcome.

    And, to Judy. Don’t’ worry about the buttermilk. I’ve actually had a better outcome with buttermilk which is past the ‘Use By’ date. And, buttermilk can vary a lot. I’ve lucked up on a local dairy (Maple View Farm in Hillsborough, NC) which sells their buttermilk in real glass bottles. Even when I use it fresh, it’s nice and clumpy from the cultures they use. Wonderful stuff.

  15. #
    Joyce — January 13, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I just finished doing this recipe for dinner. I had fun doing this delicious recipe with my 8 year old child, she had a lot of fun. It came out super good!!! Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  16. #
    Bev Martin — February 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I just made the biscuits. The first attorney did not turn out very good so I tried again. The second batch was better but they turned brown on the bottom before the top. Do you know what caused this issue? It may be thst my oven is too hot?

    • #
      Tessa — February 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      If it wasn’t your oven (I suggest getting an oven thermometer to be sure it’s accurate), it could have been the pan or the positioning in the oven. Dark colored pans or pans that are still hot from the previous batch can burn the bottoms of your baked goods. If your oven rack is too close to the bottom of the oven, that can also lead to the same problem.

  17. #
    Kimberly Criqui — March 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Says 2 cups (9 ounces) flour

    Please clarify.

    Making these now. Thank you!

  18. #
    Jibsman — January 9, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    I realize this is an old thread, from 2016? So long ago!!! I have read that rolling the dough out thin, then flouring and folding, repeating several times creates the layers that make biscuits so wonderful. Of course the problem is the more you handle the dough the tougher the biscuits get.

    Any suggestions on a compromise would be really really helpful!!!

    Jibsman

  19. #
    viola kayima — February 23, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I always wondered how biscuits were made…..but now……am becoming a proffesional………

  20. #
    Rae — December 18, 2018 at 9:58 am

    They were almost perfect. Mine didn’t rise much but I think it’s my baking powder – getting new and trying again when family is here. I’ll also try your freezer idea They were pretty and delicious. Thank you.

  21. #
    Alton McMillan — March 26, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you. It was easy to follow the steps of your recipe.

  22. #
    Douglas — May 21, 2019 at 1:56 am

    I can never use that little milk and get my dough to stay soft. I can hardly get all of the floor mix all incorporated, let alone “sticky.” I’ve tried almost doubling the milk and my last batch rose double.

    Any comments? Any one else run into this?

  23. #
    Douglas — May 21, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    I learn something every day! Thank you for your reply. I just opened a new bag of floor and scooped it out with my measuring cup. Watching your video make my mistake obvious.

    Thank You.

  24. #
    Steve — October 17, 2019 at 8:57 am

    I froze the cut biscuits for 30 minutes and put them on a preheated baking pan. 15 minutes later…perfection!

  25. #
    Andrew Macmilan — February 26, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I will try these biscuits at home

  26. #
    Ana — March 2, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    Do you bake the biscuits right after you cut them, or do they need to go in the fridge first? Also, can these be refrigerated overnight? When do you add the cheese (before or after buttermilk)?

  27. #
    Detlef Goellner — April 13, 2020 at 8:15 am

    I always use cram of tartar instead of baking soda. They rise fantastically with it. Folding by hand for about a minute is better than the food processor because they will be less dry and rise better. Just my 2 cents.

  28. #
    Joel Turner — April 23, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Is there any oil, olive oil on the biscuit pan?
    I didn’t see it on the recipe!

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