Buttermilk Biscuits

by Alonzo Cantu July 25, 2020 4 min read

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits are a must when you live in the South. There are so many ways to make them and even more ways to serve them. Whether they’re smothered in creamy sausage gravy, served with fried chicken, or simply topped with butter and jam, biscuits are great any hour of the day!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Unsalted butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cheese grater (optional)

The Method:

There are many methods to making biscuits. You can do it by hand with a fork, pastry cutter, food processor, or even a stand mixer. All of these methods work just fine, however, cutting butter can be very annoying and large counter appliances seem like too much work for something so simple. I find the perfect kitchen tool for making biscuits is...a cheese grater!

The goal when making biscuits is to cut cold butter into flour and incorporate until it looks nice and crumbly. When the dough bakes, the butter melts, creating little pockets of air throughout the biscuit. This results in a flaky texture, but having large pieces of butter can result in a biscuit that is too flaky. Likewise, butter that is not chilled or over mixed can result in a dense biscuit. This is where I find a cheese grater to be very helpful.

By using a cheese grater (on the side with the largest holes) you can quickly cut the butter into small pieces. The pieces remain consistent in size which I find makes a more even biscuit. The grater eliminates the need to pre-cut the butter like you would need to do with the methods mentioned above. It also makes the process easier and faster because less work is required to cut it into the flour.

This is my preferred method when making biscuits or pie dough, but you can use whichever method works best for you.

The Process:

First, make sure your butter is cold. Using a cheese grater with the largest holes, grate 1 stick of butter into a bowl or plate. Place the grated butter back into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to make sure it is completely chilled.

While the butter is chilling, combine 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of granulated sugar. Whisk the ingredients together.

Once the grated butter has chilled, add it to the flour mixture. Using your fingers, rub the cold, grated butter into the dry ingredients until nice and crumbly. Pour in 1 cup of cold buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until mostly combined. Using your hands, fold the dough until it comes together. You don’t want to overwork the dough. It shouldn’t be very sticky but also not too dry. If the dough seems too dry, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time. Likewise, if the dough seems too wet, add some flour 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency.

Place the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough or press it lightly with your finger tips into a rectangle of 1” thickness. Use a round cutter and cut out the biscuits. I typically use a cutter about 2.5-3” in diameter and will get 8-10 biscuits.

Cut as many biscuits as you can. If you can’t cut any more, fold the leftover dough together and repeat the process of rolling and cutting. Place the biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with leftover buttermilk or melted butter.

Bake the biscuits at 425°F for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. Serve them while they’re hot and enjoy!

 

Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes: 8-10 Biscuits

Prep Time: 15 minutes     Bake Time: 12-15 minutes

Amount

Ingredient

2 ½ cups

All-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons

Baking powder

8 Tablespoons (1 Stick)

Unsalted butter, chilled

1 teaspoon

Salt

1 ½ teaspoons

Granulated sugar

1 cup

Buttermilk

2-3 Tablespoons

Melted butter, for brushing

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 

  2. Grate 1 stick of unsalted butter using a cheese grater with the largest holes. Place in the refrigerator for an extra 5-10 minutes to chill.

  3. While the butter is chilling, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl and whisk until combined.

  4. Add the chilled, grated butter to the flour mixture. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until combined. It should look crumbly. Next, add 1 cup of buttermilk and stir using a wooden spoon. When the spoon becomes too hard to stir, use your hands to fold the dough just until combined.

  5. Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface. Press or roll the dough into a rectangular shape of 1” thickness. Cut biscuits by pressing straight down with a cutter off 2.5-3” in diameter. Take the excess dough and fold back together. Repeat by rolling and cutting the dough. 

  6. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top.

  7. Brush the tops with more melted butter immediately out of the oven and serve hot.

 

Alonzo Cantu
Alonzo Cantu



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