How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

September 13, 2018
There's nothing quite like a warm buttermilk biscuit slathered with melting butter or jam ~ it's truly the comfort food of the South.  Get your biscuit-shaping hands ready, and follow these steps on how to make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits to bake up a batch of tender biscuits in true Southern style!
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Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image


Having lived my childhood in Vermont, I didn't grow up eating biscuits on a regular basis.  Sure, we'd have them every now and then.  But it certainly wasn't a regular thing.  

But now that I live in the South?  It's a completely different story.  In North Carolina and all throughout the South, biscuits are a mealtime staple, for sure.

There's just nothing quite like a warm buttermilk biscuit slathered with melting butter or jam ~ it's truly the quintessential comfort food of the South. 

Did you know when it comes to making biscuits, different types of flour and a different approach are used to create fluffy versus flaky biscuits? 

They're a perfect accompaniment to any meal of the day, and hey, our family has even been known to enjoy them for snacking, too.  

But did you know when it comes to making biscuits, different types of flour and a different approach are used to create fluffy versus flaky biscuits?  

That's right, what works to create one doesn't work to create the other!  

While flaky biscuits call for a denser flour and rolling and cutting of the dough, fluffy biscuits use a lighter flour and are shaped by hand.  

So if you you're like us and like your biscuits on the fluffy side, grab your cake flour, get your biscuit-shaping hands ready, and follow these steps to bake up a batch of tender, fluffy biscuits in true Southern style!

How to Bake Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image

The first step in making fluffy biscuits is to work only with cold butter.  You want to leave that butter in the refrigerator until the very last moment you need it in preparing your biscuit recipe. 

Keeping the butter cold allows it to appropriately melt into the flour while the biscuits bake, making air pockets that help the biscuits rise.  

These air pockets create a tender, light texture in the baked biscuits.

How to Cut Butter into Cubes to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image

Cut that cold stick of butter lengthwise into thirds.  Then turn it 1/4-turn and cut it lengthwise into thirds again.

Then cut crosswise so you end up with lots of small cubes of butter.

Having these small cubes of butter will make it easy to work the butter into the biscuit dough flour mixture.

Cutting Butter into Flour to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image

To end up with fluffy biscuits, they need to be made using a lighter flour than for flaky biscuits.  A mixture of half all-purpose flour and half cake flour works well to create this needed lighter flour.

Cake flour is a fine delicate flour with less protein content than all-purpose flour.  It typically rises nicely, and creates a tender texture in baked goods.

It's definitely one of the secrets to making a great fluffy biscuit.

The first step in making fluffy biscuits is to work only with cold butter. This allows it to appropriately melt into the flour while the biscuits bake, making air pockets that help the biscuits rise.

So place a mixture of equal parts all-purpose flour and cake flour in a mixing bowl with baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Then add the butter pieces and use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until it becomes a crumbly texture similar to coarse cornmeal.

For even faster and easier prep, you can place the flour mixture and butter in a food processor and pulse 6 to 7 times until crumbly.  Just be careful not to over mix the biscuit dough if you do it this food processor way.

Dough for Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image

Add buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir just until the flour mixture is barely moistened.  Over mixing creates tough biscuits ~ so you want to stop mixing as soon as the flour's just gotten wet.

Then lightly flour your hands and use your hands to finish bringing the dough together.

If it seems like more moisture is needed to bring the dough together, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time.  But be careful with this and use no more than a total of 3 tablespoons additional buttermilk in the dough.

How to Shape Biscuits by Hand Image

Another key to making fluffy biscuits is to shape them by hand instead of rolling and cutting the dough.

With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.  Then gently pat each piece just a few times with your hands to form a rough flattened ball.

You don't want the dough to be squished together or packed tightly.  Just loosely and gently pat the dough to shape it.

How to Make Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image

Place the shaped biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake them up until they're a light golden brown on top.

For soft biscuit sides, place the shaped biscuits side by side with only a small space between them, as pictured above.  For crustier sides, space the shaped biscuits about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.

We like our biscuit sides on the softer side.

Baked Buttermilk Biscuits Image

Once the biscuits are baked, remove them from the oven and immediately brush each top with melted butter if you'd like.  You can certainly skip the melted butter step, but it sure makes a great thing even better. 

Then serve the biscuits up hot with additional butter or jam, or just plain if that's how you prefer.

There's nothing quite like a warm buttermilk biscuit slathered with melting butter or jam ~ it's truly the comfort food of the South.  

It's funny in our house ~ I like my biscuits plain, my husband likes them with butter, and don't even think about handing our 8-year-old one without a big slathering of blackberry jam. 

But now matter how you enjoy them, these fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits sure hit the spot for Southern comfort food.

Inside of Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits Image
Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground.  We'd love to have you back soon!



Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
(Print recipe)
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. cake flour {I use Swans Down}
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • about 2 T. butter, melted for brushing on tops of baked biscuits {optional}
Directions
  1. Cut the stick of butter lengthwise into thirds. Turn 1/4-turn and cut lengthwise into thirds again. Cut crosswise into small cubes.
  2. Place all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; stir to combine. Add butter pieces and use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut butter into the flour until it becomes a crumbly texture similar to coarse cornmeal.*
  3. Add buttermilk and stir gently until flour mixture is just moistened. Lightly flour your hands and use your hands to finish bringing the dough together. (Over mixing creates tough biscuits ~ so using your hands for the last mixing helps keep over mixing from happening.) If needed to bring the dough together, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time. But use no more than a total of 3 tablespoons additional buttermilk.
  4. With lightly floured hands, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Gently pat each piece just a few times with your hands to form a rough flattened ball.
  5. Place shaped biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet. For soft biscuit sides, place shaped biscuits side by side with only a small space between them. For crustier sides, space shaped biscuits about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 450℉ for 10 to 14 minutes until light golden brown on top.
  7. Remove biscuits from the oven and brush each top with melted butter. Serve immediately with additional butter or jam.
  8. Store leftover biscuits in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature. When ready to enjoy, warm in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds.

For fast and easy prep, place the flour mixture and butter in a food processor and pulse 6 to 7 times until crumbly.  Be careful to not over mix.

Enjoy!


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4 comments

  1. These look super easy and delicious! I would love you to share them with Smell Good Sunday (Sun thru Sat) https://jaytriedandtrue.blogspot.com/2018/09/smell-good-sunday-70.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is nothing like a great buttermilk biscuit, I can almost taste this biscuit! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday, your post is awesome. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen

    ReplyDelete
  3. My hubby is the biscuit expert and with this recipe I'm going to give a a little competition.
    Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

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