Buttermilk Biscuits with Self-Rising Flour are a classic Southern delight, known for their flaky texture and buttery flavor. This recipe combines self-rising flour, cold butter, and tangy buttermilk to create a tasty batch of biscuits.
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With a flaky, buttery texture that seems to effortlessly melt in your mouth, biscuits are just one of those treats that we love to make. We eat them for breakfast with some butter or jam, or as a more elaborate biscuits and gravy, we make chicken sliders out of them, and we take them on picnics. It’s prime finger food!
With a simple list of ingredients and easy instructions, even beginner bakers can successfully create a batch of delicious biscuits from scratch. There’s no need to purchase pre-made biscuits that won’t even taste half as good as these.
- Self-Rising Flour – Self-rising flour is a convenient choice as it already contains leavening agents
- Baking Powder – Try and use fresh baking powder. To determine if your baking powder is still effective, perform a simple test by adding a small amount to boiling water. If it produces bubbles or fizzles, it indicates that your baking powder is still active and suitable for use
- Baking Soda – Just a dash to baking soda will help with the rising of the biscuits in the oven.
- Sugar – You can leave the sugar out if you like a more savory biscuit.
- Cold Butter – Cubed, cold butter is essential for achieving a flaky texture in the biscuits.
- Buttermilk – In my opinion, you really can’t go without the buttermilk. It gives a distinct flavor and texture to the biscuits. If you don’t have any you can substitute with 3/4 cup of whole milk and 2 teaspoons of vinegar mixed together.
Why Use Buttermilk?
Buttermilk is used in biscuit recipes for several key reasons:
- Acidity: Buttermilk is slightly acidic, and this acid reacts with the baking soda or baking powder in the recipe to create carbon dioxide gas. These gas bubbles help the dough rise and create a light, fluffy texture in the finished biscuit.
- Taste: The acidity in buttermilk also imparts a distinct, tangy flavor to the biscuits that can’t be replicated with regular milk. This gives the biscuits a depth and complexity of flavor that many people find appealing.
- Tenderness: The acid in buttermilk can also help to break down the long, tough strands of gluten that form when you mix flour with liquid. This leads to a more tender, delicate crumb in the finished biscuits.
- Moisture: Buttermilk has a thicker consistency than regular milk, which can help keep biscuits moist and delicious.
All these properties make buttermilk a favorite ingredient for biscuit recipes. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can create a substitute by adding 2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar to 3/4 cup of whole milk and letting it sit for about 10 minutes until it curdles. This will mimic the acidity and tenderizing properties of buttermilk, though it may not replicate the unique flavor perfectly.
How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits
Step 1: Prepare the oven
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.
Step 2: Mix the dough
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add the cold butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles rough gravel.
Pour the cold buttermilk into the mixture and stir gently until a dough starts to form.
Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands. The more you work the dough, the tougher your biscuits will be. Pat the dough into a rectangle and fold the ends in over each other. Turn the dough 90 degrees and pat back into a rectangle. Fold in the ends.
Step 3: Form the Biscuits
Finally, pat the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2” biscuit cutter. Do not twist the biscuit cutter, just press down and pull up. Cut the biscuits as close together as possible, then gather the remaining dough, press back to 1” thick and cut more.
Place the biscuits, touching each other, on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with buttermilk.
Step 4: Bake
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. They should be almost doubled in size, because they expand up quite a bit as they bake. You want to make sure they are cooked through before removing them. Even if the tops are browned, sometimes the center isn’t cooked through yet. You can test one by pulling it apart slightly in the middle to make sure it’s cooked.
Cool the biscuits for about 5 minutes before serving. This is my favorite way to serve them – hot from the oven. However, they can be cooled completely and stored in a bag or container until you’re ready to serve them.
Additional Helpful Tips
- Cold butter and buttermilk are crucial for achieving a flaky texture in the biscuits. Keep them refrigerated until ready to use.
- Overworking the dough can result in tough biscuits. Mix the ingredients until just combined, and avoid excessive kneading or stirring.
- Once the buttermilk is added to the dry ingredients, stir until the dough starts to come together. Overmixing can lead to dense biscuits.
- Dip the biscuit cutter in flour before cutting out the biscuits to prevent sticking. Also be sure not to twist the cutter as you push through the dough. A clean in and out will result in the layers you expect.
- To achieve flakiness, perform a few folds by patting down the dough, folding it in half, and repeating the process a few times before cutting out the biscuits.
How to Store
Airtight Container: Place the cooled biscuits in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Store them at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Refrigerator: Transfer the biscuits to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freezer: When baked biscuits are properly wrapped and stored in the freezer, they can last for about 2-3 months.
Remember, while storing biscuits is convenient, they are at their best when enjoyed fresh. So, try to consume them within a couple of days for the best taste and texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I freeze the biscuit dough?
Yes, you can freeze the biscuit dough. Prepare the dough, cut out the biscuits, and arrange them on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the biscuits are frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag. When ready to bake, simply place the frozen biscuits on a baking sheet and add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Why are my biscuits tough?
Biscuits can become tough if the dough is overworked or if there is too much gluten development. To ensure tender biscuits, handle the dough gently, mix it just until it comes together, and avoid excessive kneading or stirring.
How do I reheat leftover biscuits?
To reheat leftover biscuits, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and bake for about 5-7 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can wrap a biscuit in a damp paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds until warmed.
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Buttermilk Biscuits with Self-Rising Flour
- 4 cups (500 g) self rising flour
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) sugar
- 1 cup (227 g) cold butter cubed
- 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) cold buttermilk plus more for the tops of the biscuits
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until well combined. Add the cold butter to the bowl and use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles rough gravel.
- Pour the cold buttermilk into the mixture and stir gently until a dough starts to form.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and bring it together with your hands. The more you work the dough, the tougher your biscuits will be. Pat the dough into a rectangle and fold the ends in over each other. Turn the dough 90 degrees and pat back into a rectangle. Fold in the ends.
- Finally, pat the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Cut out the biscuits with a 2 1/2” biscuit cutter. Do not twist the biscuit cutter, just press down and pull up. Cut the biscuits as close together as possible, then gather the remaining dough, press back to 1” thick and cut more.
- Place the biscuits, touching each other, on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with buttermilk.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.