my favorite buttermilk biscuits

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Biscuits, previously: Cream Biscuits (the easiest biscuits in the world) and Blue Cheese Scallion Drop Biscuits. Lots of biscuits and scones in the archives as well.

One year ago: Potato Knish, Two Ways
Two years ago: The Best Baked Spinach
Three years ago: Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts and Coconut Milk Fudge
Four years ago: Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pita Bread
Five years ago: Homemade Devil Dog, Ding-Dong or Hostess Cake, Sweet Potato Wedges, Big Crumb Coffee Cake and Alex’s Chicken and Mushroom Marsala
Six years ago: Red Split Lentils With Cabbage, My Favorite Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes and a Cucumber Scallion Raita

My Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from Dot’s Diner in Boulder via Bon Appetit

I shared these on the site way back in its youth, 2007, but I’d adapted them as chive biscuits and it was buried in a post without any photos of their deliciousness. They never got the spotlight they deserved.

These can be adapted in a lot of ways. You can use (unleavened) cake flour for a more delicate biscuit, add herbs or a little grated cheese for a different flavor profile, and the sugar can be dialed up or down (the original calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons, but I use as little as 2 teaspoons when I want a savory biscuit). You can make your own buttermilk (like so) or whisk together yogurt or sour cream and milk for a similar effect. They can be dropped from a spoon or cut into shapes.

The original recipe has a larger yield (12 standard), but for our weekend needs, but I’ve taken to scaling it to 3/4 of its original volume (shown below), which will yield 6 very large breakfast biscuits (think: egg sandwich, and then invite me over, please) or 9 standard ones, the kind you’d serve alongside other things (although they will totally, unapologetically hog the spotlight).

2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons to 1 1/2 tablespoons (10 to 20 grams) sugar (to taste, see note above)
1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons (125 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk

Heat oven to 400 °F and cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large, wide bowl. Using fingertips or a pastry blender, work butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, Add buttermilk and stir until large, craggy clumps form. Reach hands into bowl and knead mixture briefly until it just holds together.

To form biscuit rounds: Transfer dough to floured counter and pat out until 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick (err on the thin side if uncertain, as the tall ones will literally rise and then tip over, like mine did the day I photographed these). Using a round cutter (2 inches for regular sized biscuits, 3 inches for the monstrous ones shown above), press straight down — twisting produces less layered sides — and transfer rounds to prepared sheet, spacing two inches apart.

To make drop biscuits: Drop 1/4-cup spoonfuls onto baking sheet, spacing two inches apart.

Both methods:Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve warm, with butter/jam/eggs/bacon/sausage and gravy or any combination thereof. Happy weekend!

Do ahead: Biscuits are best freshly baked. When I want to plan ahead, I make the biscuit dough and form the individual biscuits, then freeze them until needed. They can be baked directly from the freezer, will just need a couple more minutes baking time.


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