The key to light flaky homemade biscuits is using the right ingredients and not overworking the dough
This is the winning buttermilk biscuit recipe from a series of experiments I conducted to develop a recipe that replicated my favorite biscuits from a trip to Atlanta.
The recipe ingredients are simple, but together they make biscuit magic. The White Lily flour makes a real difference when you’re trying to make tender biscuits.
Buttermilk biscuits are one of my favorite foods, especially fresh out of the oven.
There is something magical about the simple combination of flour, leavening, butter, and buttermilk that comes together to make gently browned, tender, flaky goodness.
Tips for Making Buttermilk Biscuits
I tried many recipes in an attempt to replicate the best biscuits I’ve had, but they were never quite the same until I gave in and ordered White Lily Self-Rising Flour.
As a Northerner, it’s hard to find White Lily Flour in grocery stores, so I turned to the internet to help me make the perfect biscuit.
White Lily flour is milled from soft red winter wheat, which has a lower protein content than most all-purpose flours. I will admit that I was skeptical that the flour would make a dramatic difference in the biscuits, but it did!
Be careful not to overwork the dough after adding the buttermilk. The goal is to mix the flour and the butter while keeping some pieces of butter just big enough to help make flaky layers in the biscuits. When you are finished, the mixture should look like lumpy wet sand with no pieces bigger than a pea.
Use the layering method to finish mixing the flour and buttermilk. It will help add layers without making the biscuits tough.
- Preheat oven to 475℉.
- Measure self-rising flour into a large mixing bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces (I usually cut it into ~12 pieces per stick) and add to flour. Use your fingers (or a pastry blender) to work the butter into the flour. The goal is to mix the flour and the butter while keeping some pieces of butter just big enough to help make flaky layers in the biscuits. When you are finished, the mixture should look like lumpy wet sand with no pieces bigger than a pea.
- Add the cold buttermilk and stir with a spoon approximately 8 times. Do not over mix. At this point, the dough should be mostly combined, but some loose flour and wetter parts of the dough will likely remain. They will be mixed in during the kneading.
- Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Use your hands to gently push together the dough into a ball, then flatten gently into a disk. Fold the dough in half, then repeat the flattening and folding motion approximately 5 times. The goal is for the flour mixture and buttermilk to be combined. It is essential to not overwork the dough, or the biscuits’ texture will be ruined.
- Flatten the dough with your hands to approximately ¾ inch thickness. Cut out rounds with a drinking glass or a biscuit cutter, if you have one. Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Gently knead the remaining dough scraps back together, then flatten to ¾ inch thickness. Cut out biscuits from the remaining dough and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake biscuits for 11-15 minutes depending on the size (smaller biscuits will bake faster). They should be golden brown on top when they are finished.