Buttermilk Biscuits

These buttermilk biscuits are among my all-time favorites. Originally from Alton Brown, they have a little bit less fat than other recipes, but are still rich, tender and very satisfying.

buttermilk biscuits

It took me a while to get them just right because in the past I was always afraid of overworking biscuit dough and avoided the folding technique. These days I’d rather work it a little more and fold it over and over on itself to get nice layers. Plus, if you use a softer flour (e.g. White Lily) with less protein, you can be a little rougher with the dough and still get tender biscuits.

buttermilk biscuits

The original recipe makes 12 biscuits, but I cut it in half and usually get about 4 larger size. If I use an actual 2-inch cutter rather than whatever cylinder shaped thing is nearby, I get 6.

buttermilk biscuits

I also added a little sugar to the recipe just because I like a very, very small amount of sweetness to balance the salt. Still, these biscuits aren’t exactly sweet. If you want something sweet, turn them into scones! The dough works perfectly for slightly reduced fat scones. I put instructions for turning the dough into scones in the notes section.

buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe will give you 6 2 inch or 4 larger size buttermilk biscuits.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • 1 cup (4.5 oz) all purpose flour plus more for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, chopped up
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • Melted butter for brushing tops
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl and stir very well. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture is coarse.
  3. Add half of the buttermilk and stir with a heavy duty scraper until dough is moistened, then gradually add remaining buttermilk until dough comes together in a nice ball. It should be slightly sticky, but will become dryer as it picks up flour from the work surface.
  4. Turn dough onto a well floured surface. Dust top with flour and gently press the dough down until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Fold it over on itself about 3 times and press down again to make a slab that's about 1 inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter.
  5. Re-shape the scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. Arrange biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until biscuits are golden-- 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Brush tops with melted butter if desired.
This dough is not exactly kneaded, but it is folded over and over on itself to make layers. For the best results, use White Lily flour. It is a softer flour with less protein so you can handle it a little more without roughening up the gluten. To make the biscuits as scones, add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the recipe and about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. After you press the dough down, spread blueberries gently over the dough and press lightly. You can use fresh or frozen. Fold the dough over, being careful not to crush the berries. Shape into a 3 1/2 inch wide half-circle and cut the half circle into 4 triangles. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes.


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  1. says

    Fuzz looks so grown up and lady like in her black and white dress, and black shoes! Her hair looks really nice too! I hope she felt really special that day!

    The next time I make biscuits I hope I remember this recipe. They sound wonderful. I kind of wanted to make biscuits for dinner last night but that didn’t happen.

  2. says

    Fuzz says thanks for the compliments.

    Dave, I think biscuits are a bit lighter textured with shortening, but butter would probably be just fine.

    Sue, thanks for noticing Fuzz’s shoes. They’re her first pair of heels.

  3. Louise says

    Oh my gosh. Fuzz looks so grown up in her new dress. I’m glad she did well with her performance of “Memory”. I took piano lessons all the way through high school, but my teacher came to our house and I never as much as met another of his students, let alone give a performance.

    I made this biscuit recipe a couple of months ago when I needed something to go with beef stew. They were very tasty.

  4. says

    anna- i’m so glad you tried this. i love my alton brown, but have you ever tried his blueberry muffin recipe? i have 3 times and it never comes out right. this never happens to me.

  5. Karen says

    Love the picture of Fuzz! My daughter had her 10th(!) piano recital May 2. One more year to go and then college. Yikes!

  6. says

    I am not a huge fan of biscuits but lately i have been trying many different recipes trying to find a flakey yet soft biscuit. UGH, no luck yet.
    Yours look like they would be great with fresh berries and cream for a dessert.

  7. says

    Fuzz looks so pretty in her dress! I love how quick biscits are to make!

  8. says

    Fuzz looks so pretty in that dress! The biscuits look great — I’d probably add a little sugar, too.

  9. says

    Wow, congratulations to Emma! She looks so grown up and pretty in her recital dress too. 🙂
    Hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend!

  10. says

    Oh my goodness, furniture shopping is sooo hard for me too. I had a designer come in this year and he totally rearranged everything and told me what I should buy. Your little girl is beautiful…how blessed we are to have healthy kids!!!

  11. Katherine says

    Thanks for this recipe. Came in handy tonight for a quick strawberry shortcake. I made it into 3 big biscuits which was perfect for a for us.

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