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.
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 the dough 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 buttermilk biscuits.
The original recipe makes 12 buttermilk biscuits, but I cut it in half to make 6 small (or 4 large) 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, make chocolate chip biscuits or turn this dough into scones! The dough works perfectly for slightly reduced fat scones. I put instructions for turning the dough into scones in the notes section.
- 1 cup (4.5 oz) all purpose flour plus more for work surface
- 1 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, chopped up
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1/2 cup cold buttermilk (full fat if you can find it!)
- Melted butter for brushing tops
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and stir very well. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture is coarse.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brush tops with melted butter if desired.
Here’s an old picture.