Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Hands-on Time
25 Mins
Total Time
50 Mins
Makes 12 to 14 biscuits

After baking hundreds of biscuits, our Test Kitchen landed on this winning recipe for Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit. This no-fail biscuit recipe will impress new cooks and old pros alike.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 475°. Grate frozen butter using large holes of a box grater. Toss together grated butter and flour in a medium bowl. Chill 10 minutes.

Step 2

Make a well in center of mixture. Add buttermilk, and stir 15 times. Dough will be sticky.

Step 3

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times.

Step 4

Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.

Step 5

Place dough rounds on a parchment paper-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter.

Step 6

For Pillowy Dinner Rolls: Cut in 1/2 cup cold shortening instead of cold butter. You'll get a soft biscuit that stays tender, even when cool. Plus, shortening has a neutral flavor that will complement anything on your dinner plate.

Step 7

For Sweet Shortcakes: Add 2 Tbsp. sugar to the flour, and replace buttermilk with heavy cream. The sugar lends the biscuits a subtle sweetness, and the extra fat in heavy cream gives them a crumbly texture like shortbread. They're the perfect base for shortcake desserts.

Step 8

For Crunchy-Bottomed Biscuits: Warm a cast-iron skillet in the oven, and spread a bit of butter in the skillet before adding the biscuits. The bottoms will end up crunchy and golden brown and provide a sturdy base that holds up to a smothering of sausage gravy.

Step 9

For Pickle Biscuits: Why didn't we think of these sooner? Stir 4 Tbsp. drained dill pickle relish into buttermilk before adding to flour mixture. Split baked biscuits, and top with ham and mustard for the World's Best Ham Sandwich! We promise.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, May, 2014

Ratings & Reviews

October 25, 2015
It took me 3 try's but they finally came out perfect.  I used a large cutting board instead of parchment paper.  I find that when you place them touching each other in the baking pan they rise perfectly.  Hope this works.

December 22, 2015
Yes, 475 F! Professional bakers use that temperature to MAKE the biscuits rise higher.  One professional I talked to said most people handle the dough too much. Just dust it with flour and go straight into pressing it into a 1/2 inch disk. Be sure to put it on the center rack and do not overcook it. (Just until it is light brown.) True oven temperatures sometimes vary. Watch it to see what time is best for yours. (The professional told me to bake mine 12 minutes, give or take a few.)I use a silver-colored Air Bake cookie sheet instead of a Jelly Roll pan.  You have to be careful taking them out or they will slide off of the pan, but the bottoms don't burn as much. If you use a dark non-stick pan, be sure to lower the baking time.  Dark pans bake hotter and faster.Also, the only time parchment paper has burned for me was when I put too wide of a sheet on my pan and the overhang burnt. I hope this is helpful for you!Staloogin

January 31, 2017
I use a stone baking sheet with no parchment paper to bake mine. Put them on a lower rack in the oven (remember I use a stone to bake) . I do put them on the sheet almost touching. You could lower the oven to 450 but no  ess.

September 20, 2017
With a convection oven, I bake at 425 for 10 minutes.  475 is too high a temp in my opinion.  Overworking the biscuits could cause them to not rise. 

Self Rising Flour

April 26, 2015
Great basic recipe. If they don't rise, check the age of your SR flour. Baking powder loses effectiveness very quickly. You can make your own self-rising flour by combining 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt.

September 14, 2016
Perhaps it is how the flour was measured?Measuring flour is tricky. Never pack it into the measuring cup. Instead, gently spoon flour into the measuring cup, then scrape any excess flour off to make it level with the straight side of a table knife.

September 20, 2017
If your dough does not come together add a little bit more buttermilk.  This recipe is similar to what my grandmother and mother handed down to me except we don't use self rising flour.  I use 2 cups all purpose, 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt.  I don't measure my buttermilk but add it by feel.  Usually between 1 and 1 ½ cups.  It all depends on the humidity in the area.  I also butter mine right out of the oven so the butter melts in right away. 

November 30, 2017

November 30, 2017
I had the same problem. Simply add small splashes of buttermilk in until the mix comes together. Be sure not to add too much though, or your dough will become soppy! 

August 31, 2015
A stir is one complete revolution around the bowl with your spatula.  Yes, you need to use real butter instead of margarine.