Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Southerners are passionate about their biscuits. Every southern grandmother has a family recipe for the “best” biscuits passed down from her great grandmother’s grandmother. Any breakfast in the south is incomplete without biscuits involved, such as Southern Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, or Biscuits with Eggs, grits, and bacon. They’re also eaten plain with butter, honey, or fruit jam.

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

These biscuits come out incredibly soft and flaky. Vegetable shortening and full-fat buttermilk produces a flakiness similar to the traditional lard without the…lard. All kinds of Southern classics like strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, and sausage gravy embrace these magnificent biscuits. Try them warm slathered with honey butter (recipe below) for a real indulgent treat.
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Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, American South, North American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 Biscuits
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • 2 Large rimmed baking pans
  • Food processor
  • Large bowl
  • Plate
  • 2¼-inch round cookie cutter
  • Rolling Pin
  • Small saucepan and whisk (Optional for honey butter)

Ingredients

  • 8 tbsp Unsalted butter, frozen to chill
  • 2 tbsp Soft butter (for greasing baking pans)
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable shortening, frozen to chill
  • cups Self-rising flour (like White Lily Brand) or All-purpose flour
  • ½ cup All-purpose flour for rolling and cutting
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder (add only if using All-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp Salt (add only if using All-purpose flour)
  • ½ tsp Baking soda
  • cups Cold buttermilk, preferably high-fat
  • 4 oz Each butter and honey (for optional honey butter)

Instructions

  • Prep – Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Generously butter 2 rimmed baking sheets with all of the softened butter. Cur butter into thin slices and shortening into ½-inch chunks.
  • Make Dough – In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Pulse a few times to thoroughly mix. Add shortening chunks and pulse to break-up. Slowly add butter slices, pulse until batter resembles coarse meal. A few large chunks of butter will remain. Be careful not to overwork the butter or the biscuits will become tough. Put dough into a large bowl and freeze for 15 to 30 minutes. Remove dough from freezer and make a well in the middle. Pour Buttermilk into the well. Add buttermilk and using your hands, fold flour into the buttermilk from the sides until everything is incorporated. The dough should become shaggy and sticky.
  • Form Biscuits – Generously dust a wide countertop with flour. Turn dough out onto the countertop and dust with flour. Press dough into a ¼-inch rectangle. Fold the dough rectangle onto itself into 3 sections, like a business letter. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough back into a ¼-inch thick rectangle. Dust with flour and from the bottom, fold into thirds again. Repeat process one more time, ending in a ½-inch thick rectangle.
    Place ¼ cup flour onto a small plate. Dip 2-inch cookie cutter in flour and then press into the dough without twisting. Pull out a biscuit and place on a buttered baking pan. Repeat dip-then-cut process until no more spots are available on the dough rectangle. Place cut biscuits on greased pan 2-inches apart. Collect scraps and roll into a ¾-inch thick rectangle. Fold into thirds and roll out to a ½-inch thick rectangle. Cut more biscuits and move to baking pans as well.
  • Cook Biscuits – Quickly slip biscuits into oven, opening the oven door for only the brief moment it takes to slip in the pans. Bake untouched for seven minutes. Rotate and cook until they become a light golden brown, 7-9 minutes more. Remove and, if using, immediately brush with honey butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Make Honey Butter (if using) – While biscuits are in the oven, cook honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles and begins to caramelize at the edges. Quickly remove from heat before it burns and immediately whisk in 4 oz. butter. Set aside while biscuits finish baking.

Notes

  • Biscuits can frozen so you can grab a few whenever you’re feeling the urge.
  • Be very careful to resist twisting the cookie cutter when cutting dough into biscuits. Twisting will seal off the biscuit edges and prevent them from rising.  

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