Fluffy and buttery, with delightfully flaky layers, these perfect Breakfast Biscuits add some down-home goodness to your morning meal. They’re easy to make, with a tender crumb that’s made for holding a smear of jam or smothering with meaty Sausage Gravy.
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Why You’ll Love This Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
- The Best Biscuits. Buttery! Flaky layers! Pillowy soft! These breakfast biscuits are everything you want in an easy biscuit recipe. We are not settling here!
- A Savory Classic. Biscuits are similar to scones (like Pumpkin Scones), but they’re less sweet, a bit like Savory Scones! They’re leavened with baking powder and baking soda. The batter can be scooped (called Drop Biscuits), or rolled and stamped, like these breakfast biscuits.
- Homemade Biscuits Are a Treat. Biscuit dough in a tube is convenient, but it pales in comparison to breakfast biscuits made from scratch. (The secret ingredient is love. And butter.) This isn’t a recipe you’ll make every morning (for that, turn to my Overnight Steel Cut Oats), but it is a once-in-a-while recipe that will make your breakfast special.
- Incredibly Versatile. Yes, you can top these homemade buttermilk biscuits with jam, butter, honey, or, best of all, honey butter. But you can also use them to top Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie or Chicken and Biscuits, serve them with a hearty Sunday dinner, or pour on the gravy for a classic Southern breakfast.
How to Make Breakfast Biscuits
- All-Purpose Flour. You’ll also need some extra for flouring your work surface.
- Cake Flour. Biscuit secret! Substituting some of the flour with cake flour helps create a more tender crumb and fluffy texture because it’s lower in protein than regular flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Our leavening agents. Baking soda reacts with the acid in buttermilk—if you’ve ever combined baking soda with vinegar in science class, you have an idea of how this combo makes your biscuits rise.
- Kosher Salt. I like using kosher salt in baking and cooking because it doesn’t have the metallic flavor table salt sometimes has.
- Granulated Sugar. Not just for sweetness! Sugar helps savory baked goods like these breakfast biscuits get that golden-brown color in the oven.
- Chilled Unsalted Butter. Very cold and cut into small pieces.
- Shortening. Or extra unsalted butter if you don’t have shortening on hand. As with my favorite pie crust recipe, this makes the biscuits extra flaky.
- Cold Buttermilk. Buttermilk is a key ingredient here, so buy a bottle if you can. Use extra to make Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins or Buttermilk Pie.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients. Whisk them together in a large bowl.
- Add the Butter and Shortening. Drop them into the bowl.
- Work Them In. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until you have pea-sized pieces.
- Add the Buttermilk. Form a well and pour the buttermilk into the center.
- Stir. Fold the flour mixture into the buttermilk until a sticky dough forms.
- Shape. Pat the dough into a rectangle, then fold it in half. Pat it into a rectangle again, then fold again. Repeat one more time. This gives you MAX LAYERS.
- Cut the Biscuits. Pat the dough into a square, then cut biscuits.
- Chill. Place the cut biscuits onto a pan and freeze for 10 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Bake. Bake breakfast biscuits at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point, or until the biscuits are golden. Cool for 5 minutes, then ENJOY!
- Cheddar Biscuits. Stir shredded cheddar cheese into the biscuit dough before adding the buttermilk. Other cheeses work too—use one with an assertive flavor.
- Breakfast Biscuits With Herbs. Add your favorite herbs to the dough before you stir in the buttermilk. Rosemary and chives work particularly well!
- Bacon Breakfast Biscuits. Stir cooked, crumbled bacon into the biscuit dough before adding the buttermilk.
- Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Biscuits. Brush the tops of the baked biscuits with melted butter, then dip them in a shallow bowl of cinnamon sugar.
- To Store. Store breakfast biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Warm breakfast biscuits in the microwave or in a preheated 350 degree F oven until heated through.
- To Freeze. Individually wrap biscuits and freeze them in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, warm in a 350 degree F oven, or in the microwave.
What to Serve with Breakfast Biscuits
- Soups or Stews. They’re not just for breakfast! Serve your biscuits with Chicken Wild Rice Soup, Beef Stew, or Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup.
- Dinner Dishes. Biscuits are also fabulous with Chicken Fricassée, Smothered Pork Chops, and any other dish where there’s a delicious sauce to sop up.
- Eggs. Breakfast classic! Pair your biscuits with an Egg White Frittata or use them as a base for Scrambled Egg Toast.
- Other Breakfast Favorites. Air Fryer Bacon, Baked Bacon in the Oven, breakfast sausage, and more.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Flour Wand. This is one of those silly little kitchen gadgets you’ll appreciate once you have it. It’s perfect for dusting work surfaces and dough without overdoing it (or making a mess).
- Mixing Bowls. Stackable to make storing easy.
- Pastry Cutter. Fingers, forks, and butterknives will do, but a pastry cutter makes easy work of breakfast biscuit dough.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use Cold Butter. You can even pop it in the freezer to make extra sure it’s cold. Don’t hesitate to refrigerate the dough for a bit, too, if it’s taking you longer than expected to make your breakfast biscuits. Keeping the butter cold is how biscuits get those beautiful flaky layers.
- Don’t Overwork the Dough. The other key to flaky layers is not overworking the dough. Handling the dough too much will melt the butter and over-develop the gluten in the flour, giving you tough biscuits.
- Improvise If Needed. No biscuit cutters? You can use a round cookie cutter or the rim of a drinking glass or cup instead, or cut circles with a knife if you’re really in a pinch.
- Don’t Twist the Biscuit Cutter. Twisting the cutter feels natural, so you kind of have to be mindful of this! By twisting instead of pushing the cutter straight down and up, you’ll seal the edges of the biscuit, which will keep it from rising as high as it could. You want your breakfast biscuits to reach their full potential!
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- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional as needed
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter roughly cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons shortening or additional unsalted butter
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Scatter the chilled butter and shortening over the flour mixture (the shortening you can drop in small blobs). Work the butter/shortening into the flour mixture by rubbing your fingers and thumbs with the fat and flour as if you were snapping them (or use two forks, two knives, or a pastry cutter). Work in the butter until the mixture looks like crumbled feta cheese. This should only take a few minutes, but if you get interrupted and the bowl is out for more than 5 minutes, pop it into the fridge for 5 minutes to chill.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the buttermilk. With a rubber spatula or big metal spoon, use big, circular strokes to pull and stir the flour into the buttermilk. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture forms a sticky dough that begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Flour your counter or similar work surface. Turn the dough out onto the counter and sprinkle it lightly with a bit more of flour. Flour your hands, then gather the dough together and pat it out into a rough rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. With a bench scraper, fold the dough in half over itself so you have a squarish shape.
- Pat out the square of dough a second time into a 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rectangle, flouring the top of the dough a little more if needed. The dough will be sticky, and the bench scraper will help. Fold it over itself second time. Pat out and fold a third time.
- After your third fold, pat dough into a 1-inch-thick square. Dip a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter into flour and stamp out the biscuits, starting at the outside edge and cutting very close together. DO NOT TWIST the cutter! Push it straight down, then pull it straight up or you will seal the layers. You’ll get about 6 biscuits. Combined the scraps to stamp an additional biscuit. Heads up: scraps make tougher (though still highly edible) biscuits. If you still have dough left, you can gather it together with your fingers into a biscuit shape.
- Transfer the biscuits to a 9-inch cake pan (6 to 7 will fit) or to a parchment lined baking sheet, using a metal spatula if needed to transfer them cleanly (if you have more biscuits than will fit in your pan, chill the extras and bake later as a second batch). The biscuits will be close to one another but should not be touching. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Once the oven is ready, place the pan (or sheet pan) with the biscuits onto a clean sheet pan (the second sheet pan is to insulate the first pan to keep the bottoms from burning). Bake biscuits for 10 minutes on the center rack, rotate the pan 180°F, then continue baking about 10 additional minutes, until the biscuits are light golden brown.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes to set. Transfer to a serving plate. Split and enjoy immediately with the gravy. Or split and enjoy with butter, honey, or jam.
- TO STORE: Store breakfast biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Warm breakfast biscuits in the microwave or in a preheated 350 degree F oven until heated through.
- TO FREEZE: Individually wrap biscuits and freeze them in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, or warm in a 350 degree F oven or in the microwave.
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