Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk biscuitsIt’s buttermilk baking week here at our house, because about a week ago I purchased a quart of buttermilk and promptly forgot what I meant to bake with it. This happens sometimes – I come home from the grocery store with some key ingredient, fully intending to bake something I saw on Pinterest or in a Better Homes & Gardens Facebook post or in a Woman’s Day magazine.

A few days later, I find the ingredient in question and wonder what I meant to make with it…which means I then have to search online, seeking out recipes that put it to use. Which, if I’m honest, usually leads me down into the rabbit hole of recipes one can find on the internet, creating the need for more ingredients that I’ll someday buy and wonder what I meant to bake with them. Anyway…because I had some buttermilk left from this weekend’s pound cake, I decided to whip up some buttermilk biscuits with last night’s chicken-and-mashed-potatoes dinner.

The key to biscuit preparation is to handle the dough as little as possible. Easy handling creates those highly desirable flaky layers that good biscuits always have; a heavy hand will yield hockey pucks. I did have to knead my dough just slightly before i patted it down, and I’m happy to say that I still had some pretty flaky layers. Note: you may also need just a bit more buttermilk if your dough is too dry, but add sparingly. It’s easy to add more liquid, but impossible to take it away.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and very gently pat it to 1/2 inch thickness – do not use a rolling pin. Fold over 5 times, then pat down again to 1 inch thickness. Using a round cutter, cut biscuits and place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Re-form the scraps and cut remaining dough, noting that these biscuits will likely be a bit tougher than the first ones.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.








My love of carbohydrates cannot possibly be dimmed no matter how many articles I read about the evils of white flour.  I understand that whole grains are better for the body, and I eat them often.  I’ve spent my life having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread.   But now and then, you simply have to have a grilled cheese on white, a crusty dinner roll, or a biscuit.

On many a Sunday during my childhood, after 9 o’clock mass, my mother would make biscuits for my brother Andy and me.  Usually she made “drop” biscuits, which didn’t require any rolling or cutting, and we slathered them with butter and jelly or butter and honey (my toppings of choice) while she drizzled hers with syrup.  At diners, Mike has ordered many a biscuit covered in sausage gravy, a food which I have never actually eaten but he tells me is quite good.  Whatever you wish to put on these, I hope you enjoy them.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well.

Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles very coarse crumbs.

Make a well in the center; add milk and mix with a fork until combined.

Turn mixture out onto a lightly dusted counter top and knead very gently, 10 to 12 times, until the dough is smooth. Do not over-knead your dough or the biscuits will be tough.

Pat down or lightly roll to 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut dough with a biscuit cutter (or round cookie cutter or a glass) and place about two inches apart on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10-14 minutes, until tops are golden brown.

Serve warm.