Is there anything more quintessentially North American than some good old-fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits? Rich and creamy, yet bready and satisfying, this recipe should make some classic biscuits perfect for any meal.
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Buttermilk biscuits may have originated as a way to use up leftover old milk that had started to go sour, but it has turned into something almost famous for its unique texture.
Nowadays, you can get buttermilk at most supermarkets, and it is likely that most of it are bought to make these tasty biscuits.
With a crumbly yet surprisingly rich texture, these biscuits can be enjoyed in every meal, whether spread with jam for breakfast or served with gravy and enjoyed for dinner.
Where To Get Buttermilk For This Recipe
While buttermilk may be an incredibly familiar recipe to most people in North America, in a lot of other places in the world, it is almost never sold or used.
Buttermilk is, as the name would imply, the liquid that is leftover after making butter. All of the whey and milk proteins that didn’t go into the butter are abandoned and left behind, usually sitting in the butter churner for extended periods of time.
After a while, this liquid starts to spoil a bit – luckily, instead of dangerous bacteria, it is lactobacillus bacteria, which make lactic acid. This is the same bacteria that makes yogurt and other tasty fermented milk products.
This means that if you really struggle to find buttermilk in stores, why not make it yourself? Simply whisk or beat cream insanely vigorously until the fats clump together and form butter.
If you leave the resulting liquid out for a little bit, you will end up with buttermilk!
You can also achieve the same thing by slowly cooking the cream, and this is actually how you make clotted cream! After the fats toast and coagulate, the resulting liquid can be used as buttermilk in this recipe.
Do You Have To Grate The Butter In?
One of the most frustrating aspects of making any kind of baked cake or biscuit-like this one, is the required step of grating the butter into the dough.
It is tedious, frustrating, and usually very sticky, so do you really have to do it?
Unfortunately, unless you feel like laminating the dough, which involves several careful, precise folds using frozen butter sheets, you do need to grate the butter in.
Grating the cold butter into the dough not only helps to keep the dough tender and delicate but also ensures that the butter only melts when it is cooked in the oven, allowing the fat to permeate all through the dough, giving it a uniquely crumbly and delicious texture that can’t be beat.
If you tried just to melt the butter into the dough, you would end up with a weirdly dry, slightly greasy biscuit.
So make sure to go the extra mile and grate the cold butter in – it is probably the most important part of the whole recipe.
What Does The Biscuit Topping Do?
While it might seem unnecessary, this recipe has you brush the tops of your cooked biscuits with a little bit of melted butter and buttermilk.
The main thing this accomplishes is that it makes the biscuits look super glossy and beautiful, especially for photos!
However, as it cools, it also forms a very thin and barely noticeable glaze that adds just a little touch of richness to each bite of biscuit.
Feel free to skip it if you can’t be bothered, but it definitely does make them just that little bit better.
How To Enjoy These Buttermilk Biscuits?
For those not familiar with them, buttermilk biscuits might seem a bit confusing when trying to figure out how to enjoy them.
Are they sweet? Or are they savory?
Well, the confusing answer is both!
If you cut these open and spread some jam and butter on them, they become a sweet breakfast treat.
Load them up with delicious sausage gravy, and then they become savory and the main carb in a filling and traditional Southern dinner!
Or you could tear it into one fresh from the oven and slather it with butter – the choice is up to you!
Looking for more delicious savory Biscuits & Scones recipes? Try these out:
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- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 15 minutes
- Baked Goods
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter (frozen)
- ¾ cup cold buttermilk
- Biscuit Topping
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons melted salted butter
- Preheat the oven to 425°F . Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Lightly flour your work surface.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until well combined.
- Grate the frozen butter into the mixture, and toss with a fork to work the butter throughout.
- Pour the buttermilk into the mixture and gently mix until the dough starts to come together.
- Turn out the dough onto your prepared work surface.
- Pat the dough into a rectangle using your hands.
- Take one end of the rectangle and fold it over to the other. Gently flatten back into a rectangle. Repeat this twice more, then flatten into a rectangle again that is about 1/2 inch thick.
- Use a biscuit cutter and cut as many biscuits as you can.
- Gently bring together the scraps, then cut out more biscuits. You should get 8 biscuits total.
- Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet.
- Brush the top of each biscuit with buttermilk.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown all over.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted salted butter.
- Cool slightly then serve warm.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.