Light and fluffy homemade biscuits warm out of the oven – comfort food doesn’t get any better than this! Seriously, if you want to impress your family (and yourself), make these biscuits! Served with a hot bowl of soup or stew, you’ll be the most popular person in the house – which means a lot these days!
These biscuits (also known as baking powder biscuits or buttermilk biscuits) were one of the first recipes I made as a teenager for my family and were an instant hit.
I recommend serving these hot out of the oven for the best reviews. They are crisp on the outside and light and flaky on the inside – basically perfection. I’m so happy to be sharing one of my favourite old-fashioned recipes with you today to make for your own families!
How to Make a Perfect Biscuit
There are definitely a few tricks to making the perfect biscuit. The first is that you want to use a light hand when making them. Biscuits are meant be light and fluffy, and one of the ways to get this is to gently stir your dough together (I like to use a fork) and just lightly pat the dough together at the end. You want to add just enough liquid to get them to stick together, but not too much. The dough will look rough when you dump it out onto your floured work surface (see the picture).
Second, use very cold butter (or vegan butter). I like to cut it into cubes and place it in the fridge or freezer before mixing into my dough. The trick is keeping cold small pieces of butter intact so that they form little pockets in your dough when they bake – this is what forms the flaky layers. A pastry blender or cutter is the gold standard tool to use, but you can use two butter knives or your fingers (what I do) if you work quickly.
To make the biscuits you can either use a biscuit cutter (best), a glass or simply cut the dough into sections using a sharp knife depending on how fussy you are about the shape of them. If you are using a the cutter or glass to cut them into shapes don’t waste the scraps – I gently press them together and cut them again. If you’re using a biscuit cutter you can actually just take the scraps and press them through the top of the cutter into the biscuit so that nothing gets wasted!
Modifying your Biscuits
This is my basic biscuit recipe, but don’t let that stop you from changing it up. You can add in some grated cheese or raisins (or other dried fruit) should you desire. If you want to make them a bit sweeter (with raisins) you can add a couple of tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients as well. I included the directions for adding in either ingredient in the notes section below, but you simply need to stir them in to the dry ingredients first.
You can use any type of unsweetened milk for this recipe; buttermilk works best, but any milk will do. You can also make these with whole wheat flour should you wish, or even 1/2 and 1/2 (all purpose and whole wheat). If you’re looking for a vegan biscuit recipe turn to page 235 of the cookbook! Try pairing these biscuits with Split Pea Soup, Potato Leek Soup or a bowl of Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup.
I hope you are all doing well and staying safe and cozy at home!
These old-fashioned biscuits can be made dairy free, and are light and fluffy and basically perfect. Serve them for breakfast or with a hot bowl of soup or stew.
- 2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, diced (or vegan butter)
- 1 egg
- 1/2-3/4 cup milk or buttermilk (any unsweetened milk will work)
Preheat the oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter to the flour, and using your fingers or a pastry blender, break up the butter until it is the size of peas. You want your butter to be cold so work quickly.
In a small glass measuring cup add the egg and whisk together. Add the milk or buttermilk until it reaches the 3/4 cup mark. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and gently mix together to combine. Be careful to not overmix- the dough will look rough but should hold together and have all of the flour incorporated. You can add a couple of teaspoons more of milk if you need to.
Transfer the dough onto a floured countertop and pat together into a circle that is 1" thick. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits into circles. Press together the scraps gently to avoid waste and cut again. Alternately, use a sharp knife and cut the dough into 6-8 wedges. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each of the biscuits, and bake until they are golden, around 12 minutes. Serve warm with butter if desired.
You can add in raisins (1/3 cup) or shredded cheese (1 cup) to this dough - stir either into the dry ingredients before adding the liquid.