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Classic Flaky Southern Biscuits

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Classic Flaky Southern Biscuits are little bites of heaven that will take you back to grandma’s table. Buttery layers of flaky goodness.

flaky biscuits on a plate

There isn’t anything quite like a flaky biscuit. Warm buttery fluffy bites of goodness with the capacity to sop up the greatest of sauces. This recipe hits every mark for the perfect biscuit.

Tips for achieving perfect flaky biscuits

flaky southern biscuits on a plate

The measure of a great biscuit is the height, texture, layers, and taste. In other words biscuits should be fluffy, tender, flaky, and delicious. Here are my top tips for making amazing biscuits:

butter in flour

Lots of butter– Butter is the key to crumbly corners. The flecks of butter throughout the dough melt and softened the bread producing a tender exterior and moist interior. It also adds great flavor to the biscuits. Biscuits should have a nice buttery taste. Bonus tip: Use salted butter to brush the tops of the biscuits before and after baking for that signature southern taste.
Salt and sugar– Flour needs to be seasoned so we add a bit of salt and sugar. The sugar does not make them sweet at all. It helps to reduce the need for extra salt.
Cold ingredients– Slightly frozen butter and milk ensure a tender biscuit.
The right equipment– Using a pastry cutter reduces the amount of heat from your hands when cutting the butter into the flour. Also, working quickly will keep the dough cool enough to prevent the butter from melting.

measuring tools, rolling pin, scrapers and cutters used to make great biscuits

Folds make layers– Another crucial step to perfect biscuits is the kneading pattern. Roll the dough into a rectangular shape and fold in half. Repeat 2-3 times before cutting.
Leavening and heat– Using the correct amount of baking powder and high temperature will allow the dough to rise quickly.
The right cut– Rolling the dough to about 1/2-1 inch will give you those sky-high biscuits. Personally, I prefer closer to 1/4 inch because I get more biscuits. This recipe will give you 12 biscuits at 1/4 inch. You may get 6-8 with a 1 inch rolled dough.
Proper placement– Placing the biscuits close together will allow them to stand taller by supporting each other rather than leaning from spreading.

Southern biscuits ingredients

pouring milk in flour

Flour– I use unbleached all-purpose flour.
Butter– Unsalted or salted doesn’t really matter which. Neither will unduly affect the recipe.
Milk or buttermilk– Plain whole milk is what I use mostly but feel free to use buttermilk if you prefer it.
Baking powder
Baking soda
Salt
Sugar
Pastry cutter
Rolling pin
Biscuit cutter or wide-mouthed glass

How to make biscuits

cutting butter into biscuit dough

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place cubed butter and measure milk in the freezer. Blend flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder, and soda in a mixing bowl. Remove chilled butter from the freezer and add to the dry mix.

Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour making a coarse ground consistency. Add the milk and work into the flour to form a soft crumbly dough.

biscuit dough on a mat

Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a 5-6 inch rectangle.

folding biscuit dough

Fold in half and knead to size again. Do this a total of 3 times ending with the same rectangle. Roll the dough to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness with a rolling pin.

cut dough

Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or the mouth of a juice glass, cut about 6-8 biscuits. Shape and roll the remaining dough to cut out last biscuits. 

brushing dough with butter

Brush with melted butter and bake for 11-14 minutes.

brushing biscuits with butter

Edges should be golden brown. 

Recipes to enjoy with southern classic flaky biscuits

pouring honey on buttered biscuits

Breakfast Sausage
Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
Habanero Honey
Southern Sausage Gravy

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***Updated on 5/30/2020 for improved content only. It was originally posted on 1/10/2019.***

flaky southern biscuits on a plate
4.93 from 14 votes

Classic Flaky Southern Biscuits

Print Recipe
Classic Flaky Southern Biscuitss are little bites of heaven that will take you back to grandma’s table.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:12 mins
chill time:15 mins
Total Time:22 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 c unbleached all purposed flour more for rolling
  • 3/4 c whole milk or buttermilk chilled in the freezer
  • 1/2 c butter (more for brushing) chilled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place cubed butter and measure milk in the freezer.
  • Blend flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder and soda in a mixing bowl. Remove chilled butter from the freezer and add to the dry mix. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour making a coarse ground consistency.
  • Add the milk and work into the flour to form a soft crumbly dough. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a 5-6 inch rectangle. Fold in half and knead to size again. Do this a total of 3 times ending with the same rectangle.
  • Roll the dough to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness with a rolling pin.
  • Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter or the mouth of a juice glass, cut about 6-8 biscuits. Shape and roll the remaining dough to cut out last biscuits. Brush with melted butter and bake for 11-14 minutes. Edges should be golden brown.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 321mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Iron: 1mg
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: biscuits, bread, southern classic
Servings: 12 biscuits
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Ty

21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these biscuits for supper tonight, they are amazing. This recipe is a keeper for us!! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. 5 stars
    These biscuits are wonderful. The only thing I did different was I used a grater for my butter instead of cutting into cubes. Worked great that way and it is less work.

  3. 5 stars
    These look exceptionally great! No wonder they are one of your top recipes. Great job!

  4. 4 stars
    Didn’t turn out quite like the picture but this recipe is a keeper. Perfect texture for a biscuit but this first try didn’t turn out flaky at all. I am chalking it up to bakers error. I wish I could add a picture. Can’t figure out how

    1. Thanks for the feedback. You can add a picture with review on Pinterest. I’d like to see how they turned out for you. The key to flaky biscuits is folding the cold dough multiple times with minimal added flour. If you fold the dough as pictured in the post you should have layers in the biscuits once baked.

  5. I was just gifted some homemade jam and this recipe would go so well with it! My kids LOVE biscuits and I don’t make them enough. Really want to try this recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    OMG these biscuits sound and look amazing! And I love the tips about putting the milk in the freezer and the folding pattern! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    This can bring back so many great childhood memories. I’ve always enjoyed such biscuits with a glass of milk and strawberry jam – just perfect. Can’t wait to go back to the roots! 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    There’s nothing like fresh, homemade southern biscuits! I love these straight out of the oven with a little pat of butter and a drizzling of organic honey. Mmmm…mmmm.

  9. 5 stars
    Biscuits and gravy is my favorite breakfast! I can’t wait to try these homemade biscuits!

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