Best Buttermilk Biscuits

These are truly the best biscuits I have ever made. They epitomize what I look for in a good Southern-style biscuit. They are buttery, fluffy, golden in color and definitely not wimpy — equally able to pair with fried chicken for dinner or form the foundation of a scrambled egg sandwich for breakfast. I tell you, they are dangerous to have around the house. After my husband and I ate three each, I had to foist the rest off on co-workers in deference to our waistlines.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

Yields: 12 biscuits
Time to make: ~45 minutes

What you need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. double-acting baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 4 tbsp. cold butter, cubed
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • food processor
  • 1 cup flour, distributed in rimmed baking sheet
  • 9-inch round cake pan, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray
  • ¼ cup dry measure, sprayed with nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees
  2. In the food processor, pulse together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda just to combine
  3. Scatter the butter cubes over the dry ingredients
  4. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal
  5. Transfer to a bowl, add the buttermilk and stir until just incorporated
  6. Using the dry measure, scoop out a level amount of dough and drop it onto the baking sheet to form 12 evenly sized mounds
  7. Dust the tops of the dough pieces with some flour
  8. With floured hands, pick up each piece of dough and coat with flour
  9. Gently shape into a ball
  10. Shake off the excess flour and place the dough in the prepared cake pan
  11. Repeat with the remaining pieces; arrange 9 balls around the outside of the cake pan and the 3 remaining balls in the center
  12. Brush the tops with the melted butter
  13. Bake 5 minutes
  14. Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake until the biscuits are a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more
  15. Cool in the pan a couple of minutes, then invert onto a dish towel and break apart
  16. Cool a few minutes more before serving, if you can wait

Note: This recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, July-Aug. 2004.


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8 thoughts on “Best Buttermilk Biscuits

  1. Marty 16 March 2007 at 6:44 pm

    WHAT?!?!?! They’re NOT in the freezer waiting for me when I get back home?? Sigh… This should be a weekly item.

  2. […] I’ve worked out a consistently successful master recipe for quick biscuits and discovered the best buttermilk biscuit recipe, courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated. Now, Cook’s Illustrated has passed on the […]

  3. Jackie 11 May 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe!! I made these biscuits this morning and were they ever scrumptious!! Meltingly delicious and put my breakfast over the top.
    P.S. I used half AP flour and half whole-wheat — try it, if you’re so inclined!

  4. Beth 19 January 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I made these for one of my favorite morning indulgences- biscuits and gravy. They turned out fantastic and I will probably not use another recipe again- thank you!

  5. Shannon 20 January 2010 at 8:16 am

    Beth, I’m glad they worked so well for you!

  6. » I DID IT! HAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! 2 August 2010 at 6:49 pm

    […] today, I was farting around online, and found this here recipe for buttermilk biscuits. A few problems presented themselves immediately. I do not have a food processor, I do not have any […]

  7. […] They were certainly flakey, but they did not rise at all. Lesson learned. I will return to my tried-and-true buttermilk biscuit recipe next […]

  8. Deborah 9 November 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I’ve been making your drop biscuits for a few years now, reducing the milk when I wanted rolled-out biscuits. Today, I decided to try this recipe and is it good!!!

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