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Light & Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

A good biscuit is bliss. A bad biscuit is little more than a glorified hockey puck. But what a lot of people don’t realize is just how easy it is to make delicious, flaky biscuits in no time at all.

Self Rising Flour is the Best for Biscuits

I’ve been playing around with the specifics of the recipe (and seeing that there are a total of 4 biscuits or biscuit variations in the new book, I’ve done a lot of testing), and have realized a few things in the process:

1. Use self-rising flour. White Lily if you can find it. For some reason all-purpose with leavening added just isn’t quite as light.

2. Get yourself a pastry blender. For quick-mix jobs like biscuits and pie crust, it’s so much easier than lugging out the food processor (which I don’t really like to use for this anyway—I find the dough becomes too dry and crumbly).

3. Less is more. When it comes to working the dough, the less you can stir/mix/knead the better, and the lighter and flakier your biscuits will be.

How to Make Fluffy and Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

While you can’t beat a classic biscuit—and I like to brush mine with butter and sprinkle with sea salt—don’t be afraid to experiment. Add a hefty pinch of black pepper for a savory biscuit perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner. Or finely chopped fresh herbs. Add some grated parmesan or cheddar cheese. Replace the buttermilk with cream and sprinkle with some sugar for a lightly sweet dessert biscuit (hello, shortcake!)

How to Make Buttermilk Biscuits with Butter or Lard

You can also choose to use either butter, shortening, or lard, all with equally good results. Biscuits made with butter will be flaky. Biscuits made with shortening or lard will be more on the fluffy side (and I’ll tell you that if you’re looking to recreate the authentic, traditional Southern biscuit—like those made at the famous Loveless cafe—you better get over any qualms you have about using lard).

So, as they say at the Loveless cafe: “Praise the lard and pass the biscuits!”

Light & Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: about 10 biscuits


2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup butter or lard, chilled and cubed
2/3 cup full-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
sea salt or flake salt, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift flour into a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork, stir in buttermilk until dough just comes together.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into a roughly 1-inch-thick rectangle and fold in half. Repeat this patting and folding step two (and only two!) more times; this will create flaky layers in the dough, but be careful not to overwork it or your biscuits will be tough.

Press dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle and cut into rounds with a circle cutter. Reroll scraps only once and cut into rounds (note: these second-roll biscuits will not rise as tall as the first biscuits you cut). Arrange rounds an inch apart on a baking sheet; brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until tops are lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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32 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

    i’ve always wanted to try self-rising flour and just never could bring myself to do it! these biscuits though? reason enough right there :)


  2. 2
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I can see the fluffiness exuding from these photos… delicious!


  3. 3
    Tash @ The Velvet Moon Baker
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

    These look fab! Simple yet yummy


  4. 4
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

    These sound delicious and I assume are on your Thanksgiving menu. What else are you guys whipping up?


  5. 5
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I need to get myself a pastry blender…I want it…Ok, it’s done I’m gonna run downstairs at SurLaTable to check if they have it. Because, I need it!


  6. 6
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

    great recipe! I’m thinking abt throwing some rosemary & asiago into this recipe for an Italian-style spin on things – that’s my specialty :)


  7. 7
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 10:29 am

    hum Yummy!!


  8. 8
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I’ve never tried self-rising flour either, but for a good biscuit I could!


  9. 9
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Looks AMAZING!!!! Have to copy that into my recipe book asap!


  10. 10
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    My mom never liked buttermilk biscuits, but I love them! It’s nice to have a recipe you can trust, I’m definitely trying this one!


  11. 11
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Ok I have never tried that White Lily flour but everyone raves about it and it has sort of a cultish following! I dont even know if I can get it in SoCal? I know it’s a southern thing! But now you have me intrigued and I’m going to check!


  12. 12
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    These look so incredibly delicious. Light, fluffy, flaky, and buttery. Can you ask for more in a biscuit?!


  13. 13
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I was actually thinking about biscuits this morning, I’ll take this as a sign that I need to make a batch soon.

    I WISH that I could find White Lily flour up here.


  14. 14
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    you made this look really simple to do. every time I try I fail at this one but Ill be sure to try again under this easy guide.


  15. 15
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Oh yum, these look great!! :) Can’t wait to make them!


  16. 16
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I haven’t had biscuits in years! Yet alone buttermilk biscuits. My parents always used Biscuit. Yuck. I need to try some homemade ones. :)


  17. 17
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Truly perfect biscuits! You make it look so easy.


  18. 18
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Lindsay these look so good! I want to make them this Saturday!


  19. 19
    Posted On November 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    light and fluffy bisquits win my heart (and tummy) every time! Great recipe and I thank you!


  20. 20
    Posted On November 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Oh yum – I love a good buttermilk biscuit! I’m afraid to say that the only kind I’ve made myself have been the Bisquick variety, but this recipe seems just as easy!


  21. 21
    Posted On November 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    There is nothing worse than a hockey puck biscuit. These however look fan-freaking-tastic.


  22. 22
    Posted On November 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    They really look delicious and perfect for next sundays’ breakfast!


  23. 23
    Posted On November 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    They look simply delicious and very light, I can almost taste them already.


  24. 24
    Posted On November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am

    The good stuff – Amen! Love a good flaky biscuit – and this reminds me of my mom, mammaw and a wonderful Aunt Teeny. Great post and photos!


  25. 25
    Posted On November 15, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I am utterly powerless before a good biscuit. Yum!


  26. 26
    Posted On November 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    The cardboard tube kind are nostalgic for me because it’s what my family always had–but these would be an AWESOME upgrade!


  27. 27
    Posted On November 16, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve made biscuits before and they’ve been good, but they haven’t had that over-the-top fluffiness. Must be the self rising flour and lard!


  28. 28
    Posted On November 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

    When I worked at Hardees as a biscuit maker they use White Lily. It is a special kind of flour and it is fantastic with biscuits. Not so much with popovers.


  29. 29
    Posted On November 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    My husband asked me last week to find a good biscuit recipe! I can’t wait until he makes these for me!!!!! :)


  30. 30
    Posted On November 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Fantastic tips! Thanks so much!


  31. 31
    Posted On December 4, 2012 at 10:51 am

    OK, you make this look super simple. I think I might just need to give biscuit making a try again!


  32. 32
    Posted On January 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    This takes me back to mu childhood. Mom would make homemade biscuits and we would eat it with jam or honey.


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