You won't believe how flaky, buttery, and easy Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits are! The freezer-friendly treats come together in about 10 minutes, and offer a perfect solution for your next weekend brunch, for a side with that warm bowl of soup, or in a bread basket with a tender roasted chicken. This versatile recipe is one that you'll turn to time and time again!
Easy Biscuit Recipe
My great Aunt Bee never steers me wrong -- especially in the kitchen -- and these easy homemade biscuits are no exception! Aunt Bee has hosted many Southern ladies for lunches and brunches over the years, so when she says that a biscuit recipe is easy and delicious, I don't question it.
These particular buttermilk biscuits are especially quick and easy, thanks to 3 simple ingredients: self-rising flour, buttermilk and butter. With a few simple tricks, you'll achieve the perfect biscuit combination: crispy and golden brown on the outside, but tender and light on the inside. Aunt Bee's biscuits are puffy and tall, not dense or flat, and exhibit that hard-to-achieve cross between a tender crumb and flaky layers.
How to Make Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits with Self-Rising Flour
I love classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, but when I want a beautiful, thick, fluffy, and easy biscuit ready to serve in about 30 minutes, this is the recipe that I turn to! If you don't have self-rising flour on hand, or if you don't have buttermilk on hand, don't worry -- you can still make these biscuits. I'll share some simple substitutes below, so don't miss those tips!
- Self-rising flour: a common pantry staple in most Southern households, self-rising flour is simply flour with the baking powder and a bit of salt already added. It's traditionally made from a softer, lower protein version of all-purpose flour, which yields tender, flaky biscuits.
- Butter: I prefer salted butter, but you can use unsalted butter if you have it on hand. You can also substitute with shortening or lard for half of the butter.
- Buttermilk: for its acidity, as well as its fat and liquid content. In conjunction with the leavening agents, the acidity helps the biscuits rise. The buttermilk also gives the biscuits a nice, subtle tanginess and a tender crumb. Keep the buttermilk nice and cold before adding it to the dough!
First, cut the very cold butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or forks.
You want the little pieces of butter to look like large peas -- that's when you know it's ready.
Then stir in your very cold buttermilk, adding small amounts at a time, until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough for 1 minute (folding it over on itself). This process will help add those flaky layers to the biscuits. Feel free to flour your hands and the countertop, as necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking.
Then pat the dough to ¾-inch thickness and use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Here I used a 1-½-inch round biscuit cutter to yield small biscuits; however, you can use a 2-inch or 2 ½-inch cutter for larger biscuits. Whatever you prefer!
Place the biscuits in a round baking pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure that the biscuits are touching in the pan (this helps them rise nice and tall, with soft sides and crispy tops)!
Chill the biscuits in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5-10 minutes before baking (but not longer than that). Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter, and then place the cold biscuits in a 425 degree F oven. Bake for about 14-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden brown. Brush with melted butter again and serve!
What to Serve with Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
Biscuits are a staple in many homes because they're so versatile! Serve them on their own for breakfast with butter and honey, honey butter, jam, or apple butter. Add eggs on the side, use them to make an egg sandwich with sausage, bacon or cheese, or stir up a skillet of sausage gravy. In Virginia, country ham biscuits are a classic snack or meal at any time of day!
On the dinner table, here are a few entrées that go well with buttermilk biscuits:
- Crispy Fried Chicken
- Pecan-Crusted Chicken
- Virginia Crab Imperial
- Oven BBQ Pork Chops
- Southern Chicken Salad
- Crock Pot Chicken and Gravy
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Oven BBQ Chicken Breast
- Shrimp and Grits
- Slow Cooker Cowboy Pork and Beans
- Cornflake Chicken
- Crock Pot Ribs
- Pulled BBQ Chicken in the Crock Pot
- Crab Cakes
- Shrimp Creole
- Beef Barbecue
- Chili con Carne or “Good Luck” Southern Chili
- Smothered Pork Chops
- Southern Fried Catfish
- Sheet Pan Low Country Boil
- Smoked Sausage Pasta Bake
- Sweet Heat Southern Glazed Salmon
- Mississippi Roasted Pork Shoulder
As I mentioned above, it's okay if you don't have buttermilk or self-rising flour on hand. Here are a few solutions when you need your biscuit-fix fast...
How to Make Buttermilk at Home
You can make 1 cup of homemade buttermilk by using regular milk + either lemon juice or white vinegar. To do so, pour 1 cup of regular milk into a small bowl. Add either 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Give it a stir, let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then use it in the recipe as directed!
How to Make Self-Rising Flour
If you don't have a bag of self-rising flour in your pantry, that's no problem. You can make 1 cup of self-rising flour by placing 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl. Whisk in 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
This recipe calls for 2 cups of self-rising flour, so you would need to combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt.
While they're best served warm, straight-from-the-oven, you can bake the biscuits up to 3 days in advance and store in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat day-old biscuits by placing them on a baking sheet in a 300 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
How to Freeze Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
Allow the biscuits to cool to room temperature, then wrap tightly in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter overnight or in the microwave for a few seconds. Reheat in the oven as instructed above.
- Lard or Shortening. You can replace 2 tablespoons of the butter with 2 tablespoons of either shortening or lard. While butter has more flavor, the shortening or lard will give the biscuits and even lighter, puffier texture.
- Add Cheese. Grated cheddar cheese is a delicious addition to the biscuit dough.
- Herbs. Mix in chopped fresh parsley, basil, or chives for a bright, savory addition.
- Brush with garlic butter.
Tips for the Best Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
- Keep the ingredients COLD. It's really important for the butter and buttermilk to stay as cold as possible. You want those little pieces of butter to melt in the oven, releasing steam and reacting with the leavening to form bubbles of carbon dioxide, which help the biscuits rise a mile high!
- Grate Frozen Butter. My dad always freezes his butter and grates it into the dry ingredients, rather than cutting it in with a pastry cutter or forks. Feel free to use that trick to keep your butter really cold, too!
- Knead the Dough. By folding the dough over itself (or "laminating") for about a minute, you'll add those nice flaky layers to the biscuits. No need for any fancy process or technique -- just push out, fold back over on itself, and repeat. Don't do this for too long, though, or you'll get the dough too warm.
- Don't Twist the Biscuit Cutter. Firmly press the cutter down into the dough, but don't actually twist. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals off the edges of the biscuits and they therefore will not rise as high.
- Arrange the Biscuits with Sides Touching. Place the biscuits in the round pan so that they're all touching their neighbors. This will help them "climb" in the oven so that you get that great, tall lift!
- Keep the Dough Cold. I'll say it again -- the key to tall, fluffy and puffy biscuits is cold ingredients. That's why I like to place the cut biscuit dough back in the refrigerator or freezer for about 5-10 minutes just before baking.
More Biscuit Recipes You'll Love
- Grandma's Sweet Potato Biscuits: an old-fashioned treat that's perfect on a holiday table!
- Drop Biscuits: no cutting or rolling necessary!
- Classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits: these mile-high biscuits are made with butter and shortening.
- Cheddar Bay Biscuits: these buttermilk drop biscuits are just like Red Lobster's. Perfect with a seafood supper or a bowl of soup!
Aunt Bee's 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- ¼ cup very cold butter, cut into pats, plus additional for brushing
- ⅔ - ¾ cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch round pan with a light coat of cooking spray and set aside.
- Place flour in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or forks to work the butter into the flour until the lumps are about the size of large peas. Alternatively, you can freeze the butter and use a grater to grate the butter into the flour.
- Add ⅔ cup of buttermilk, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until a soft dough forms. Add small amounts of buttermilk slowly, as needed, until the dough reaches this consistency.
- Flour a work surface. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 1 minute (folding the dough back over on itself), adding flour to the counter and your hands, as necessary, to prevent sticking. Pat to ¾-inch thickness.
- Use a biscuit cutter to cut out the individual biscuits. I used a 1 ½ -inch cutter here, which yielded 16 small biscuits. You can also use a 2-inch cutter to yield about 12 biscuits or a 2 ½-inch cutter for about 9 biscuits. Firmly press the cutter down into the dough, but do not twist. Twisting the biscuit cutter seals off the edges of the biscuits and they therefore will not rise as high.
- Roll out the dough once or twice more to use up the remaining dough scraps.
- Arrange the biscuits in the prepared pan so that their sides are touching.
- At this point, the dough will be a bit warmer from working with it, so I like to place the pan of biscuits in the refrigerator or freezer for 5-10 minutes to chill again (but do not leave it in the fridge or freezer any longer than that).
- Just before you put the biscuits in the oven, brush the tops with melted butter.
- Bake for 14 -15 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. Brush the tops of the biscuits with additional melted butter when they come out of the oven and serve warm.