Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

This versatile Southern buttermilk biscuits recipe only requires three ingredients, all Southern staples: self-rising soft wheat flour (such as White Lily or Martha White brands), good butter, and good buttermilk.–Editors of Southern Living Magazine

LC What Folks Are Saying About This Recipe Note

“Spectacular.” “Sinful.” “Easy.” “Airy.” “Buttery.” “Lofty.” “Perfect.” “An absolute keeper.” That’s what folks are saying about these buttermilk biscuits. Sorta makes you want to try them, eh?

Special Equipment: 2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 18 biscuits


  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, plus more for the pan if needed
  • 2 1/4 cups self-rising flour, or 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons homemade self-rising flour* (you may need up to 1 cup more flour if the dough is sticky), plus more for the work surface
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, melted


  • 1. Cut the cold butter into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Dump the flour into a large bowl and toss in the butter slices. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly and resembles small peas. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • 2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Lightly butter a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan or line it with parchment paper.
  • 3. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, stirring just until the flour is moistened. The dough will be very sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. Using floured hands, press or pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (it should measure about 9 by 5 inches). Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour. Starting with a short end, fold the dough over onto itself in 3 sections. Then fold the dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper. Press the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (yes, again) and repeat the entire process 2 more times, adding additional flour as needed.
  • 4. Press or pat the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough with a floured 2-inch cutter. Place the biscuits side by side on the prepared baking sheet or jelly-roll pan. The biscuits should touch. Quickly and gently press together the dough scraps while the dough is still cold and cut out as many more biscuits as you can.
  • 5. Bake the biscuits for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush the tops with the melted butter and let them cool ever so slightly. The biscuits are best warm from the oven, so don’t dally.

*Self-Rising Flour Note

  • We know self-rising flour isn’t necessarily a staple in everyone’s pantry, so we want to share how to make your own self-rising flour. We use this very easy equation: 1 cup of self-rising flour = 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1 cup all-purpose flour. [Editor’s Note: In case you haven’t a calculator handy, when you do the math for this recipe, that equates to 1 tablespoon of baking powder + 1 teaspoon salt + 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Now go bake.]
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