Baking Powder Biscuits

Making these baking powder biscuits isn’t hard. (Trust us.) All it takes is a light hand with the flour, shortening, and milk. You don’t even need a biscuit cutter–a drinking glass with do. Devour them warm from the oven, whether plain or slathered with butter or jam or both.

A pile of baking powder biscuits on a white paper napkin

In our book, there are two types of biscuits. The ethereally airy, flaky, unimaginably decadent cream biscuit that just sort of disintegrates the moment you deign to eat it. And the splendidly sturdy and versatile baking powder biscuit, which isn’t quite as lofty as cream biscuits but is remarkably tender and makes an able accompaniment to anything you want to slather or stack upon it, whether butter or jam or eggs or bacon or fried chicken. Originally published May 9, 2007.Renee Schettler Rossi

Baking Powder Biscuits

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 12 to 14 biscuits
Print RecipeBuy the Saveur Cooks Authentic American cookbook

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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 1 cup whole milk

Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Butter a baking sheet.
  • 2. Sift the flour, the baking powder, and salt together into a large bowl. Add the shortening to flour mixture in 5 or 6 large pieces, cutting it into the flour with a pastry cutter or rubbing it in with your fingers. The mixture should have the consistency of coarse meal with no large pieces of shortening visible. Add the milk and stir in with a fork just until the mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. The dough will be quite sticky.
  • 3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and gently knead the dough just until it’s no longer sticky, about 30 seconds. Pat the dough into a 9-inch circle that’s about 3/4 inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a cookie cutter or the rim of a juice glass and place them on baking sheet. If the biscuits touch each other, they’ll have tender sides when baked; if you prefer crisper sides, separate them a bit. Using floured hands, gently push the scraps into one another and press them together and cut out more biscuits.
  • 4. Bake until the biscuit tops are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and let them cool ever so slightly. Serve while still hot.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

We loved these biscuits. They had good flavor and were absolutely gorgeous—impressively tall, white inside, and golden on top and bottom. They were tall and fluffy with layers like you usually only see in canned biscuits. I often make biscuits from scratch and these compared very favorably to my favorite recipe.

The biscuits came together quickly and easily but the dough was wet more than sticky and required a lot of flour on the counter for the kneading stage. I baked my biscuits a little apart so they would have crispier sides. I will be making these again, perhaps with butter instead of shortening next time.

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