Buttery Tall Flaky Biscuits
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 7 Biscuits
Prep Time: 35 min
Cook Time: 15 min
- 4 Cups AP Flour
- 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons Coarse, Kosher Salt
- 1 Cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, Chilled
- 1 ½ Cups Buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
- Using the medium holes on a box grater, grate the butter onto a plate. Transfer the plate to the freezer.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Use your hands to mix in the cold grated butter, the goal is to coat all the butter in flour.
- Add the buttermilk and use a wooden spoon to mix just until a shaggy dough forms.
- Lightly sprinkle some flour on a clean work surface and scrape the dough onto it.
- Working quickly, knead the dough a couple of times just until it comes together, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a ½ inch disc.
- Pretend the dough is an open book and close it. Use the rolling pin to roll it back out to ½ inch thickness. Repeat this process for a total of 3 times. (Don’t skip this step!)
- Use a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife to cut out approx 3-4 biscuits. Re-roll the dough and cut again for a total of 7 biscuits. (If you got more than 7 using a 3-inch biscuit cutter odds are your biscuits won’t be as tall as you probably rolled the dough too thin.)
- Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined sheet pan so the biscuit edges are barely touching. This will help them rise. Freeze the biscuits for 15 minutes to chill down the butter again.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the centers no longer look doughy.
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Vegetarian: Yes! This dish is naturally vegetarian.
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
- Complete steps 1-10
- Once the biscuits are frozen transfer them to an airtight container with parchment between the biscuits if you’re going to stack them.
- When you’re ready to bake the biscuits you can bake them from frozen following step 11, you will likely need additional bake time since they’re entirely frozen but start with the recommended time in the recipe.
What is laminating?
Laminating is the process of creating layers of dough separated by butter. In this recipe, we do a very simple lamination and that is what results in the tall biscuits with many layers. Some pastries may contain as many as 80 laminated layers to give you an idea.
Can I use a jar or glass for cutting the biscuits?
I wouldn’t recommend it, you want a sharp, clean edge that won’t pinch together all those layers you created. A knife or biscuit cutter is your best bet and you want to be sure you’re not twisting the biscuit cutter as you press down.
Why does the butter need to be so cold?
Cold butter trapped in dough creates steam when it hits the hot oven. The steam creates pockets assisting the biscuits to rise properly. If your dough becomes warm at any point when making the biscuits, stop what you’re doing and put the dough in the freezer until it’s cold enough to handle again.
Do I have to use buttermilk?
You could use full-fat milk and add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar per cup of milk but it won’t be as flavorful. In the absence of buttermilk, the best substitution is whisking ¾ cup of milk with ¾ cup of sour cream or plain yogurt together and using that.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
How many batches of sad, tawdry biscuits have I made over the years before the process of lamination rolled across my screen causing me to scream “That’s it! That’s what I’ve been doing wrong!”
My previous biscuits would have made a good doorstop. They were a biscuit only in the sense that you could cover up their sad lack of layers and height with a ladle full of gravy and hope no one asked questions.
My biscuits used to look like the basement apartment that you move into when you’re 18 and just leaving your mum’s house. Flat, dark, better when you’re high and very, very low to the ground.
Thank god for lamination. The simple process of gently folding the dough over and rolling it back into itself several times has saved my biscuit game. They rose like a victor coming off the battlegrounds and that day when some truly gorgeous biscuits came out of my oven I could have cried and nearly disintegrated those biscuits with my salty tears.
I spent the next four weeks making batch after batch of those glorious biscuits. Because a biscuit that is truly done well is a simple source of buttery joy.