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Mile High Perfect Biscuits

I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high. I have spent a long, long, lonnnnnnnnnnnng time searching for and perfecting this biscuit recipe.And I am happy to report that it was well worth the wait and the effort!! My quest began in college. I moved to Utah from North Carolina to go to school, and I quickly discovered one staple food that Utah does not have: fluffy, buttery, golden biscuits. I tried a few recipes here and there without much luck, and eventually resigned myself to the frozen dough variety. Fast forward about 4 years: it’s 2010, I’m pregnant, and all I can think about is grape jelly. Grape jelly and North Carolina buttery biscuits. So the search begins again. But more frantic this time, because… well, I’m pregnant and having cravings. Duh. I made a new biscuit recipe (or two) every single Sunday morning from the middle of my first trimester until the end of my second trimester, when I finally pulled together this biscuit recipe. And even then, the biscuit-making didn’t stop! I ate biscuit after glorious, buttery biscuit until baby arrived. It was a good time. So here we are, over 4 years later and back in North Carolina, and I’m still sticking to this recipe. And through the many batches, I’ve picked up a few easy tips that I think are worth sharing. Biscuits are really so incredibly easy to make if you have an idea of what you’re doing and what to expect. Biscuit-Making tip #1: Don't overwork the dough. Tip #1: Don’t try to make biscuit dough look smooth and elastic like bread dough. You’ll end up over-mixing, which will make your biscuits tough and not fluffy. Plus, you’ll fail at achieving your own unrealistic expectation. Lumpy, bumpy, and even a few cracks are just fine and will make your biscuits incredibly fluffy.     Biscuit-Making tip #2: be hands ON! Tip #2: Biscuit making is a hands-on activity. DON’T reach for the mixer! You use a bowl and wooden spoon for a little bit in the beginning, but for the most part, you want to use your hands for both mixing and pressing the dough into a somewhat-level layer.     Biscuit-Making tip #3: dough should be THICK! Tip #3: The biscuit dough should be pressed as level as you can (but don’t stress over making it perfect) to about 1 1/2 inch thickness. You want the dough to be THICK! But DO make sure you have a cutter that will be taller than the dough. More info on that in the next step…       Biscuit-Making tip #4: Don't TWIST the cutter!! Tip #4: Don’t twist the cutter!!! Twisting it seals off the edges of the biscuit which will prevent it from baking up high and fluffy! Use the sharpest cutter you possibly can (be sure that it’s taller than the dough), and press straight down, pull straight up.     Biscuit-Making tip #5: Cut as many biscuits as possible out of the first roll-out. Tip #5: Cut as many biscuits as you can from the first roll-out. You can still cut more biscuits by re-forming the scraps and cutting them, but they won’t bake quite as well. Aside from being VERY cracked all over, they aren’t as soft as the first batch will be. So maximize the dough you cut from that first roll-out!     I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high. You’ll know you’ve created the perfect fluffy biscuit when you see slightly golden edges with beautiful, soft insides once you pull apart those buttery, flaky layers! Perfect for spreading something yummy on the inside! While I’m still a grape-jelly-and-biscuits fan, the cravings ended with the pregnancy. So what do I like on my biscuits now? Well. Butter. Of course. Gobs and gobs of salty, sweet cream butter! Mile High Perfect Biscuits I have fallen madly, deeply, truly in love with LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil Butter. It’s perfect for spreading, even right out of the refrigerator. Which is perfect for me, because I only remember to soften butter in advance like .0023% of the time. I also love that it only has 3 ingredients: sweet cream, canola oil, and salt. Other spreadable butter productss have up to 15 ingredients!! Uh, no thank you. I feel like the taste of simplicity always speaks for itself, and I definitely found that to be true in this case. It is utterly delicious and perfect for these biscuits. I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high.   So, to sum up: the perfect biscuits. Cold spreadable Butter with Canola Oil. And honey. My job here is done.   
Mile High Perfect Biscuits

Yield: approximately 10 4-inch biscuits

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk (the cheat version is okay)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold water, divided*
  • 1 stick cold or frozen butter, cubed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder.
  3. Create a well in the middle of the bowl. Add the buttermilk, egg, shortening, and 2 tbsp of the cold water into the well. Use a wooden spoon to start mixing and "cutting" to form a dough. Take care to not over-mix.
  4. Add the cubes of butter, and use your hands to knead the butter into the dough (no more than 7-8 times). Some of the butter will incorporate to help moisten the dough, but mostly you want the butter to REMAIN in small chunks throughout the dough. This will make the biscuits fluffy.
  5. Turn dough out onto a non-stick surface (use cooking spray if you need to, but try to avoid using flour which will dry the biscuits out). Press into a 1 1/2 inch layer, making it as level as you can.
  6. Use a round cutter to cut biscuits out. Place each one on the prepared cookie sheet, edges touching each other.
  7. Sprinkle salt over top of the dough.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until outer edges start turning golden brown.
  9. Serve warm! Or store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to 2 days. However: best fresh!

Notes

This is totally optional, but I also like to add a "pat" of butter on top of each biscuit before baking and generously salt the biscuits as well. If you are luck enough to live near a Bojangles, you'll understand when I say that taking this extra step makes them taste a lot like a Bo's biscuit!

*The remaining 2 tbsp cold water is to keep on hand if your dough seems too dry. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time if needed.

http://www.somethingswanky.com/mile-high-perfect-biscuits/

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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

142 comments on “Mile High Perfect Biscuits”

  1. These look unbelievably good!! And I love that little honey wand, it’s adorable!

    -Kelsie
    DesignLifeDiaries

  2. Bread. Warm, fresh out of the oven, crispy edge, soft fluffy inside…perfect bread for some land o lakes butter!

  3. omigosh YES-these biscuits absolutely DO look so perfect and flaky and buttery and DEEEELICIOUS!

  4. I would love to eat a large plate of brown or white rice smothered in land o lakes butter!

  5. I tweeted under twitter id @yarbr012: https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/507703323198496769.

  6. These biscuits look amazing!

  7. Biscuits and kettle corn would be at the top of my list.

  8. I would eat pancakes with Land O’Lakes butter.

  9. tweet–https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/507851044596903936

  10. I would eat mashed potatoes with LAND O LAKES Butter with Canola Oil.

  11. Mmmmm I am off this morning to make these and boy am I excited. Thank you for sharing all your hard work!!!

  12. These look and sound yummy! I’ve been looking for the perfect biscuits…I’m trying to find a taste like Cracker Barrel’s! ;)

  13. Love a flaky light biscuit. I had a hard time getting a biscuit to be like I wanted it to be. I came across a recipe that said to pat the dough out lightly then fold over then fold that over again. Do this about 4 times. It was unbelievably light and flaky. It builds layers and they puff up during baking. Sooo to prove a point I made this recipe and cut 1 biscuit out before I did any folding. I made pictures and sent to my husband and children to show them the difference. My husband said Ray Charles could see the difference. It truly shocked me. It was still good but not high and fluffy.

  14. These biscuits are making me hungry. Bo’s biscuits were my absolute favorite when I was in college in Winston-Salem. Yumm!

    I would use the Land O Lakes butter with Canola Oil on my waffles. I love to melt a nice helping of butter on my waffle and then top with brown sugar so that the brown sugar melts into the butter.

  15. I would eat a baked potato with LAND O LAKES Butter with Canola Oil.

  16. I would eat pancakes with Land O Lakes butter

  17. I would eat the Land O Lakes Butter with Canola oil on fresh of the griddle homemade flour tortillas.

  18. My biscuits never look like that! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a biscuit recipe that has an egg in it! I’m definitely trying this.

  19. I am so glad I found this! I was about to embark on a biscuit making venture, and you just saved me lots of hours, I’m sure! And I’m with you on the butter. I’m so bad at remembering to soften it, and there’s nothing worse then spreading cold butter on bread. I’d definitely be employing this spreadable-from-the-fridge butter on my morning toast!

  20. these look sooooo yummy!!! i’d eat some fresh picked corn on the cob with land o lakes

  21. This look so flaky and so delicious. I can imagine taking them out of the oven right now and drizzling them with honey—and I’m not normally a huge fan of biscuits. These look amazing. Pinning!

  22. With this LAND O LAKES Butter with Canola Oil I would use it on some yummy apple pancakes!

  23. Your biscuits look heavenly, Ashton!! I’d use LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil on warm rolls, breads and baked potatoes!

  24. These biscuits look absolutely delicious! I’ve been nervous to try, but I’ve wanted to create a gluten-free biscuit recipe that tastes just as delicious as the wheat flour-based ones…so all my family could enjoy them too! :) That’s probably what I would try with the Land O Lakes Butter! :) Yum!

  25. These biscuits! They seriously look perfect! For reals. Pinning forever!

  26. I would put LAND O LAKES Butter with Canola Oil on banana bread or corn bread.

  27. Oh my gosh- these biscuits- yes! These need to happen soon.

  28. TRUE STORY: I eat a Ridiculous amount of land o lakes butter w/ canola oil on Hot Fluffy Pancakes!!

  29. Okay, attempted these tonight and while I liked them, I had nowhere near the picture results you posted. When you say a stick of butter, are you talking a traditional half cup stick or the 1/4 stick? What size biscuit cutter do you use? I definitely want to try again since the recipe was so simple, but want to make sure I get it right next time.

    • For me, 1 stick = 1/2 cup. Sometimes it’s as simple as trying to “work” it a little less with your hands. It took me a little while to find the sweet spot for how much I could work the dough without sacrificing fluffiness! I usually try to gauge the amount of butter chunks I have left in the dough– if they have melted so much that I can barely see or feel them, I know I’ve gone too far. I just used that blue plastic cutter you see in the picture. I’d like to buy an actual metal biscuit cutter, but haven’t found one I love yet. And this one seems to get the job done for now :) Just remember– no twisting or wiggling the cutter! Straight down and straight up!

  30. They do look amazing! I feel like I pull one right off the plate and pull apart the nice delicate layers. Mmm… fabulous!

  31. I’d like to try LAND O LAKES Butter with Canola Oil to pancakes and toasted English muffins.

  32. I like to slather land o lakes on waffles and pancakes

  33. I love to eat a hot piece of cornbread with land o lakes butter.

  34. I would put it on some cornbread

  35. I’d like to try it on sourdough french toast.

  36. I would put it onto my pumpkin waffles.

  37. I would eat soft french bread with LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  38. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/509548804840755200

  39. I’d put it on pacakes.

  40. a baguette

  41. I grew up in the South, (Arkansas-yes, I DO wear shoes and no, I did NOT vote for Bill Clinton)–I’ve never heard of a biscuit recipe ( or “receipt” as my grandma and great aunts used to say..) that included egg in the mix! I currently make the best biscuits in Northern CA., but I’m going to have to try this one with an EGG…
    The absolutely best thing, hands down and shut my mouth, to go with hot buttered biscuits is CHOCOLATE GRAVY, a Sunday morning staple growing up! I too, have strong Utah roots-two husbands and 12 years living there (I practice serial monogamy!), and their idea of a biscuit could have been used in the 2002 Olympics as a hockey puck… Judy

  42. A good old fashioned baked potato!

  43. My daughter’s cinnamon raisin bread — toast it and slather it on!

  44. i would use it on sliced bread served with salad
    pryfamily5@gmail.com

  45. Everything!!! Butter makes everything better.

  46. I would spread it on french and banana bread.

  47. I would use it to top a piece of warm, homemade bread.

  48. I love to use Land O Lakes butter to bake cookies. It’s the only brand of butter that I use.

  49. I love to use Land O Lakes butter to bake cookies. It’s the only brand of butter that I use. It always makes the most delicious cookies!

  50. I would eat waffles with LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil

  51. I would love to eat with muffins.

  52. I would like to spread it on some fresh butternut squash bread.

  53. I’d like it on warm Banana Nut Bread!

  54. Land O Lakes butter would be delicious on my Blueberry Muffins!

  55. I think foccacia would be great!

  56. I’D LIKE TO TRY IT IN MY MORNING OATMEAL! afjackly@oakland.edu

  57. On blueberry muffins.

  58. I love it on biscuits too. chedeb5353@hotmail.com

  59. I think this would be perfect on pancakes and waffles.

  60. I love cinnamon raisin bread!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  61. This would be great with French toast or pancakes!
    thank you

  62. Fall means butternut squash, smothered in Land O Lakes of course!

  63. I would add LAND O LAKES Butter with Canola Oil to a baked potato

  64. I would eat it with a warm slice of homemade pumpkin bread!

  65. I would put this on a big stack of pancakes.

  66. You listed in the ingredients to use 1/4 cup cold water, divided. But in the instructions, you just use 2 TBSP. Am I missing where the rest of the water is used? I made these last night and it is obviously going to take some practice for me to get them to look like your pictures!!

    • So sorry, I just added the asterisk! It’s just to keep on hand in case the dough is a little too dry. Keep practicing, it’s totally worth it!

  67. I eat pancakes and waffles with LOL butter and Canola Oil

  68. I tweeted
    https://twitter.com/Sillysiamese/status/517587006235242497
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  69. These were the best biscuits ever!! just made a batch thought since its just my husband and me we could put them in the freezer and keep them fresh. Uh no. you just cant stop at 1. Next time ill make a double batch.

  70. This would taste great on my homemade pumpkin bread!

  71. I would bake a pumpkin Pound Cake, and have the Land O Lakes Butter with Canola Oil on slices of it.

  72. I think it would be good on anything any butter would be good on! How about a warm from the oven slice of pumpkin spice bread? mmm!

  73. I might make some lovely cinnamon toast with LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil

  74. I would eat my favorite garlic mashed potatoes with LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oilk.

  75. I would slather a nice big piece of pound cake!

  76. Land O Lakes butter with Canola Oil would be delicious on my date nut bread.

  77. I would put it on some toast in the mornings

  78. I would eat pumpkin muffins with it

  79. I’d eat baked sweet potatoes with LAND O LAKES® Butter with Canola Oil.

  80. i would use it on pancakes or waffles

  81. I would spread it on pancakes and bagels. And muffins.

  82. I would eat it with a dinner roll.

  83. My husband has gotten pretty good at making biscuits but yours look even better. We knew most of your tips, but not the one about twisting. We also make sure the butter is super-cold. Smothered in butter/canola oil and drizzled honey? Pure heaven.

  84. chocolate chip muffins

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  85. I could see using this for everything, everyday toast, muffins, cornbread – whatever needs butter!

  86. I would do cinnamon waffles :)

    That’s our favorite breakfast nowadays !:)

    Thank you! xoxoxo

  87. I would put it on my french toast.

  88. I love biscuits so much!  One trick I have found is to lightly press your thumb into the top of the biscuits just before baking and they will rise even higher and fluffier! Also, I brush some buttermilk on the top after I press them and they brown easier and taste so much better! Sliced frozen butter instead of soft butter makes the biscuits even flakier! This looks like an awesome recipe, and I can’t wait to try it!

  89. Ashton, I can’t believe nobody commented on the liquid going in before the butter! In all my lifetime of making biscuits and seeing other people making biscuits, I have never heard of anyone not working the butter (or other fat) into the flour *before* adding the liquid. I will, of course, give it a try. But first I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just a typo.

  90. Alrighty then, I’ll have to try it that way at least once! You’ve always done it that way–did your mother or someone else you know do it that way? There’s a story (blog post) here, Ashton!

  91. Can I make the night before and then reheat in the morning?  Will they still be as delicious?

  92. Land O Lakes?  Ears of fresh corn, what else??   Question: when you say ‘shortening’ what are you suggesting?  Depends on where you are in this country I think, it varies in definition.

    Many thanks – this is Christmas breakfast!  Have a Merry one.

  93. Okay, mine just came out of the oven; they look Uh-May-Zing! Just tasted….O HOLY NIGHT!!! THEY ARE DELIGHTFUL! PERFECT! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!
    A couple questions: 1. Do they all have to be touching each other & the sides of the pan &how close (barely/full contact)? I didn’t realize a 9×6 pan wouldn’t be small enough & the two on the end weren’t touching the pan. 2. Can I double this recipe? I only got 7 beauties out of this batch. Thanks!!

    • You technically *can* double– the only complication with doubling is that you increase your chance of overworking the dough since you’ll have to mix more to get all of the ingredients incorporated. But…. if you’re careful and gentle, you might be able to do it :) . And they don’t HAVE to touch. That’s just how I like to make them, because it keeps more of the edges soft! Glad you liked!

  94. I love LOL butter on my sweet potato!  I enjoy watching it melt and spread all over the potato.  
    I also love LOL butter in my caramel sauce which I dribble over small chunks of apples!  I

  95. I’ve saved several of your excellent recipes. And I’m so excited to try this one. I’ve NEVER made biscuits that came out like what I had in mind. Thanks also for posting tips about not overworking the dough. As far as the ‘biscuit cutter’ goes, I have my mother’s old one, which, I believe, she might’ve used once or twice in her lifetime. Perhaps she just got frustrated !! ; o )

  96. Ashton, oh my gosh. These are freakin amazing. I’m not even pregnant and I think I will be making these every day for the rest of my life. SO GOOD!!! I grated the butter with a cheese grater, worked like a charm, in case anyone is wondering about that. Thanks for another amazing recipe! PS I was sorry to miss you when you were in Sacramento a couple months ago–it would have been fun to meet you and hang out with Dorothy and everyone. Next time! :)

    • So glad you liked these as much as I do!!! And I’m sorry to have missed you too. There are so many fun bloggers right in that area, I’m so jealous of you guys!

  97. worst biscuits ever! I’m not sure what happened but butter melted all over my oven and they were heavy heavy. Nothing like the picture. 

    • I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like how they came out!! I’m pretty confident in the recipe though, as I’ve made it for several years. However, I will concede that biscuits really do take a lot of practice to get just right. A lot of little things can really throw off a biscuit recipe (almost always making them too dense)!. Whether or not you try my recipe again, I would only suggest keep practicing biscuit making. Eventually, you’ll get them just right! :)

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