Mile High Perfect Best Homemade Biscuits Recipe

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I have spent a long, long, lonnnnnnnnnnnng time searching for and perfecting the best homemade 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.

I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high.

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, the very best homemade 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.

Biscuit-Making tip #1: Don't overwork the dough.

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 #2: be hands ON!

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 #3: dough should be THICK!

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 #4: Don't TWIST the cutter!!

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 #5: Cut as many biscuits as possible out of the first roll-out.

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.

I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high.

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!

Mile High Perfect Biscuits

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.

I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high.

So what do I like on my biscuits now? Well. Butter. Of course. Gobs and gobs of salty, sweet cream butter! 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.

So, to sum up: the perfect biscuits. Cold spreadable Butter with Canola Oil. And our Homemade Apple Butter. My job here is done.

I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high.

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.

I spent years search for the perfect bicuit recipe, and THIS IS IT! Buttery and fluffed up a mile high.
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143 thoughts on “Mile High Perfect Best Homemade Biscuits Recipe”

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

    Reply
  2. 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.

    Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply
  4. 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.

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  5. 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!

    Reply
  6. 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!

    Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  8. 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

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  9. 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!

    Reply
  10. 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!!

    Reply
  11. 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.

    Reply
  12. 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.

    Reply
  13. 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!

    Reply
  14. 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.

    Reply
  15. 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.

    Reply
  16. 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!!

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  17. 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

    Reply
  18. 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 )

    Reply
  19. 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! 🙂

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  20. 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. 

    Reply
    • 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! 🙂

      Reply

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