Best Recipes for Baked Biscuits From Scratch

A good biscuit can provide you with a flaky breakfast morsel, an afternoon snack enjoyed with jam or butter, or the bread for the basket on your dinner table. Need a quick primer on biscuit baking before you head into the kitchen? Avoid overworking the dough, which will create tough biscuits. Substitutions for shortening include lard or butter, and you can see what else Martha White has to say on the topic here. Now that your armed with a few tips, figure out which of these 7 recipes you’ll be making.

1. Baking Soda Biscuits

biscuit recipes

Biscuits | iStock.com

King Arthur Flour’s recipe has substitutions built in, letting you control the taste and texture of your biscuits. Sweet biscuits result from using the full 4 tablespoons of sugar, while incorporating buttermilk will yield flakier fare. It yields about 12, 2½ inch biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (12¾ ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste; sweeter biscuits)
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons (2 to 3 ounces) butter or shortening
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) milk, buttermilk, or water

Directions: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix together the dry ingredients. With two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter or shortening in until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the liquid all at once, mixing quickly and gently for about 20 seconds until you have a soft dough.

To shape the biscuits without rolling the dough either: drop by spoonful onto a lightly floured baking sheet; or fill the cups of a greased muffin tin about two-thirds full. For cut biscuits, pat the dough into a rectangle about ¾-inch in thickness. Fold it into thirds like a letter and roll gently with a floured rolling pin until the dough is ¾-inch in thickness again. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter for traditional, round biscuits. Or, to avoid leftover dough scraps, cut the dough into squares or diamonds with a bench or bowl scraper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned.

2. Biscuits with Sawmill Gravy

biscuits with gravy

Biscuits with gravy | iStock.com

Savory and substantial, Saveur has chosen to serve fresh buttermilk biscuits served with sawmill, or cream, gravy in this recipe. For a full-on breakfast feast, make a side of scrambled eggs. It yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

Biscuit

  • 2½ cups flour, plus more for cutter
  • 3½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, plus 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1½ cups buttermilk

Gravy

  • 2 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces pork breakfast sausage
  • ½ cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions: To make the biscuits, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Add chilled butter, and using your fingers, rub mixture together until pea-size crumbles form. Add buttermilk, and stir with a fork until just combined. Transfer to a floured work surface, and gently pat dough into a 6-by-4-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. Dip a 3-inch round cutter into a bowl of flour, and cut out rounds of dough. Press scraps together, and repeat with remaining dough until you have about 6 rounds. Brush a 9-inch cake pan with melted butter, arrange biscuits in pan, and brush the tops with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

For the gravy, place bacon in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat renders, about 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add milk and cream, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy is thickened, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, cayenne, and salt and pepper, and stir until combined.

To serve, split biscuits in half, and cover with gravy. Serve with hot sauce, if you like.

3. Sweet Potato Biscuits

sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes | iStock.com

The homemade bread your dinner table needs can be found with Chow’s sweet potato biscuit recipe, which makes about 8, 3-inch biscuits. Split and fill with ham or chicken for a biscuit sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup baked, mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium potato)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), frozen
  • Heavy cream, for brushing the tops

Directions: Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate large bowl, mix together milk and mashed sweet potato until evenly combined. Grate frozen butter through the large holes of a box grater and toss with dry ingredients until butter is coated. Add milk mixture and mix lightly until dough forms a shaggy mass.

Turn out mixture onto a floured surface and knead just until it comes together. The dough won’t appear smooth. Pat into a circle and use a floured rolling pin to roll dough to a thickness of about ¾-inch. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or glass, cut the dough into rounds. Gather leftover dough into a circle, reroll, and cut until you have 8 large biscuits.

Place biscuits on a baking sheet, brush tops with heavy cream, and bake until the bottoms are golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Country Ham and Fried Egg on Angel Biscuits

Frying eggs

Frying eggs | iStock.com

Bobby Flay knows how to fill a biscuit. In this Cooking Channel recipe, Flay has paired light angel biscuits with thin slices of country ham and fried egg for a breakfast that serves 4. Interested in only serving a few biscuits at a time? You can make the dough ahead of time, leaving it in the freezer and baking as needed. The longer the dough is in the freezer, the lighter the biscuits become.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pats
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • Cooking spray, to coat
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, for brushing on top
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter, for brushing on top
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (¼ pound) country ham, sliced paper thin

Directions: Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening and ¼ cup butter pats until pea-size bits remain. Add the milk and gently stir until combined. The dough will be wet. Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and gently pat into a 9-inch round that is 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds using a cookie cutter. Transfer the rounds to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove the towel and cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the heavy cream and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with the melted butter. Let cool slightly, then sprinkle the top with black pepper and slice open.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a small (6-inch) nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle. Add one egg at a time, season top with salt and pepper and cook until the white is set, gently flip over, and continue cooking for another minute or so. Flip so the top side is up. Place a few slices of ham on the bottom biscuit and top with the egg, place the other half of the biscuit on top and serve immediately.

5. Fluffy Cream Cheese Biscuits

biscuits

Biscuits | iStock.com

Southern Living has a different kind of light and fluffy biscuit on the agenda. Yeast, baking powder, and baking soda combine for biscuits that will rise to be irresistibly airy. It yields about 18, cream cheese flavored biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (¼-ounces) envelope active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cold cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; cut cream cheese and cold butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Combine yeast mixture and buttermilk, and add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 6 to 8 times (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), sprinkling with up to ¼ cup additional flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll dough to ¾-inch thickness. Cut with a 2½-inch round cutter, re-rolling scraps once. Arrange biscuits on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter.

6. Basic Biscuits

basic biscuits

Basic biscuits | iStock.com

For a basic and buttermilk-free biscuit, turn to AllRecipes.com. Meant to be oversized, the recipe yields about 6 biscuits, cut from a large biscuit cutter. If you use a smaller biscuit cutter, carefully watch the biscuits so they do not burn while baking.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

7. Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk biscuits

Buttermilk biscuits | Thinkstock

But it is really hard to beat buttermilk when it comes to biscuits. As Fine Cooking explains, buttermilk not only produces flaky, fresh biscuits, but acts as a leavening agent too. With a touch of tang, it will help make a richer flavor for your biscuit too. For wonderfully buttery biscuits with buttermilk, use Food & Wine’s recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter—10 tablespoons cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled, 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
  • Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. In a large shallow bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and fine salt. Add the chilled butter and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until it is the size of peas. Stir in the buttermilk just until the dough is moistened. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a ½-inch-thick disk.

Using a floured 2¼-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out biscuit rounds as closely together as possible. Gather the scraps and knead them together 2 or 3 times, then flatten the dough and stamp out more biscuit rounds. Pat the remaining scraps together and gently press them into a biscuit.

Transfer the biscuits to a large baking sheet and brush the tops with the melted butter. Lightly sprinkle the biscuits with a few grains of flaky salt and chill until firm, about 10 minutes. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let the biscuits cool slightly on the baking sheet before serving.

Make the unbaked biscuits ahead, which can be frozen. Freeze biscuits in a single layer and transfer to a resealable plastic bag for up to one month. Bake straight from the freezer, adding a few minutes to the cooking time.

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