Flaky, buttery Southern biscuits recipe

Imagine waking up on a Sunday morning, the smell of freshly baked biscuits wafting through the air. The buttery aroma wafts through your nose and you feel like you’re in heaven. Now, what if I told you that you could recreate that same experience every day, with just a few simple ingredients and some kitchen magic?

As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I have mastered the art of baking perfect biscuits. Biscuits are a staple of southern food culture and for good reason. They are simple, yet versatile, and loved by all ages. From fluffy buttermilk biscuits to flaky buttered biscuits, there’s something for everyone.

In this article, I will be sharing my time-tested recipe for homemade southern biscuits – inspired by Alton Brown’s Good Eats recipe – complete with detailed instructions and expert tips. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a kitchen novice, with this guide you can make perfect biscuits each and every time.

So let’s dust off those aprons and get baking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Good Eats Southern Biscuits
Good Eats Southern Biscuits

Are you a fan of southern-style biscuits? Look no further, because this recipe will take your taste buds on a heavenly journey. This recipe is perfect for those who love fluffy, flaky and buttery biscuits that melt in your mouth.

But why will you love this recipe?

Firstly, it’s so easy and quick to make. With just a few ingredients, you can whip up homemade Southern biscuits in no time. And even better – there is no waiting time for the dough to rise as required in some other recipes.

Secondly, using buttermilk and a combination of baking powder and baking soda makes these biscuits rise beautifully and gives them that signature tangy flavor that is unique to Southern-style baked goods.

Thirdly, this recipe allows for plenty of flexibility when it comes to substitutions – so if you’re missing an ingredient or want to add a flavorful twist, go ahead and swap out ingredients accordingly!

Lastly, these biscuits are versatile and can be paired with various dishes – my personal favorite is serving them hot with sausage gravy. But trust me when I say that any meal or occasion can be made better by serving these Southern-style biscuits.

So what are you waiting for? Get your apron on and try out this amazing recipe!

Ingredient List

 This recipe will make your taste buds do a little happy dance.
This recipe will make your taste buds do a little happy dance.

To make these Southern-style biscuits, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Pro tip: For the ultimate Southern biscuit experience, consider using White Lily self-rising flour. This special flour is made from soft winter wheat and creates a tender texture in biscuits that simply can’t be beat.

The Recipe How-To

 Golden brown biscuits, fresh from the oven.
Golden brown biscuits, fresh from the oven.

Step 1: Gather the Ingredients

First things first, it’s time to gather all the ingredients necessary to make these homemade Southern biscuits. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter (cold)
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening (cold)
  • 3/4 cup of buttermilk

Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the ingredients until everything is well mixed.

Step 3: Add the Butter and Shortening

The next step in making these delicious biscuits is to add the cold butter and shortening. Rub the cold butter and shortening into the dry ingredients using your fingertips. Keep rubbing until you have small pea-sized pieces of butter throughout the dry mixture.

Step 4: Add Buttermilk and Form Dough

Pour in the buttermilk slowly while stirring with a fork until just mixed. Do NOT over mix or your biscuit will become tough.

Once all is incorporated, pour out dough onto a floured surface. Using your hands form into a ball, then flatten into desired shape (about ¾ inch thickness). Don’t worry if it looks too sticky as it will come together once kneaded more.

Step 5: Cut Biscuits and Arrange on Pan

Using a biscuit cutter or your glass, cut out circles from your flattened dough. Arrange on a baking sheet with at least one inch between biscuits.

Step 6: Bake in Oven

Heat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) for at least ten minutes before placing the baking pan. Place pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the biscuits turn golden brown.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy!

Once done, take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Serve piping hot with your favorite toppings or enjoy as is. Serve with a side of sausage gravy, if you want to double up on the Southern comfort!

Substitutions and Variations

 These biscuits may just transport you to a southern grandma's kitchen.
These biscuits may just transport you to a southern grandma’s kitchen.

It’s always fun to experiment with different ingredients and mix things up a bit. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try out for your southern biscuits recipe:

– Flour: For this recipe, I recommend using all-purpose flour. But if you’d like to get creative, you can try using self-rising flour or White Lily flour for a more authentic Southern taste.

– Shortening and Butter: You can switch up the ratio of these two fats in the recipe to achieve different results. If you prefer flakier biscuits, use more cold butter than shortening. If you want a light and fluffy texture, use more shortening than butter.

– Buttermilk: If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with one cup of milk.

– Add-ins: You can also add different ingredients to the dough to create unique variations of the classic southern biscuit recipe. Some popular options include cheddar cheese, garlic powder, chopped herbs, or even cooked bacon bits.

– Gluten-Free: For those who are gluten intolerant, you can use a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour. Just make sure to check that your baking powder and baking soda are also gluten-free.

– Vegan: To make this recipe vegan-friendly, swap out the butter and buttermilk for non-dairy alternatives such as coconut oil and almond milk.

With these suggestions in mind, feel free to get creative and put your own spin on this classic southern biscuit recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready to enjoy the delightful aroma of warm biscuits filling your kitchen.
Get ready to enjoy the delightful aroma of warm biscuits filling your kitchen.

Now that you have baked a batch of these scrumptious southern style biscuits, the next question is how to serve them and what to pair them with. These biscuits are versatile and can be served as a standalone breakfast dish or can be coupled with other recipes to complete any meal.

One classic way to serve southern biscuits is to smother them with gravy, sausage gravy being a popular choice. Homemade sausage gravy can be prepared in just 20 minutes with simple ingredients such as butter, flour, milk, and crumbled sausage. Though it may take some time and practice to perfect the recipe, but once you do, serving it with warm and fluffy homemade biscuits will make for an unforgettable breakfast.

If you’re looking for something sweet, your southern biscuits pair perfectly with jam or honey on top of melted butter. Alternatively, whip up some strawberries, sugar and whipped cream to create a simple yet delicious dessert.

In addition to sweet toppings and savoury gravy pairings, these biscuits also serve as great sandwich components in themselves. Fill them up with eggs, bacon or fried chicken to enjoy a hearty meal at any time of the day.

As far as beverages are concerned, nothing beats a cold glass of sweet tea or freshly brewed coffee when paired with these warm homemade biscuits. Serve with your favorite hot beverage for an unbeatable combo.

Overall, Homemade Southern Biscuits are versatile enough that they can be enjoyed at breakfast or brunch without restraint, any time of day!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly layered and flaky, these biscuits are a masterpiece.
Perfectly layered and flaky, these biscuits are a masterpiece.

Are you in a hurry but still craving some good Southern biscuits? No worries, this recipe is perfect for making ahead and storing for later enjoyment. After baking the biscuits, let them cool completely before storing them.

To store the biscuits, wrap them individually with plastic wrap and place them into an airtight container. The biscuits can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy again, simply remove the plastic wrap from the biscuit and microwave it for 20-30 seconds on high power until it’s heated through. You can also reheat it in the oven by placing it in a pre-heated oven at 350°F (177°C) for 8-10 minutes.

If you want to make these biscuits ahead of time, you can prepare the biscuit dough and refrigerate it overnight. Simply wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge overnight. The next day, allow the dough to come back to room temperature before proceeding with baking. This will give your biscuits a chance to rest and develop even more flavor.

Whether you’re enjoying these biscuits fresh out of the oven or reheating them later on, they are sure to hit the spot with their fluffy texture and buttery flavor. These biscuits are perfect as a side dish or can serve as the foundation for a delicious breakfast sandwich.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you have all the ingredients ready and you have followed every step of the recipe, here are some tips to ensure that your southern-style biscuits turn out perfectly every time.

1. Use cold butter and shortening: For flaky biscuits, the butter and shortening must stay solid before mixing with the flour. You can even freeze these ingredients before using them in your recipe.

2. Don’t overwork the dough: Overworking the dough can make the biscuits tough and dense. Mix the dough until it just comes together, then knead it briefly until it’s a smooth ball.

3. Fold the dough for layers: This technique ensures flaky layers in your biscuits. After rolling out the dough to about 1 inch thick, fold it into thirds like a business letter. Turn it 90 degrees and repeat, rolling to 1 inch thick again.

4. Use White Lily flour: This type of flour is a Southern staple and is famous for making light and fluffy biscuits due to its low protein content.

5. Use buttermilk: The acidity in buttermilk reacts with baking soda and baking powder, creating pockets of carbon dioxide that help the biscuit rise.

6. Preheat your oven to 450°F: A hot oven helps create a crispy exterior while keeping the inside soft and tender.

7. Use a biscuit cutter: A sharp biscuit cutter cuts through the dough cleanly, creating flaky edges that you cannot achieve by cutting with a knife.

8. Let your biscuits rest for a few minutes before baking: Once you cut out your biscuits, let them rest on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes before popping them in the oven. This allows them to relax and rise slightly, giving you more height in your finished product.

With these tips in mind, you are sure to have success with this homemade Southern biscuits recipe every time!


Now, let me address some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about this recipe. I understand that making biscuits can be tricky and intimidating for some, so here are some answers to common concerns to help you bake perfect biscuits every time. Lean in and let’s get started with these tips and tricks.

What makes Southern biscuits different?

In the South, biscuits are a beloved staple, and the reason for their unrivaled taste lies in the special ingredient that sets them apart: soft wheat flour. This type of flour is abundant in regions with temperate and moist climates, such as the mid-Atlantic, giving cooks in those areas a distinct advantage.

What is the secret to the best biscuit?

When it comes to making top-tier biscuits, the key is to use very cold butter. Often, the dough gets overworked, leading to the butter softening before baking. My tip is to cut the butter into small pieces and store them back in the fridge until they are ready to be added to the dough.

What is the difference between northern and Southern biscuits?

The preference for fats and flours differs between the North and the South. While butter is favored in the North, lard or shortening are the standard in the South. Southerners take great pride in their biscuits and have even developed a specialized flour called White Lily, which is not commonly found in the North.

What flour is best for Southern style biscuits?

When it comes to creating the perfect biscuits for a delicious southern-style meal, self-rising flour is the key ingredient. For those in the South, White Lily is the preferred brand due to its usage of soft red winter wheat, commonly grown in the area, and already added salt and baking powder that ensures the biscuits are as tender as they are fluffy.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you crave for fluffy buttermilk biscuits as much as I do, then this recipe is definitely worth a try. With ingredients that are readily available in your pantry and clear instructions, making Southern biscuits at home has never been easier. Trust me, there’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked biscuits straight out of the oven.

Whether you serve them with butter and jam or sausage gravy, homemade Southern biscuits are the perfect comfort food and an essential part of Southern cuisine. So whip up a batch of these flaky buttermilk biscuits and enjoy some good eats today.

Thank you for reading through this recipe article and I hope it has inspired you to give it a try. Happy baking!

Good Eats Southern Biscuits

Good Eats Southern Biscuits Recipe

Good biscuits that take no time to cook, I make them at least once a week.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Servings 8 Biscuits
Calories 723.7 kcal


  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
  • Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)
  • Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If you do not want to use the buttermilk, use regular milk at the same volume, but omit the baking soda. This is the way that I make this recipe most of the time.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 190gCalories: 723.7kcalCarbohydrates: 103.5gProtein: 17.1gFat: 26.6gSaturated Fat: 11.4gCholesterol: 35.4mgSodium: 1968.5mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 6.2g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Breads, Breakfast, Easy, High In...
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