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How To Make Homemade Biscuits

Updated on March 2, 2014
Buster Bucks profile image

Buster began cooking as a wee pup by watching his mother fix the kibble. He was hooked. He loves preparing—and writing about—food.

Fresh Biscuits Hot From The Oven

The Incredible Biscuit

I've been baking biscuits for years, and have learned that there really are tricks to making them exceptional.

To me, the best biscuit has a crunchy exterior, and when you pull it open there are tender layers begging for butter and jelly.

Follow my directions exactly and you'll soon be eating biscuits that you'll be proud you made yourself.

There are photos below that will help you through the process.

The directions may seem long, but I've tried to provide plenty of details to help you succeed... as well as describing what cooks do wrong that can easily be avoided.

The Ingredients

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda (also called "bicarbonate of soda" outside the US)

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1/3 cup butter, chilled

7 tbsp. sour cream (it's okay to use low-fat sour cream)

2/3 cup milk

How To Make The Biscuit Dough

Into a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.

Slice the COLD butter into pieces, and scatter in the flour. Using your fingers, rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.

Spoon the 7 teaspoons of COLD sour cream into the middle, then cover with the butter/flour mixture. Carefully rub the sour cream into the butter/flour mixture. This takes a little practice, but soon you'll have a mixture that resembles really-really (!) course cornmeal.

Don't overwork the adding of the butter and the sour cream. It shouldn't take longer than about 3 or 4 minutes total to add the butter and the sour cream.

Now, ALL AT ONCE, add in the 2/3 cup of milk. Using a wooden spoon, stir in one direction until the dough just comes together. This only takes about 12 turns or so. You'll know you're done when the last bits of dry flour in the bottom of your bowl are gone.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You'll want to keep stirring... BUT DON'T. Yeah, the dough looks wet -- it's supposed to have this appearance. Many novice biscuit makers stir the dough too long. This is how you end up with tough, unappetizing biscuits.

The Dry Ingredients Mixed Together

Cold Butter In Pieces Added to the Dry Ingredients

This Is How The Flour Appears Once The Butter And Sour Cream Have Been Fully Rubbed In

After Milk is Added, Stir Only Till The Mixture Holds Together

How To Make Biscuits

PREHEAT the oven to 400 degrees (200 C, or Gas Mark 6 for my UK readers).

Lay two sheets of foil on your counter, then sprinkle with flour. It should have a thin film of flour -- very thin.

Scrape your wet dough onto the flour-covered foil. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough so that you can press it down with your hands without the dough sticking to your hands. It's okay if a *little* sticks...


The following takes a little practice. The goal is to work the dough as little as possible, and yet knead it. Like this: lift the dough, and toss a little flour underneath the dough, then fold one half over onto the other half. Press, then sprinkle flour over this.

Continue pressing and folding the dough. You'll want to continue sprinkling -- lightly -- flour underneath the dough (and on top) to keep it from sticking to your hands.

Only press and fold until the dough is just barely sticky. This will usually take about 6 or 7 pressing/folding motions.

Then use your hands to flatten the dough to a thickness of about an inch.

Cover a baking sheet (I use a jelly roll-sized sheet) with foil, then spray this with cooking spray.

Using a biscuit cutter dipped in flour (or the open end of a drinking glass dipped in flour) cut out the biscuits. Cut down in a single motion, rather than "screwing" the cutter or the drinking glass.

Continue cutting the biscuits and laying them on the baking sheet. Spray the tops of the biscuits with the cooking spray.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown (see photos.) I usually set my timer for 15 minutes so I can check them. If your oven runs "cool" it might take the full 20 minutes.

Directions continue after the ebay information below.

The Dough When First Scraped Onto The Flour-covered Foil, and Dough-top Floured

The Dough Looks Like This After A Few Presses and Folds

A Few Biscuits Cut From The Flattened Dough

Unbaked Biscuits Covered With Cooking Spray

Homemade Biscuits Fresh From The Oven

Final Thoughts

Baking biscuits is an art, and takes a little practice. I hope that these directions -- and the photos -- will help you create great biscuits the very first time! However, if not, then don't give up. Keep trying -- and follow these directions to the letter.

Now slather some butter on these babies, and start eating.



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