Use Cold Butter for Biscuits
For flaky layers, use cold butter. When you cut in the butter, you have coarse crumbs of butter coated with flour. When the biscuit bakes, the butter will melt, releasing steam and creating pockets of air. This makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside. We default to our Land O Lakes® Salted Butter when baking biscuits.
Measure Ingredients Accurately
Measuring accurately is important. For flour we recommend using a spoon to fluff up the flour within the container. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup and a knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
Use Fresh Baking Powder
Baking powder, the leavening agent in biscuits, is often referred to as “double-acting baking powder.” This means its release action happens when the liquid is mixed in, then again when the biscuits are placed in the oven at a high heat. Three things to remember inlcude preheating the oven, shaping the biscuits immediately after preparing dough and always baking biscuits immediately after forming. As baking powder is an ingredient that may sit in our pantry for months, it is important to check the expiration date. You can easily test the freshness by mixing a small spoonful of baking powder with ¼ cup hot water; it should bubble vigorously. If it does not, it's time to replace.
Buttermilk and Biscuits
Buttermilk adds tenderness as well as a tangy flavor. For best restuls, make sure the buttermilk is cold. If thsi dairy product is unavailable, you can make your own by combining 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar with enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes.
Rolling or Patting Biscuit Dough
The biscuit dough can either be rolled with a rolling pin or you can pat the dough to the size and shape given in the recipe. If the dough is patted into shape, the top of the dough may have an uneven surface. That is just fine—slightly uneven biscuit tops are more interesting!
Do not Overwork Biscuit Dough
Handle the dough as little as possible. Every time you touch, knead and fold, you are developing gluten. The more developed the gluten, the tougher the biscuit. Our recipe asks you to the dough 10 times; this will create a cohesive dough with visible pieces of butter and sprinkles of flour. When kneading very lightly, flour your hands or rolling pin, and use flour sparingly. A smooth, homogenous dough is not the goal.
Do not Twist the Biscuit Cutter
When cutting out the biscuits, use a strong, sharp metal biscuit cutter to make it easy to cut through the dough. To cut, press straight down. Avoid twisting the cutter as you cut the dough, or the biscuits will be sloped and not bake evenly on top. If you do not have a biscuit cutter you can use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut your biscuits into squares.
Best Baking Sheet
Metal baking sheets without sides are best. Pans with sides will bake less evenly. There is no need to grease your baking sheet when baking biscuits.
Consider Placement on Baking Sheet
To brown the biscuits on all sides, place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Alternately, place them 1/2 inch apart; the sides will not be golden brown, but the biscuits will rise nice and tall when they bake.
Leftover biscuits (if there is such a thing) can be stored in a resealable plastic bag. When refrigerated they will keep about 4 days. Baked biscuits can be frozen without loss of quality for up to a month; after that, they will start drying out. Unbaked cut-out biscuits can be frozen up to 1 month. Freeze biscuits individually on a baking sheet and, when frozen, wrap them in aluminum foil and transfer to a resealable freezer bag. When ready to bake, do not thaw; simply double the baking time.
Biscuits are easy to make at home and result in warm, buttery, flaky deliciousness. We love them at breakfast spread with our Honey Butter Spread and jam, or at served at Sunday (or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...) supper instead of dinner rolls. Here are some recipes to try: