Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits (2022)

Nothing beats warm flaky old fashioned biscuits straight from the oven. This fool-proof homemade biscuit recipe is easy to make and requires just 6 ingredients.

Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits (1)

Comfort food of comfort foods! Warm, flaky biscuits that pull apart in the middle for a little pat of butter are so yummy. That is why they are a staple of southern cooking and once you make them, this will be one of your favorite go-to recipes as well. No need to buy a mix or can ever again!Now you can make biscuits quick and like a pro, with this easy, 6-ingredient recipe.Warm, flaky, old fashioned biscuits are the best! These biscuits go with almost any meal and are easy to throw together in a hurry.

Can I use baking soda in place of baking powder?

Yes. Baking soda has 3 to 4 times the strength as baking powder so you’ll need to reduce the amount called for in this recipe when making a substitution. To replace the 1 tablespoon of Baking Powder in this recipe, use 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda instead. That’s it, and it will still make some delicious, warm, flaky, old-fashioned biscuits.

Can I use self-rising flour instead of all-purpose in this biscuit recipe?

Yes, you can. Self-rising flour contains flour, baking powder and salt. While it is hard to predict the exact ratios of flour to baking powder to salt in the mixture, you will most likely still get great results. Be sure to leave out adding any additional baking powder or salt until you’ve seen how it turns out with your particular brand of self rising flour. For best results, simply follow the recipe using all-purpose flour.

Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits (2)

How to cut fat into flour to make homemade biscuits:

Homemade biscuits require you to cut fat (like butter or shortening) into a flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal or sand. There are several options to do this.

  • GRATER: The easiest way to cut fat into flour is to grate it using a cheese grater. This works particularly well for cold butter.
  • PASTRY CUTTER: A traditional, old fashioned way to cut fat into flour is to use a pastry cutter. This specialized kitchen tool has 3 to 4 curved blades attached to a handle so that you can cut the fat into the flour using a rocking motion.
  • FOOD PROCESSOR: A food processor is a great modern small kitchen appliance that makes it really easy to cut fat into flour. Simply place your flour mixture into the bowl of the food processor along with your cold fat. Using the S-blade, pulse the mixture together until it resembles coarse meal or sand.
  • TWO KNIFE METHOD: The hardest method uses two knives to cut the solid fat into the flour by cutting the knives parallel against each other. Hold one butter knife in each hand. Criss cross the two knives to form an X-shape, with the flat sides of the blades touching each other. Place the knives in this shape into the fat and flour and slice the blades against each other in an outward motion repeatedly, similar to how scissors work.

Butter or shortening: Which is best for making a biscuit?

Like many pastries, biscuits require a solid fat source to achieve their flaky texture. Every source of fat will yield a slightly different result as they have different flavors and result in a different texture.

  • SHORTENING:For the tallest biscuits, use shortening because it has a higher melting point. As they bake, the flour and shortening are forced apart until the shortening melts. By this point, the biscuit will be set, creating that highly sought-after flaky texture. For the best flavor, use butter flavored shortening, as regular shortening often lacks a little bit in the flavor department.
  • BUTTER:Butter provides a great flavor for your biscuit recipe, but has a lower melting point than shortening. Because butter contains somewhere around 15% water, you’ll notice some shrinkage as the water evaporates during baking, resulting in a shorter biscuit.
  • COCONUT OIL: A popular trend in baking today is to use coconut oil. Coconut oil can be used to make a flaky biscuits, but you’ll want to measure and freeze the coconut oil first. Because coconut oil has such a low melting point, it’s best to make smaller biscuits so that the baking process happens faster and more evenly, forcing apart the fat and flour as quickly as possible.
  • Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits (3)
    LARD: If you want to make these the way our not-so-distant ancestors did, use lard. Lard is very similar to shortening, but usually comes from pig fat. It has a distinctive flavor that many enjoy.
Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits (4)

PRO TIP: Always ensure that whatever fat you use in your homemade biscuits is as cold as possible. Cold fats that haven’t softened yield the flakiest biscuits.

If you like this recipe you may be interested in these other similar recipes involving biscuits:

  • Simple Sausage Gravy (for Biscuits and Gravy)
  • Sweet Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy
  • The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Gravy

Watch the video belowwhere Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes onYouTube,Facebook Watch,or ourFacebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits


6 Large Biscuits


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share via Email


Print Recipe

(Video) How to Make Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits

Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits (5)

Nothing beats warm flaky old fashioned biscuits straight from the oven. This fool-proof homemade biscuit recipe is easy to make and requires just 6 ingredients.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

(Video) How to Make Flaky Biscuits


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening cold
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing (optional)

US CustomaryMetric


  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

  • Grate your butter using a cheese grater and stir into the flour mixture OR cut butter into small pieces and use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal or sand.

    (Video) Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits

  • Gradually pour in the buttermilk or milk, stirring until the dough just comes together.

  • Turn the dough out onto a clean countertop and form it into a ball.

  • Press the dough flat until it is 1-inch thick. Use a circle biscuit cutter or a drinking glass to cut out your biscuits. Combine leftover scraps and continue re-pressing and cutting until all dough is used.

  • Place cut biscuits on an un-greased baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Brush the tops with melted butter, if desired.



  • Keep your butter or shortening as cold as possible. Place it into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before using in the recipe for extra flaky results.
  • Handle the dough with your hands as little as possible.
  • Work quickly to keep your dough cold. If you need to, pop the formed biscuits into the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes to chill before baking.


Serving: 1large biscuit | Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 556mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 2.1mg

(Video) How to Make Flaky Old Fashioned Biscuits

This recipe first appeared on The Stay At Home Chef on March 12, 2013


What causes biscuits to be flaky? ›

By keeping your butter as cold as possible as you work it into the dough, you'll guarantee that the distinct pieces create pockets of steam that push the layers apart. If the butter is too warm when you're working with it, it will melt too quickly, seeping into the biscuit dough rather than turning into steam.

How do you create the flaky texture of biscuits? ›

Fold the dough in half and turn it 90 degrees. Pat it out again and fold it again. Do this about 6 times. This process is creating layers that will create flaky biscuits.

What is the secret to light fluffy biscuits? ›

Fully incorporating the butter and flour guarantees tender, airy biscuits every time. Low-protein flours keep biscuits fluffy and light, never tough. Yogurt provides both hydration and structure, for biscuits that bake up straight and tall but moist.

Is it better to use butter or Crisco for biscuits? ›

So what's the final verdict? Butter is the winner here. The butter biscuits were moister with that wonderful butter taste and melt-in-your mouth texture. I'd be curious to test out substituting half or just two tablespoons of the butter with shortening to see if you get the best of both.

What does cream of tartar do in biscuits? ›

In the presence of a liquid, the acidity of the cream of tartar activates the baking soda, causing it to start bubbling away, and that, in turn, is what makes the biscuits rise.

Should you brush butter on biscuits before baking? ›

Brush biscuits with melted butter. Bake 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir together softened butter and preserves in bowl until well mixed.

What type of biscuits is usually flaky? ›

Rolled Biscuits are mixed using the Biscuit Method, and as a result are flaky and layered. These rely on fat for shortening power, and on just the right amount of kneading for gluten formation. After mixing the dough, it is quickly kneaded, rolled out and biscuits are cut from the dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter.

What is the ideal shortening to use to produce a flaky biscuit? ›

Cutting in the Fat

In terms of flakiness, the best fat for making biscuits is probably lard, and vegetable shortening is the next best. In terms of flavor, however, butter is undoubtedly the best, with lard a close second.

What is the method used to create the flaky texture in scones? ›

The biscuit-method, also used for scones, is prepared by sifting together the dry ingredients including flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder, the fat is then cut into the dry ingredients, and the mixture is folded together with the liquid producing a dense yet flakey texture.

What is the secret to an excellent biscuit? ›

The secret to excellent biscuits is COLD BUTTER. Really cold. Many times the biscuit dough gets worked so much that the butter softens before the biscuits even go in the oven. Try cutting the butter into small pieces and stick back in the fridge pulling out only when ready to incorporate into the dough.

How can I get my biscuits to rise higher? ›

Make sure you chill the butter for 30 minutes (it will cool faster when cut into pieces). Doing so ensures that the fat doesn't melt and produce greasy, leaden biscuits. Then heat the oven to 500 degrees; the high heat produces maximum steam, which encourages the biscuits to rise as high as they possibly can.

Should you let biscuits rise before baking? ›

Biscuits are a type of quick bread (because they require no rising time before baking) with their moon in pastry. Like pastry dough, biscuits get their tender crumb and layers from the suspension of fat in flour.

Should you let biscuit dough rest? ›

Cake flour, a low-protein flour that is available in supermarkets from Boston to Chicago, north to Seattle and down to Los Angeles, makes a fine biscuit. Standard Northern all-purpose flour does as well, especially if you allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes or so before cutting it out and baking.

Should biscuits touch when baking? ›

Make sure the sides are touching when you set the biscuits on the baking sheet. As they bake, they cling to each other, rising bigger and taller.

Can I make biscuit dough the night before and refrigerate? ›

When you place the dough in the refrigerator, it can stay overnight. In fact, the longer it sits in the fridge, the better. So you can easily make the dough the night before and bake the buttermilk biscuits in the morning.

What does vinegar do in biscuits? ›

Vinegar may have several functions in baked goods: Leavening agent: aids in leavening when used with a base (baking powder) to produce carbon dioxide. Acidulant: decreases pH aiding in meringue stabilization.

What does buttermilk do in biscuits? ›

Buttermilk is used in biscuit-making for its acid and fat content. Its acidity works with the leaveners to help the dough rise, producing a taller and fluffier biscuit. Buttermilk also adds a subtle tang. Cream biscuits are made with heavy cream.

Why do you put baking soda in biscuits? ›

Baking soda reacts with acids in a recipe, neutralizing them and, in the process, creating carbon dioxide. Examples of acids include: buttermilk, brown sugar, lemon juice, or yogurt. The bubbles from the carbon dioxide cause the batter to rise. Without baking soda, cookies would be dense pucks and cakes would be flat.

Do you spray the pan when making biscuits? ›

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick baking spray. Hold the pan for later use. Step 2: Cut the Butter into the Dry Ingredients.

Should biscuits be cold before baking? ›

Place the pan of biscuits in the refrigerator while you preheat your oven to 425°F, or for about 20 to 30 minutes. This short chill will help the biscuits maintain their shape while baking.

What are the 4 types of biscuits? ›

Types of Biscuits
  • Rolled Biscuits. Rolled biscuits are one of the most popular baking-powder leavened quick breads. ...
  • Drop Biscuits. Drop biscuits have more milk or other liquid added to the dough than rolled biscuits. ...
  • Scones. ...
  • Shortcakes.

What do British people call flaky biscuits? ›

Scone (UK) / Biscuit (US)

These are the crumbly cakes that British people call scones, which you eat with butter, jam, sometimes clotted cream and always a cup of tea.

What type of fat must be used to result in flaky biscuits? ›

But when a fat such as shortening is cut into flour before baking, it coats the gluten strands, preventing them from lengthening and forming a tough matrix. This results in a tender, crumbly, and flaky product (4). This shortening of the gluten strands is how shortening got its name.

What kind of flour makes the best biscuits? ›

White wheat in general is around 9-12% protein, while the hard reds are 11-15%. As far as brands of flour, White Lily “all-purpose” flour has been my go-to for biscuit making. It's a soft red winter wheat, and the low protein and low gluten content keep biscuits from becoming too dense.

Is buttermilk or regular milk better for biscuits? ›

When you're making biscuits, you use buttermilk for its acidity as well as its fat and liquid content. The acidity is used, in conjunction with leaveners, to help the dough rise.

What does too much butter do to biscuits? ›

But what about taste? This was a tough one. Increasing the amount of butter definitely makes the biscuit "taste" softer, more crumbly, and more flaky.

Which ingredient adds richness and flakiness to baked products? ›

The Role of Butter in Baking

Butter is paramount to bakers and butter delivers sumptuous flavor better than any other fat. Butter enriches baked goods by contributing tenderness and moistness, and is responsible for the flakiness in biscuits, pie crusts, and puff pastry.

What does rubbing butter into flour do? ›

This creates moisture, and also helps the dough to rise, creating a tender and light crumb. Use your finger tips only When rubbing the butter in to the flour/dry mixture, try not to use your whole hand to do so. The palm of your hand is warmer than your finger tips and will soften the butter.

What are the two most important steps in biscuit making? ›

The first is to coat the flour in fat helping to reduce gluten development. The second is to distribute little pieces of solid fat throughout the dough which will melt in the oven creating little pockets of flakiness.

What makes a high quality biscuit? ›

The following characteristics are important: Texture – open, flaky, short, depending on the product. Density/volume – low density gives more volume and a lighter bite. Bite/mouth feel – crispiness, softness, smoothness, crunchiness...

How many times do you knead biscuit dough? ›

Gather dough into a ball and knead on lightly floured surface quickly and gently, about 6 to 8 times, just until no longer sticky. The kneading is meant only to flatten the pieces of fat into flakes, not to blend fat completely with the flour.

Why are Southern biscuits better? ›

Here's the Reason Biscuits in the South Really Are Better

The not-so-secret ingredient they rely upon is soft wheat flour. Soft wheat thrives in temperate, moist climates like that of the mid-Atlantic, so cooks in those areas have had access to its special flour for a long time.

How do you get the golden top of the biscuit? ›

Ovens set to 350 or even 400 degrees heat too slowly and cause the fat inside the dough to melt before rising to the dough's full potential. Finally, higher heat will generate more caramelization from the butter on top of the biscuits, leaving you with a beautifully golden crust.

What temperature do you bake biscuits at? ›

Bake the biscuits at 450°F until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. TIP: Make sure your oven is at the right temperature as it needs to be nice and hot! I like to use an oven thermometer to make sure, my oven will often say it's preheated when it's really 15 to 20°F cooler.

Does baking soda help biscuits rise? ›

Baking soda is also known by its chemist term: sodium bicarbonate. When heated, this chemical compound forms carbon dioxide gas – making your breads and cookies rise.

How many times should you fold your biscuit dough before cutting? ›

Don't skip the step of folding the biscuit dough in half and pressing it out 4 to 6 times before cutting your biscuits. The folds help to create flaky layers, much like when making croissants. Press straight down with your biscuit cutter and do not twist or turn it.

Does too much kneading toughen biscuits? ›

Kneading too much and overhandling biscuit, shortcake and scone dough overdevelops the gluten in the flour, resulting in a chewy, tough baked product.

Why are biscuits pricked before they are baked? ›

Round pieces cut from the dough are pricked with a fork to prevent the development of large bubbles and are then baked slowly.

Are biscuits better with butter or shortening? ›

So what's the final verdict? Butter is the winner here. The butter biscuits were moister with that wonderful butter taste and melt-in-your mouth texture. I'd be curious to test out substituting half or just two tablespoons of the butter with shortening to see if you get the best of both.

What makes a biscuit Fluffy? ›

Cold butter is key to making your biscuits fluffy. Warm butter will be absorbed into the flour and prevent them becoming all fluffy. Its similar to making pie crust. Cold butter will not be fully absorbed by the flour which means you will have small chunks visible in the dough.

Why are my homemade biscuits hard? ›

If your biscuits come out hard and crumbly, it's most likely because the dough was overworked during the kneading process. To prevent that, mix your dough just until it comes together. You should still see bits of butter in your dough.

Why do you push down the middle of the biscuit? ›

Pushing down in the middle is going to help the biscuit to rise evenly since the heat hits the outside of the biscuit and works in.

Why did my biscuit dough turn GREY? ›

What causes the dough to turn gray like this, though? Well, it's basically going to happen when the dough isn't stored properly. Too much air circulation could be the cause of your gray dough. It's also possible that the dough was exposed to moisture due to being placed in a bad spot.

How far in advance can biscuit dough be made? ›

The dough is easy to make and can be made a day in advance. Wrap the dough discs tightly in food wrap and store in the fridge overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to roll it and leave it on the worktop to soften slightly before you roll it out.

Should refrigerated cookie dough be brought to room temperature before rolling? ›

Once the dough has chilled, let it warm up at room temperature until it's just pliable (about five to ten minutes); letting it get to be too warm will defeat the purpose of chilling the dough at all.

How do you keep biscuits from being crumbly? ›

When the fat is cut too small, after baking there will be more, smaller air pockets left by the melting fat. The result is a baked product that crumbles. When cutting in shortening and other solid fats, cut only until the pieces of shortening are 1/8- to 1/4-inch in size.

What causes homemade biscuits to be dry? ›

Only use as much flour on the surface as you need to keep the dough from sticking. Biscuit dough will grab all the flour around, and this could make the biscuits dry if you are not careful.

How do I fix flaky cookie dough? ›

Dry – “Dry” or “Crumbly” dough is a product of over-mixing or using too much of any ingredient during the mixing process. This can be reversed by adding one to two tablespoons of liquid (water, milk or softened butter) to your mix.

How do I stop my biscuit base from crumbling? ›

Mix well and press firmly down in a tin (knuckles or a potato masher work well), then refrigerate for as long as possible before adding the topping. If I am doing it in the food processor, I blitz up the biscuits and then just add softened butter and blitz again, instead of adding melted butter and mixing it in.

Which flour is best for biscuits? ›

Cake flour will give you a lighter, fluffier biscuit, but the outer crust won't have as much bite to it. Conversely, all-purpose flour will provide more bite, but it'll be a drier, less airy biscuit. The solution: Use half cake flour and half all-purpose flour.

Can you overwork biscuit dough? ›

Overworking (or Underworking) the Dough

The biscuits will be hard and tough if you stir the dough too much. They will have a floury, uneven texture if you don't mix enough. Our Test Kitchen cracked the code: Stir the dough 15 times for the perfect consistency and texture.

How do I make crispy biscuits? ›

Put in The Microwave

Keep your soggy biscuits inside the oven on a microwave-safe plate for at least 3-4 minutes. Once the timer stops, do not instantly take them out. Let the biscuits stay in warmth for around 3 minutes.

How do you keep homemade biscuits moist? ›

Storing biscuits the right way

Keep freshly baked biscuits at room temperature for 1 or 2 days. You'll need to cover them with foil or cling film in a plastic bag to prevent drying out. If you want to keep them in the fridge, they'll keep well for about 1 week when properly stored.

How do you fix powdery dough? ›

The most obvious and easiest fix is to add more liquid. Very slowly, teaspoon by teaspoon, add a liquid that you've already included to your dough. Mix after each teaspoon—you don't want to over-saturate it and risk gooey dough. Don't overmix, because this might lead to the problem you're trying to fix!

How do you know if you overmix cookie dough? ›

"Overmixing your dough will result in flatter, crispier cookies," Cowan said. If you overmix, you will end up aerating the dough (adding air) which causes the cookies to rise and then fall, leaving you with flat cookies.

What causes the cookies to dry out and crack on the surface? ›

Issues with cracking usually derive from the sugar coating, not enough or expired baking powder or baking soda, or the oven temperature isn't hot enough. Solution: Granulated sugar is more effective at drying the surface than powdered sugar.

What happens if you put too much butter in a biscuit base? ›

If your cookies look like biscuit number 5, then you're most likely looking at too much butter in your biscuit dough. That, or the dough wasn't cool enough before baking. Warm cookie dough or excess butter will cause the cookies to spread too much, baking quickly on the outside but remaining raw in the middle.

What happens if you place your biscuits too far apart? ›

Mistake #8: Placing biscuits too far apart on the baking sheet. To bake tall biscuits place you want to place biscuits next to each other, with edges touching on the baking sheet. If you separate the biscuits and bake them too far apart, they won't rise as tall.

Why are my biscuits crunchy on the bottom? ›

The most common reason why biscuits turn out hard on the bottom is that people bake them too long. You might have simply lost track of time and kept the biscuits in the oven longer than you were supposed to.


1. 2 Ingredient Biscuits, An Old Fashioned Favorite like MAMA's! ANYONE Can DO IT!
(Collard Valley Cooks)
2. Old Fashioned Biscuits and Gravy
(Cowboy Kent Rollins)
3. OLD FASHIONED SOUTHERN BISCUITS - How to make old fashioned BISCUITS Recipe
4. How To Make Old Fashioned Biscuits With Lard
(Cooking With Donna)
5. How to make Old Fashioned Fluffy, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
6. Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits, CVC's Southern Tutorials & Recipes
(Collard Valley Cooks)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Edwin Metz

Last Updated: 12/07/2022

Views: 6668

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edwin Metz

Birthday: 1997-04-16

Address: 51593 Leanne Light, Kuphalmouth, DE 50012-5183

Phone: +639107620957

Job: Corporate Banking Technician

Hobby: Reading, scrapbook, role-playing games, Fishing, Fishing, Scuba diving, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Edwin Metz, I am a fair, energetic, helpful, brave, outstanding, nice, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.