Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (2022)

Why It Works

  • 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.
  • Baking soda neutralizes some of the yogurt's acidity, helping the biscuits to brown.
  • Patting the dough by hand keeps the biscuits light, as a rolling pin can easily crush the soft dough.

I love biscuits. From their crispy bottoms to their buttery tops and all the fluffy bites in between, biscuits are perfect in every form—loaded withgarlic and cheddar, dolloped over a dish ofchicken pot pie, stuffed withice cream and roasted strawberries, or simply buttered and enjoyed on their own.

Biscuits are a type of quick bread, which means you can throw them together fast—ideally with whatever ingredients you have around the house. Down south, buttermilk is the de facto foundation for biscuits, as it is in the recipe inmy cookbook. Though it's painful to admit, this isn't necessarily because buttermilk makes the best biscuit, but because buttermilk is virtually omnipresent in our homes, as reliable as the light in the fridge. Elsewhere, buttermilk is something of a specialty ingredient, which necessitates a different approach.

Using Yogurt Instead of Buttermilk

Rather than shoehornbuttermilk substitutesinto a recipe where they don't belong, I prefer to start with a recipe designed with another kitchen staple—plain yogurt.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (1)

Plain yogurt can be found at any supermarket or convenience store, and its popularity as a snack makes it a common household item all over the world. It's also wonderfully thick, with a deliciously complex flavor—a mellowtangtotally unlike the sharp bite of vinegar or lemon juice splashed into a glass of milk. That profile makes yogurt ideal for biscuits, not as a direct substitute for buttermilk but as the foundation for a recipe of its own.

Due to its thickness, yogurt simply can't be used as a 1:1 replacement for buttermilk; it takes about 30% more to properly hydrate biscuit dough. In turn, that ratio brings a lot more moisture and acidity into the equation. That can be a beautiful thing in the right context—just imagine the velvety crumb of asour cream pound cake—but it has the potential to make biscuits gummy and dense. To counteract that risk, all we need is a pinch of baking soda to neutralize the excess acidity and give the dough a more powerful rise.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (2)

That makes for high-rising biscuit with a flavorful and golden crust, with no heaviness or gummy layer in sight. By using baking soda in moderation, with baking powder for the dough's primary rise, the yogurt's acidity (and therefore its tangy flavor) shines through—the perfect counterpoint to a biscuit's buttery richness.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (3)

The Dry Ingredients

The biscuit mix itself is a simple combination of all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. For light and fluffy biscuits, steer clear of any flour made from 100% hard red wheat; this style is relatively low in starch and high in protein, readily forming gluten in a high-moisture dough. That's great when it comes to making chewy breads and pasta, but bad news for light and tender biscuits. Nor do I recommend going overboard in the opposite direction with a flour made from 100% soft white wheat, a high-starch/low-protein scenario that can produce biscuits that are borderline cakey, too tender and crumbly to split for breakfast sandwiches and the like.

As with most things in life, I find it better to avoid extremes and take the middle road. Here, that means using a blended all-purpose flour such as Gold Medal, made from both types of wheat for the perfect balance of protein and starch. It makes biscuits that are fluffy and light, but well structured, so they can be easily split without crumbling apart.

Incorporating the Butter and Yogurt

With the dry mix ready to go, I toss in 1/2-inch cubes of butter, then smash each one flat. From there, I continue smashing and rubbing the butter into small pieces, with a few larger, Cheerio-sized bits here and there. I like working with my hands so I can get a sense of the butter's consistency; it should feel cool and firm but pliable, never cold or hard. This step can be done in a food processor with a few careful pulses, just take care not to overdo it. Either way, the buttery mix can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month in the fridge, or mixed with the yogurt straight away.

0:27

(Video) HOW TO MAKE FLUFFY BISCUITS | biscuit mixing method

Mixing the Dough for Yogurt Biscuits

After adding the yogurt, the mix will seem crumbly and dry, with pockets of flour lurking at the bottom of the bowl. This is perfectly normal, so resist the temptation to add more liquid. The dough will eventually come together in a shaggy ball; you just have to be patient.

If the flour hasn't been fully incorporated, the dough is undermixed, so keep at it until the dough comes together in a rough ball. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to pat the dough into a squarish shape approximately 1/2 inch thick. That's right,pat. I like playing patty cake with the dough because it's so soft, so much so that it can easily compress under the weight of a rolling pin, or else be rolled too thin. Working with my hands forces me to be gentle and patient, keeping the dough thick and light.

Folding and Cutting the Biscuits

After patting it out, fold the dough in half and repeat the whole process of patting and folding two more times, for a total of three folds. This patting/folding process takes the place of kneading, developing gluten in the dough in a very quantifiable way while also incorporating a few rough layers. In turn, that creates flakes and fault lines within the biscuits, allowing them to be neatly pulled apart for sandwiches, shortcake, or just sopping up gravy down the road.

1:22

How to Pat and Fold Yogurt Biscuit Dough

After the final fold, pat the dough until it's 3/4-inch thick, then cut however you like. Gather and gently knead the scraps to pat/fold/roll once more. The number of biscuits will vary dramatically depending on the exact thickness of the dough and the specific cutter; with the 1 3/4-inch round from my nested set, I usually get about 14 small biscuits. That number drops to about seven when dealing with 2 1/2-inch rounds, so please bear in mind that small adjustments will greatly affect the yield.

1:04

How to Cut Out Yogurt Biscuits

I like to wipe the cutter with a paper towel after cutting each biscuit. Not only does this keep their shape neat and round, but clean cuts also help the biscuits rise straight and tall.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (4)

Arrange the cutouts close together in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, which gives the biscuits a crisp and golden crust along the bottom. Biscuits love to snuggle, so don't worry if the pan seems a little crowded; they'll support each other in the oven, spreading less and rising more, for biscuits that are thick and tall.

Thanks to all the butter, yogurt, and baking soda, these biscuits have no problem browning on their own without anything else brushed on top. Just pop the skillet in a 400°F (200°C) oven and bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

(Video) How to Make Flaky Biscuits

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (5)

Let the biscuits rest about five minutes before digging in; prior to that the crumb will be so soft that the biscuits may seem a little gummy. All they need is a short rest to set up, and trust me, that cast iron skillet will keep them steaming hot.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (6)

Biscuits are a truly multi-purpose bread, one that shouldn't depend on the availability of buttermilk, or be condemned to mediocrity thanks to substitutes that don't work (or taste as good). With a recipe designed with yogurt from the start, these biscuits will be light, tender, and flavorful even without buttermilk. Just please, no one tell my grandmother.

Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (7)

March 2018

Recipe Facts

5

(Video) How to Make Perfect Biscuits from Scratch | Tips & Recipe for the Perfect Biscuit | Allrecipes.com

(13)

Active: 20 mins

Total: 45 mins

Serves: 14 biscuits

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Should your kitchen be warmer than 75°F (24°C), please see our guide to baking in a hot kitchen before getting started; the specifics are focused on pie dough, but the overall principles are true of biscuits as well.

  2. Sift flour into a medium bowl, then add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk until well combined (this may take up to 1 minute). Add butter, toss to break up the pieces, and smash each cube flat. Continue smashing and rubbing until butter has mostly disappeared into a floury mix, although a few larger, Cheerio-sized pieces may remain. This can also be done with 4 or 5 pulses in a food processor, just take care not to overdo it. The prepared mix can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks in an airtight container, then used as directed below.

    Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (8)

  3. Add yogurt, and stir with a flexible spatula until the flour has been fully absorbed. The dough will seem rather crumbly and dry at first, but keep mixing until it finally comes together (don't worry about over-mixing; until the flour has been fully incorporated, the greater concern is under-mixing). Once the dough forms a rough ball, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

    Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (9)

  4. With your bare hands, gently pat the dough into a squarish shape about 1/2 inch thick, then fold in half; repeat twice more for a total of 3 folds, using only enough flour to keep your hands from sticking. Finish by patting the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch. If needed, dust away any excess flour, then cut into 1 3/4-inch rounds and arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Gather scraps into a ball, pat and fold a single time, then cut as many more biscuits as you can. The final round of scraps can be gathered and shaped into a single biscuit by hand.

    Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (10)

    Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (11)

  5. Bake until the biscuits are well-risen and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the biscuits cool about 5 minutes to help set their crumb, then serve as desired, whether alongside soups and stews or split for shortcake or breakfast sandwiches. Leftovers can be stored up to a week in an airtight container; to serve, split the stale biscuits in half, brush with melted butter, arrange on a baking sheet, and broil until golden brown, then serve with jam.

    Light and Fluffy Biscuits Recipe (12)

    (Video) How to Make Biscuits that are Fluffy like Rolls, CVC's Southern Kitchen

Notes

This recipe works best with plain, unsweetened, unstrained yogurts that include nothing but cultured milk in the ingredients list. Strained yogurts like Greek yogurt, or those that include thickeners, gums, and stabilizers, can produce biscuits with a gummy texture.

Special Equipment

1 3/4-inch round cutter (or similar), 10-inch cast iron skillet

FAQs

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.

Why are my biscuits not light and 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.

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.

What ingredient causes biscuits to rise? ›

Baking powder, especially the double acting type that rises when it meets liquid and again in the oven, provides the most reliable leavening. Baking soda helps neutralize acid ingredients in the biscuits for the best flavor.

How do I make my dough light and fluffy? ›

Use a Dough Enhancer

Boost the fluffiness of your bread by using a dough enhancer like Vital Wheat Gluten. All it takes is a small amount of dough enhancer per loaf to create a much lighter and fluffier result.

What makes batter light and fluffy? ›

Leavening Agents

Since we're talking about cake and not yeast bread, we'll focus on chemical leavening. The reaction of baking soda or baking powder with the liquids in the batter releases carbon dioxide, which forms air bubbles to help your cakes be light and airy. Baking soda and baking powder aren't interchangeable.

How do I make my biscuits less dense? ›

If your biscuits are dense and heavy, that could be a sign that you are not adding enough butter. The ratio of flour to fat needs to be perfect to get the right texture. When you add your butter to your biscuit dough, be sure that it is chilled. Biscuits get their texture from cold lumps of butter cut in with the fat.

What makes cookies Light & Airy? ›

Water vapor escaping from the dough in combination with the carbon dioxide released by our baking soda is ultimately what makes our cookies light and airy.

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 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.

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.

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.

What are the 2 most important steps when making biscuits? ›

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 is the best flour 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.

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.

Does kneading dough make it fluffier? ›

These gases get trapped inside the dough buy the mesh the gluten makes. This is what causes your bread to be airy and fluffy. This mesh is formed by kneading the dough. If you do not knead a dough enough you do not give your bread a chance as the gluten did not have enough time to build that mesh.

How do I make my rolls more fluffy? ›

Tips for Making Fluffy Dinner Rolls
  1. Don't get the milk too hot. The optimal temperature for milk is around 100 degrees F. ...
  2. Make sure your yeast isn't old. ...
  3. Use a combination of all-purpose and bread flour. ...
  4. Mix your dough long enough. ...
  5. Don't rush the rising time. ...
  6. Don't over-bake.
28 Nov 2021

What ingredient makes the dough soft? ›

Milk is a great way to make a softer bread and it can be used to replace some or all of the milk in a bread dough recipe. Similar to adding fat (because there is fat in milk), milk can also help the bread stay fresher and softer for longer.

What is the secret to light fluffy cakes? ›

Creaming is the magical step that creates a light and airy homemade cake. It describes the process of incorporating air into your batter, which (in conjunction with baking soda or baking powder) helps the cake leaven and rise.

Does baking soda make batter fluffy? ›

Baking soda changes the texture of baked goods by causing a batter or dough to spread, while baking powder produces light, fluffy texture. Some recipes may call for baking soda or baking powder on their own, while others may require both ingredients to create the ideal balance for great texture.

How do you beat sugar and eggs to be fluffy? ›

Use a hand-held mixer to beat the eggs with sugar, if sugar is called for in the recipe, until a thick and fluffy mixture forms. Think "gentle" when combining whipped eggs with other ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to combine a light mixture with a heavier one by lifting them gently up and over each other.

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...

Does baking soda make 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.

Are biscuits better with all purpose or self rising flour? ›

"A good biscuit starts with good flour," says Jason Roy, owner of Biscuit Head. Like many Southern cooks, he uses self-rising flour because it's pre-mixed to include a blend of hard and soft wheat as well as a leavening ingredient for the perfect rise—something you can't get in plain all-purpose, cake, or pastry flour.

What happens if you add too many eggs to cookies? ›

But on the other hand, too much egg, and your cookies will puff up and be cakey. They will be missing that chewy wonderfulness; they'll be more like little slabs of cake.

How do you make cookies lighter? ›

1. Granulated sugar. Using granulated white sugar will result in a flatter, crispier and lighter-colored cookie.

Should shortening be cold when making biscuits? ›

Like pastry dough, biscuits get their tender crumb and layers from the suspension of fat in flour. The fat, be it butter, lard, or vegetable shortening, needs to be dispersed throughout the dough while still in its solid state, so warm or room-temperature liquid or fat will disrupt this process.

Why use cold butter in biscuits? ›

A key factor in the rise of biscuits and scones, and an even bigger part of their texture, is the little bits of cold butter that melt and make steam. If the butter is too warm it will incorporate into the dry ingredients and those little pockets of butter and steam will be gone.

What makes the biscuits light tender and flaky? ›

Shortening makes for flakier biscuits than butter, but butter imparts a better taste. Fat, when "cut-in", contributes to the tenderness (shortness) and especially flakiness of pastry. It can also be rubbed into the flour as pea-sized shapes before the final dough is made.

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.

Which liquid makes the best biscuits? ›

Just as important as the fat is the liquid used to make your biscuits. Our Baking Powder Biscuits recipe offers the choice of using milk or buttermilk. Buttermilk is known for making biscuits tender and adding a zippy tang, so we used that for this test.

Why do biscuits that use butter rise higher? ›

When the biscuits go in the oven, the butter will melt and cause steam. This buttery steam, in turn, helps produce flaky layers and a higher lift to the biscuits.

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.

Do you bake biscuits on top or bottom rack? ›

Bake the chilled biscuits for about 20 minutes; remember to use an upper rack in your oven to promote browning.

How long do you cook biscuit in the oven? ›

HEAT oven to 375°F (or 350°F for nonstick cookie sheet). PLACE biscuits 1 to 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. BAKE 11 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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

From the Fridge:

If you can scoop it (some doughs are too hard), go straight to the oven, though you will likely need to give them a minute longer baking time. This is actually beneficial for some doughs that spread a lot and some recipes actually call for a quick refrigeration.

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.

Why do you have to put biscuit dough in the fridge? ›

Popping your dough in the fridge allows the fats to cool. As a result, the cookies will expand more slowly, holding onto their texture. If you skip the chilling step, you're more likely to wind up with flat, sad disks instead of lovely, chewy cookies. Cookies made from chilled dough are also much more flavorful.

Why are my biscuits not 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 so dense? ›

When you cut in your fat, you leave it in small pea-sized lumps. Those lumps get coated in flour and melt during baking into layers. If your fats are too warm, the lumps will melt and form a homogeneous dough, resulting in dense, leaden biscuits.

What are the three basic 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 is the correct flour to fluid ratio for biscuits? ›

Knowing that biscuits have a ratio of 1:2:3, that is 1 part fat, 2 parts liquid, and 3 parts flour, by weight, you can use this to make a batch of biscuits, big or small. You can make a batch of biscuits with 100 grams of fat, 200 grams of liquid, 300 grams of flour.

What gives biscuits their flavor? ›

While baking powder does the heavy lifting, the baking soda balances out the acidic ingredients. Salt: Salt is what gives these biscuits flavor. It's not so much that it makes these biscuits too savory. In fact, these biscuits are perfect topped with a sweet jam or salty eggs.

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.

What are the 4 steps for biscuit method? ›

Steps in the Biscuit Method
  1. Measure the dry ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. ...
  2. Cut in the shortening, margarine, or butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is granular with particles no larger than kernels of grain.
  3. Combine the liquid ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients.
28 May 2020

Do you spray the pan for biscuits? ›

The amount of fat in the dough affects how easily the biscuits, scones and shortcakes can be removed from the cookie sheet or baking pan. Try lightly spraying cookie sheets or baking pans with no-stick cooking spray.

What makes cookies light & Airy? ›

Water vapor escaping from the dough in combination with the carbon dioxide released by our baking soda is ultimately what makes our cookies light and airy.

What makes biscuits to be soft? ›

As in bread, starch from the flour in biscuits begins to crystalize after a few days, theoretically making biscuits more brittle. But in many biscuits, the high sugar content masks this process by absorbing water from the atmosphere, ultimately resulting in a soft biscuit.

What temp do you bake biscuits? ›

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.

What causes a biscuit to be tough? ›

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

How do you make biscuits less dense? ›

If your biscuits are dense and heavy, that could be a sign that you are not adding enough butter. The ratio of flour to fat needs to be perfect to get the right texture. When you add your butter to your biscuit dough, be sure that it is chilled. Biscuits get their texture from cold lumps of butter cut in with the fat.

How do you reduce the hardness of biscuits? ›

Check if your ammonium bicarbonate content can be adjusted (0,4 to 0,6%). You could also add emulsifiers like DATEM to you recipe, they tend to fix hard texture.

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