Small batch biscuits for two! This recipe makes the lightest, fluffiest homemade all-butter biscuits, small batch style! You can make 6, or double the recipe to make one dozen.
This is a Tried and True recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits!
Today, I'm updating this recipe with new photos since I photographed it in 2011, but I have to say--I never left this recipe.
I've made it for years, and each time I pulled up the recipe on my own site, the overly yellow photos made me cringe. But, since I usually make this recipe in the early morning hours before my family wakes up, I never had enough natural light to re-photograph them. The stars aligned last week when I decided to make my white chicken chili with biscuits on the side.
Over time, I changed one small technique in the way that I make small batch biscuits. Instead of crowding the biscuits together in a small pan and purposefully having the edges touch, I space them out on a baking sheet. In my experience, they rise higher this way, and you get more crusty edges, which is the best part of a biscuit, in my opinion.
If you like those super soft biscuits for sopping up gravy, though, go ahead and place the biscuits close together on the sheet tray.
This small batch biscuit recipe makes 6 biscuits. You'll get 4 biscuits on the first roll out, and then gather the scraps to re-roll to get 2 more biscuits. It's important to do it this way rather than roll out the dough bigger and cut out all 6 at once so that you get the correct depth of dough.
The dough should be at least a ½" thick when you cut out each biscuit.
Buttermilk Biscuit Ingredients
- Flour. All-purpose, regular white flour. Do not use self-raising flour, because we’re adding leaveners to it.
- Salt. Just a ½ teaspoon of fine sea salt.
- Baking Soda. One and a quarter teaspoons of baking soda. Make sure it’s fresh and not expired. If you put a small amount in a glass with vinegar, it should be fizzy!
- Baking Powder. Aluminum-free baking powder, please.
- Butter. Half a stick of unsalted butter that is still cold from the fridge.
- Buttermilk. We’ll start with a half-cup of low-fat buttermilk, but we might add an extra teaspoon or two, depending on how dry the mixture is in the bowl. I really recommend store-bought buttermilk, not making your own or using the powder.
How to make Buttermilk Biscuits
First, preheat the oven to 450 and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
Add the diced butter to the bowl, and cut it in with a pastry cutter or two knives.
You can also use a pastry blender to ensure the butter is fully incorporated. It should look like this when it's ready.
Next, pour in the buttermilk. Knead the dough to bring it together. If it seems overly dry, add buttermilk 1 teaspoon at a time. Be careful, though, because too much buttermilk will make the biscuits not rise as high.
It should look like this when it's ready to be rolled out.
You can either roll out or pat out the dough to a 1" thick rectangle. Dip your 3" biscuit or cookie cutter in flour and cut out 4 biscuits. Gather up the scraps and gently pat them out in order to cut out more biscuits.
You will probable get 6 biscuits from the first cut, and an additional two when you re-roll the scraps. Be gentle when handling the scraps, otherwise it will affect their rise.
Arrange the biscuits on the pan, spaced out and not touching. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until golden on top. Brush with extra melted butter as they come out of the oven for even more deliciousness.
The other non-negotiable here is real buttermilk. I know I typically advise that it's okay to make a faux buttermilk with whole milk and lemon juice. There are times when it's okay, like in my small vanilla cake for two, and times when it's not, like in my rye bread and these small batch biscuits.
Buttermilk has so many uses in my kitchen. I've even heard of people successfully freezing it in ice cube trays to use at a later date, so you always have that option, too.
I can't think of any breakfast that wouldn't be improved upon by some small batch biscuits, especially if sausage gravy is involved. If you have my second cookbook, Comfort & Joy: Cooking for Two, you'll know that I have a recipe for biscuits and gravy in that book. That cookbook has 3 different recipes for biscuits, which is slightly ridiculous, but don't forget: I'm a Texan.
There's hardly a time when biscuits aren't welcome!
Just look at that golden brown top and that mega-rise in the biscuits! They're perfection!
I use all butter when making biscuits because the flavor is best, but you can use half butter and half shortening in this recipe.
Tips for getting the perfect Buttermilk Biscuit
- Measure your ingredients carefully when making biscuits! We have some wiggle room with moisture, because humidity varies, based on where you live.
- Use a heavy hand when working in the butter, but a light hand when working in the buttermilk. Too much stirring makes tough biscuits.
- Try to add the least amount of buttermilk as possible; too much moisture in a biscuits makes them not rise as high.
What to serve with Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
We like biscuits with salted butter and honey, but jam and whipped cream are lovely, too. You can also make my Strawberry Shortcakes with them.
Whatever you do, though, don't forget to serve them with extra butter on the side. Salted butter is a revelation on biscuits instead of regular butter, even though this recipe is made with unsalted butter!
Storing Leftover Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
Do Buttermilk Biscuits freeze well?
You can freeze unbaked biscuits or baked biscuits very well! Place unbaked biscuits on a flat sheet pan and freeze individually first. Then, move to a bag for easier storage once frozen. (We’re individually freezing them first so they don’t stick together in the freezer). You can freeze already baked biscuits in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the microwave until warm throughout.
Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits FAQs
Buttermilk is an acidic milk product that reacts with baking soda and baking powder to create tall, flaky biscuits. The acidity of buttermilk is exactly why we use it in biscuits. If we used regular milk, we would have flat, boring biscuits.
While you can technically make biscuits without buttermilk by adding extra rising agents (baking powder and baking soda), the tanginess of buttermilk is something that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re going to make a biscuit, make it with buttermilk for the most complex, delicious flavor.
A non-fluffy, flat biscuit can be caused by a few things: too much liquid in the dough (resist the urge to add more buttermilk to make the dough come together and use the heat of your hands and a bit more kneading instead). Over-mixing the dough can cause flat biscuits. Something that can help with fluffy biscuits is to bake them in a cast iron skillet touching. They can help each other ‘climb’ higher, though this recipe does not require this. Also, be sure that you do not twist the cutter as you stamp out your biscuits. If you twist to remove the cutter, you’re essentially sealing the edges of the dough, preventing a high rise. Simply press down and lift directly up for each cut.
If you like these small batch biscuits, you might like my small batch dinner rolls.
- 1 ⅓ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- ½ cup buttermilk (plus extra if needed)
- Preheat the oven to 450 and line a quarter sheet baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture, cutting it in with a pastry cutter or two knives.
- When all of the pieces of fat are the size of rice and are coated in flour, pour in the buttermilk. Knead it slightly, and add additional buttermilk 1 teaspoon at a time if the biscuit dough seems dry or crumbly. However, try not to add more buttermilk, because the wetter the dough, the less the biscuits rise in the oven.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured counter, and knead it 3 or 4 times to bring it together.
- Pat it out to 1" thick. Dip your 3" biscuit or cookie cutter in flour and cut out 4 biscuits. Gather up the scraps and gently pat them out in order to cut out 2 more biscuits.
- Arrange the biscuits on the pan, evenly spaced. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. If you want, brush with extra melted butter as they come out of the oven.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 177Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 364mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g