Homemade Biscuits

All of my dad's secrets for how to make homemade biscuits! These things are so light and fluffy and perfect!

I recently shared a photo of my dad’s famous homemade biscuits on Instagram and you guys ate them up. Figuratively, of course. Literally, I did the eating.

You also bombarded me with comments and emails begging me to share the recipe. And, a week later, when I still hadn’t shared the recipe, I got a few nasty emails from people because WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG WITH THE BISCUITS, WOMAN.

Look. I know you want the biscuits. I just wanted to be sure that I had perfected his easy biscuit recipe. My dad is the master biscuit maker here, but he doesn’t write this blog. So, I wanted to be sure that I knew all of his tips and tricks and could confidently recreate his recipe and help you all with any questions that arise. That takes time. I have literally made over 10 batches of biscuits in the past 3 weeks. 10 batches, 10 biscuits each. Don’t do the math. Please, don’t do the math. None of the biscuits were bad, just a lot of them weren’t perfect. I wanted perfect.

So, here it is. How to make homemade biscuits.  From my dad to me to you. I hope you guys love these just as much as we do.

All of my dad's secrets for how to make homemade biscuits! These things are so light and fluffy and perfect!

The Details

The flour: You’re going to use a mixture of all-purpose flour and Bisquick. No, you can’t make any substitutions. No, I haven’t tried it with homemade Bisquick myself, so I can’t tell you how well that will work. If you do try it, please report back so I can update this!

The butter: I know, I know. Your whole life you’ve heard that you need to use cold butter. Some of you are probably grating frozen butter into your biscuits. This recipes works just fine with room temperature butter. It shouldn’t be at all melted, so don’t try softening it in the microwave. Let it sit on the counter. It should be just softened enough that when you press your finger into it, it’s still firm, but it leaves an indent where your finger was.

All of my dad's secrets for how to make homemade biscuits! These things are so light and fluffy and perfect!

The leavening agents: Look, I know there’s a lot of baking powder in this recipe. When my dad shared his recipe with me, I was actually pretty surprised by the amount. But, no. I don’t think this has a metallic or soapy taste. I do not find any issues with using this amount of baking powder in this recipe. It has always worked just fine for me! As for the baking soda, generally it’s only used when there is an acid present – like buttermilk or lemon or vinegar. There is no acid in this recipe, but my dad still adds a bit of baking soda. I’ve tried these without it and they just aren’t the same. Add the baking soda.

The milk: You can use buttermilk if you really feel the need to, but my dad uses regular 2% milk and so do I. I actually prefer the biscuits that way. They get too tangy for me when you use buttermilk. But, because buttermilk is so traditional, I won’t throw a fit if you want to use it here. 😉

To re-roll or not to re-roll: Dudes. Get in there and re-roll that dough to get extra biscuits. You’ll probably get about 5 biscuits from your initial pat down of the dough. Definitely pat it back out and cut out the remaining biscuits. My dad isn’t at all shy about re-working the dough and you shouldn’t be either.

Troubleshooting

My biscuits have brown spots on top: I hate that!! Hate hate hate it. They don’t taste funny, but they sure aren’t pretty. These brown spots are happening because you’re not mixing the dry ingredients together well enough. I won’t make you sift things (heaven forbid), but do really stir everything together, more than you think you probably need to. At least 30 seconds of non-stop stirring things around with a fork. Trust me.

All of my dad's secrets for how to make homemade biscuits! These things are so light and fluffy and perfect!

My biscuits aren’t rising:  Is your baking powder old? It does eventually stop working well and you may need to replace it. If it’s definitely not that, are you mixing in your butter really super duper good? Because you need to. I take a spoon and smear the softened butter into the flour against the sides of the dough. I keep at it long after I’m bored of it, until the entire bowl looks like lightly damp sand. Almost like if you grabbed a handful of it and squeezed it, it *might* stick together.

My dough is way too wet: No big thang. Add in more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s juuuuuuuuust workable. The very least amount of flour you can get away with is the best in these biscuits, but don’t be killing yourself trying to roll out dough that is just too sticky. When you touch it, your hand should come away clean. When you pinch it, you should have a bit of dough left on your fingers.

All of my dad's secrets for how to make homemade biscuits! These things are so light and fluffy and perfect!

My biscuits are tough/not fluffy: Girl, you done overworked that dough and/or added to much flour. I had this problem the first few times I made these too. Let me break it down: you mix together your dry ingredients very well, you mix in your butter very well, you pour in your milk and stir until you have a wet sticky dough. Stop right there after just a couple of stirs to get the dough together. Look at your dough before you decide the next step. If it’s obviously too wet, add more flour – just a little. I’m talking a tablespoon or so. Gently stir that together. Keep at it until you have enough flour to get your dough *just* dry enough to work with. When your dough is ready, coat your work surface in flour and dump your dough on it. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top and fold the dough onto itself a few times, adding a sprinkle of more flour where needed if the dough is too wet. Three folds, max. You’re not kneading bread here. Pat the dough out with your hands to 3/4 inch thick and start cutting biscuits. You should have barely stirred and folded this. You stop fussing with it the second the dough comes together. 

My biscuits keep burning well before the timer goes off: Yeah, some days these guys only take ten minutes and other days they take 15. I can’t explain it (Humidity? Magic? Donald Trump’s hair?), but I’m aware of it. I’m also aware that every oven is different. Some heat evenly, some do not. Some can’t hold a temperature and are fluctuating like cray. So, get to know your oven and react accordingly. Or just set the timer for 10 minutes and start babysitting them. Pull them when the tops are just lightly golden. Nobody likes a  crunchy biscuit, so don’t over bake these guys.

Be sure to try these hot from the oven, slathered with butter and jam. Or butter and honey. Or just straight butter. Or with my pimento cheese. Or my sausage gravy. How about my chocolate gravy recipe poured over the top? Just be sure to try these in every way you can think of, ok?

All of my dad's secrets for how to make homemade biscuits! These things are so light and fluffy and perfect!

Easy Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Add the flour, Bisquick, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine the dry ingredients thoroughly.
  3. Add two tablespoons of the butter to the dough and use a spoon to press it into the flour mixture. I find it easiest to smear the butter against the sides of the bowl while working it into the flour. Once the first two tablespoons are completely incorporated, add in the last two tablespoons and repeat the process.
  4. Pour in the milk and stir with a spoon until just combined. The dough will likely be too wet. Add in more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is just dry enough to handle. Dough should come away clean from your fingers when you touch it, but stick to your fingers if you pinch it.
  5. Dump dough onto a well floured work surface. Sprinkle lightly with flour.
  6. Fold dough over on itself three times.
  7. Use your hands to pat the dough to 3/4 of an inch high.
  8. Cut dough out with biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet. Let sit 5 minutes before baking.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are just beginning to turn golden. Do not overbake these!

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