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How to Make Biscuits

The Taste of Home Test Kitchen illustrates how to make flaky, delicious homemade biscuits with a simple recipe and step-by-step photos. Plus, find troubleshooting tips.

By Elizabeth Harris, Contributing Editor

A bowl of freshly baked homemade biscuits.


Homemade biscuits, warm from the oven, make a delicious accompaniment to dinner or taste great on their own with butter and honey. Taste of Home’s recipe yields light, airy biscuits. Enjoy!


How to Make Homemade Biscuits with Yeast

What you’ll need:

Time

  • Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 10 min.

Equipment

  • Small bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Pastry blender
  • Rolling pin
  • 2-1/2-in. round biscuit cutter
  • Baking sheets

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° - 115°)
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk (110° - 115°)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening
  • Melted butter

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in warm buttermilk; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir dry ingredients together with a fork to evenly distribute the baking powder and/or baking soda.

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make sure your shortening is cold, and don’t overmix.

Cutting shortening into biscuit dough with a pastry blender.


3. Stir in yeast mixture.

Stirring in yeast mixture to biscuit dough.


4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 3-4 times. For a more tender biscuit or scone, be careful not to overmix or overknead the dough.

Lightly kneading biscuit dough on a floured surface.


5. Roll out to 1/2-in. thickness; cut with a 2-1/2-in. round biscuit cutter. Dip the biscuit cutter in flour after each cut to prevent sticking and to help that dough rise straight and tall. Dip the cutter in flour, then push straight down and pull straight back up.

Cutting rolled-out biscuit dough with a round biscuit cutter.


6. Gently gather trimmings into a ball and roll them out. When reworking biscuit trimmings, handle the dough as little as possible and use as little additional flour as needed. Overworking the dough or using too much flour will result in a tough, dry biscuit. Remember, a light touch is all you need!

Roll and cut out as in Step 5.

Gathering biscuit dough trimmings and forming into a ball.


7. Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover with kitchen towels and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

8. Time to bake. For biscuits to bake properly, arrange your oven rack so that the baking sheet is in the center of the oven. Insulated baking sheets will not allow the bottom of biscuits to brown like regular baking sheets do.

Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes. Biscuits are done when they're golden brown on the top and bottom. The sides will always be a little light.

Remove to wire racks.

9. Biscuits are best served warm, fresh from the oven. Lightly brush tops with melted butter for an extra treat.

Makes: 2-1/2 dozen.


Troubleshooting Biscuits

Didn’t turn out so well? Here’s what might have gone wrong:

  • Biscuits are tough: The dough was overmixed or overhandled. Next time, mix just until combined.
  • They have tunnels and/or peaks: Batter was overmixed.
  • They have a bitter aftertaste: Too much leavener was used.
  • Biscuits baked unevenly: Batter was not patted or rolled out evenly. Next time, use a ruler to measure thickness.
  • Remember, practice makes perfect! It’s all about technique.

How to Store Biscuits

  • Store biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • Biscuits can be eaten within 1 to 2 days.
  • You can freeze biscuits for up to 3 months.

Expert Tips for Making Quicker Biscuits

  • When making kneaded biscuits, I prepare and bake them on a round pizza pan. I’m able to knead, pat out the dough, cut the biscuits and bake them all on the same pan. This helps keep the mess to a minimum. —Judy B., Goshen, Indiana
  • To make biscuits in a hurry, roll out dough and cut it into squares. There are no scraps to roll out and cut again! —Sue M., Galesburg, Illinois

How to Make Quick, Easy Drop Biscuits

Bowl full of fresh homemade drop biscuits.


What you’ll need:

Time

  • Prep/Total Time: 30 min.

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Tablespoon or ¼ cup measure
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add cream; stir just until moistened. Remember not to overmix!

2. Drop dough from a tablespoon or 1/4 cup measure 1 in. apart onto a greased baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula, knife or another spoon to push the dough off of the spoon.

Using a rubber spatula to push biscuit dough off of a tablespoon and onto a baking sheet.


3. Bake 17-20 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes: 1 dozen