How to Make Biscuits from Scratch (and Never Open Canned Ones Again)

Our Test Kitchen will show you how to make biscuits the old-fashioned way. Trust us—these are way better than anything store-bought!

Is there anything more comforting than a fresh biscuit warm from the oven? Covered in honey and butter for breakfast or served up alongside Grandma’s best suppers, we could eat biscuits every day! We’ll show you how to make biscuits from scratch—it’s simple!—so you never have to rely on the pop-open cans ever again.

How to Make Homemade Biscuits

There are lots of variations on scratch-made biscuits, but we’ll walk you through our five-star fluffy biscuit recipe. It’s a great starting point for the basic biscuit method.

Here’s What You Need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup 2 percent milk (or buttermilk if you have it!)

Step 1: Whisk together dry ingredients

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Starting biscuits is simple. Just whisk together your flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Cut in the fat

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This recipe uses shortening as the fat, though some biscuits use butter. The method for both is the same: Cut the cold fat into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender until the shortening is about pea-sized. Be sure to use very cold shortening here. Cold fat equals flaky layers, and flaky layers mean better biscuits.

Step 3: Add in wet ingredients

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In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Then pour this mix into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. You don’t want to overwork the dough here. The more you handle the dough, the tougher the biscuits will be and the fewer flaky layers you’ll have. Just mix until the ingredients come together. A few specks of dry flour won’t hurt anything.

Step 4: A quick knead

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To develop a few more flakes in the dough in this recipe, you’ll want to give it a quick knead. Just turn out the dough onto a floured surface and gently knead eight times over. This step may vary from recipe to recipe. You’ll skip this when making drop biscuits, for instance. Others require you to fold the dough over on itself a few times to develop the layers. If you go the Joanna Gaines route, she says to “smoosh” the dough.

For this fluffy biscuit recipe, though, just give the dough a quick knead. Work fast to keep the dough cool.

Step 5: Roll and cut the biscuits

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After you’ve folded or kneaded the dough, roll it out to about a half inch thickness. Cut with a two-and-a-half-inch biscuit cutter—square or round both work. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter on hand, you can flour the rim of a glass.

Place the biscuits onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400ºF for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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When complete, these biscuits will be golden and flaky and ready for whatever toppings, gravies or sauces come their way!

Try these biscuit recipes next.
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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.