Learn how to make a flaky homemade biscuit recipe without buttermilk. Just five simple ingredients in this easy homemade biscuit recipe: flour, salt, butter, baking powder, and milk. Follow my simple steps to achieve perfect biscuits every time.
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One of my absolute favorite breakfasts growing up was biscuits and gravy. So satisfying on a Saturday morning eating a warm flaky biscuit slathered with homemade gravy. While I have fond memories of popping the canned biscuits, there's just nothing like homemade. Biscuits made from scratch are the best biscuits. You just can't beat fluffy biscuits with flaky layers.
Why are homemade biscuits better than canned?
- Superior Taste
I will put my homemade biscuits against a canned biscuit any day. You can not beat the taste of homemade. They are rich, salty, buttery, flaky, and soft on the inside. All of these just qualities you just can't get with a canned biscuit.
- Better Ingredients
The leading canned biscuit on the market contains these ingredients:
ENRICHED FLOUR BLEACHED (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, PALM AND SOYBEAN OIL, SUGAR, PALM KERNEL OIL, BAKING POWDER (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, BAKING SODA, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE). CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: DEXTROSE, SALT, POTASSIUM CHLORIDE, XANTHAN GUM.
To me, there are too many additives that I don't like to feed my family. My homemade biscuits only contain five simple ingredients that you likely already have on hand: flour, salt, baking powder, butter, and milk.
Do you have to use buttermilk in biscuits?
While homemade buttermilk biscuits are great, buttermilk just is not an ingredient that I readily keep on hand.
In spite of what you may have heard, no, you do not have to use buttermilk to make delicious homemade biscuits.
Buttermilk imparts flavor, but by using a high quality butter and plenty of salt, these biscuits have plenty of flavor. It also provides acidity to help biscuits rise, but we are fixing that with a little extra baking powder. Buttermilk also is said to produce a tender biscuit, but I find milk works just as well. I like using an Irish butter with a high fat content and whole milk to still achieve flavorful tender biscuits.
So in short, no you do not have to use buttermilk or even a buttermilk substitute like milk and lemon juice.
The best part about this biscuit recipe is that it uses five basic ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry.
- all purpose flour: I like to use an organic unbleached all purpose flour to avoid glyphosate and other additives. I purchase mine in bulk from Azure Standard. You could also substitute an all purpose 1 to 1 gluten-free flour. Do not use a self-rising flour because we our using our own leavening agent.
- salt: I use a mineral sea salt from Redmond Real Salt.
- baking powder: Just regular baking powder works great or use a corn starch free baking powder if you can't eat corn.
- butter: I love salted Irish grass fed butter like Kerrygold or the Aldi Irish butter.
- cold regular milk: Whole milk works best in my opinion, but you could also try a milk substitute.
How do you make easy homemade biscuits without buttermilk?
This recipe is so easy and does not require fancy equipment like a food processor to make. You basically just need a bowl, something to cut the butter, and your hands.
First you mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl: all purpose flour, salt, and baking powder.
Cut up your very cold butter into small pieces and place into flour mixture. Alternatively, you could grate your butter using a cheese grater.
Next, using a pastry cutter, fork, or your hands, cut in your butter into the flour. That's a fancy way of saying smash together the butter and flour mixture until it is well combined. The butter should look like the size of peas in the flour.
Then pour in your milk and mix just enough for it to come together into a crumbly dough. Do not over mix your biscuit dough or you may end up with tough biscuits.
Turn dough out onto your countertop and smash together into a thick rectangle.
Then you are going to do a series of 4-5 folds and smashes to create layers and flaky biscuits. Fold the dough in half and smash. Repeat 4 times.
Then using your hands, press out dough until it is about ¾ inch thick. Using a round biscuit cutter or a glass, press straight down and pull straight up to cut the biscuits. Do not twist.
It should make about 9-10 small biscuits.
Place biscuits on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake biscuits in a preheated 425 degree hot oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the top. Do not over bake, so keep an eye on them.
What to serve with homemade biscuits?
Well in my opinion, biscuits call for homemade Southern sausage gravy. My recipe is simple and again only requires a few ingredients.
You could also make biscuits sandwiches. Some topping options include:
- ham or Canadian bacon
I also love serving hot biscuits with a good quality butter, jam, honey, or apple butter. So simple and delicious!
Easy Homemade Biscuit Recipe Without Buttermilk
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt I prefer Redmond real salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 7 tbsp butter cold
- ¾ cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder.
- Cut up or grate butter into small pieces and cut into flour using hands, fork, or pastry cutter. Butter pieces should be the size of peas.
- Add milk and stir until a rough dough forms. Take care not to overmix.
- Scrape biscuit dough onto countertop and use hands to form into a large rectangle.
- Fold dough in half and smash four to five times. This creates the flaky layers.
- Using hands, press dough out until it is about ¾ inch thick.
- Using a round biscuit cutter or glass cut out 9 biscuits. Do not twist cutter. Cut straight down and bring straight back up.
- Place cut biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until beginning to get golden brown. If you over bake they may be dry so keep an eye on them.
More breakfast recipes to try:
They suck come out like bricks
Aww so sorry to hear that your biscuits didn't turn out. I've never had mine turn out like bricks and I have been making this exact recipe for years. Did you watch the video? If you try biscuits again, here are some possible things to look out for next time.
Old baking powder: Baking powder that has lost its freshness will not allow the dough to rise potentially leading to dense hard biscuits.
Overworking the dough: If for some reason the dough was overworked, it will get tough. The fold technique helps build layers in the biscuits. The dough should be somewhat shaggy and barely together before starting the folds.
Warm butter: Make sure the butter is very cold to start. If it's warm or melted it could lead to less tender biscuits. Also make sure that the butter when cut in to the flour is about the size of peas. You still want some butter chunks. This helps build layer and tenderness as well.
Fat content of milk: Make sure that you're not using skim milk. Mine is whole milk.
Pre-heat your oven and don't overbake: Make sure your oven is nice and hot before you put the biscuits in and take care to not cook them too long.
Here's to better success next time!
Can this dough be frozen?
I have never tried to freeze it, but I imagine it would freeze well. If I was freezing it, I would go ahead and cut out all of the biscuits before freezing.
I’ve never made a good homemade biscuit, but keep trying. This was the best I’ve ever made, they were delicious and flaky. THANK YOU!
I'm so glad! It feels good when you finally master something. Kudos to you for the perseverance!
What a horrible comment I saw. People these days are so hateful. I thought these were wonderful, especially for making biscuits for the first time! They came out tasty and NOT as hard as bricks. I was very careful to follow the instructions and not overwork the dough. I was so surprised that the layering actually works! I'm excited to make them again this morning.
I'm so glad you enjoyed them, Dallis! Thanks for the encouraging comment.
Heavenly little pillows of fluffy flakey buttery yumness. This is an amazing recipe! For the person who made the the bricks...please give this another try. I usually put my milk in the freezer as well as my butter. I mix the dry ingredients then once milk and butter are super cold I will use a cheese grater to shred the butter into the flour while tossing so it doesn't stick. Add the super cold milk and gently incorporate once a dough forms lay it onto a flour dusted surface and begin folding process lightly dusting with flour if sticky. Complete about 6 to 8 folds and then press or roll out the dough..I use a wide mouth mason jar to cut my biscuits! Then continue with baking. Hope these little tips help because this recipe is absolutly amazing 👏 . I didn’t have any buttermilk so I gave this recipe a go. Thank you, my family loves these and it was so quick and easy!
Wonderful easy, fast recipe. The biscuits are delicious!
I'm so glad you enjoyed them! They are a favorite around here.
Can these biscuits be used instead of store bought biscuits for Bubble up chicken or chicken and dumplings?
I've never tried these biscuits for something like that, so I can't say for certain. I'm pretty sure they would work for chicken and dumplings. I have never made a bubble up chicken so I'm not familiar enough with that to give advice.
Super easy and turned out great, will be my go to recipe for quick tasty biscuits!
I'm so glad!
Great quick and easy biscuit recipe! Quick question, can they be baked at 350 degrees, I cannot go higher than that on my oven and had to use my neighbors last time
The only thing I can say is to give it a try and see how it works. My instinct says they wouldn't puff up as much to create as many layers but they would still taste fine. It would also require longer baking time. Good luck.
This was my first time making biscuits EVER! The dough came out SUPER crazy sticky, and I almost gave up. I think it was because I took too long mixing up the ingredients and the butter melted maybe? I added more flour, but it was still so sticky that I just ripped up the dough into balls and baked them that way. I really thought this was going to go down in history as the nastiest biscuits ever (because of user error, not recipe error), but they WEREN'T! They were SO GOOD! Ugly as sin, perhaps, but still so tasty. My fiancé and I are inhaling them as we speak. Since I wasn't able to fold them due to the stickiness, there weren't any layers. But they were still so tender and delicious. Thank you for providing such a great recipe that's friendly for complete beginners like me! If anyone has any tips or suggestions to not make dough that doubles as super-glue, I'd love to hear it!
Is this supposed to be a tablespoon or teaspoon of baking soda? Your recipe says tablespoon but the resulting biscuits were salty/slightly bitter. Other than that they came out perfect!
It is supposed to be a tablespoon of baking powder and not baking soda. Baking soda will impart a different flavor and will definitely be bitter and salty.
Ohhhhhhh I'm a bonehead 😅 thank you!!
I had a craving for biscuits and came across your recipe ,first time making biscuits and oh my goodness these came out absolutely delicious 🤍 thank you for sharing your recipe 🤍🤍🤍🤍
So glad you enjoyed them, Mari!
They came out perfect! I've been looking for a recipe without buttermilk for so long, thanks for sharing!!
I'm so glad they came out perfect! Nothing like a good biscuit. Thanks for the comment and review, Brenda.
Wow, these turned out amazing! Thanks for the video, that was very helpful. I used salted butter and they were a tad too salty so next time I’ll add less salt, but otherwise sooooo good! Just what I was looking for.
I'm so glad you enjoyed them, Mona! Thanks for the review and comment. Yes, you are smart to adjust the salt to your preference. Saltiness can vary so much from brand to brand and everyone has a personal salt preference as well. Happy cooking!
I made these biscuits trying to follow your instructions and they came out horrible!! Didn't rise, and were hard semi flat discs. I didn't have time to watch your video before preparing them for dinner, (which shouldn't be a problem) so I just followed your ridiculous instructions of forming the dough into a LONG rectangle and folding it in half and SMASHING it 4 to 5 times. After watching your video, you DO NOT do what you say in your instructions! YOU DON'T FORM INTO A LONG RECTANGLE nor do you say to SMASH THE DOUGH! Which I didn't understand that term in your written instructions. And you don't add that you won't be able to cut out all 9 biscuits and have to fold the excess dough again. Needless to say, you do things totally different in your video than you state in your written instructions.
I've never come across such terrible instructions and such inconsistencies between written instructions and the video!!
She never said long rectangle. She says in her instructions a large rectangle and in her video she says a manageable rectangle to start folding over 4-5 times. So either you don’t know how to read or you don’t know how to follow instructions all together. It’s a vet simple and easy recipe to follow. I don’t even bake and this was the only biscuit recipe I’ve ever made and it was easy to make and amazing biscuits came out of it.
I've been looking for a quick easy recipe and these are wonderful!! My family and I love them! I never write reviews but these deserved it.
So glad to hear, Katie! Thanks for taking the time to write a review.
So Delicious and Fluffy!!!! Best biscuits ever!!! Even heated up next day, still fluffy. Thanks so much for the recipe. I baked them 3 times in a row-twice for biscuits and gravy and once to top my chicken pot pie.🥰
This makes me SOOO happy! I'm glad you loved them. Thanks for leaving the comment and review, Rachael.
I didn't even look at the directions, just mixed it all in then added the butter. Rolled it out and cut then baked to absolute perfection. Fluffy and tasty. My kids gobbled them up before they even cooled, lol. A hassle-free and super fast recipe, thank you!
WEll there you go! I'm glad it worked out and you found a fast way to make it work for you. Thanks for the comment, Lolly!
I just finished eating two of these biscuits and have to say this was the best recipe. I've never had much success making biscuits. My mother wasn't much of a cook, so I pretty much taught myself through the years. (In fact, we had a deal when I was a kid...I cooked, and she did housework.) I should have watched your video first but just following the recipe worked fine. I watched the video afterwards and it assured me that I did things right. BTW, I'm 68 so old dogs can learn new tricks!
I love this, Deanna! Thanks so much for the comment and I'm so glad you loved the biscuits.
Deanna L Church
Okay, made these biscuits again this morning and they came out great. So happy to have a TNT (tried and true) biscuit recipe. Thanks again!
Yay for tried and true!
The biscuits came out very soft but when I bit into them it tasted only like flour. Followed the recipe to a T! Will try again, maybe it was my error but disappointed.
Interesting. Another commenter said they were too salty. lol I wonder if perhaps you forgot salt? I can't imagine them being flavorless. I'm glad they came out very soft at least.