REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

 

This post is part of a series.  You can buy the Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials here: To buy the REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared, click here.  Full color photos, step by step tutorials, and more.  Only $14.

Perhaps I should have been born in the south, because I love me some biscuits and gravy. Warm from the oven, break one apart and savor the rich, flaky texture from the buttermilk and bright, yellow butter.

Biscuits are always handy to have on hand: alongside dinner and slathered in honey butter, for making breakfast sandwiches (like with these egg muffins, cut in half), sopping up some homemade sausage gravy, or delectable desserts like strawberry shortcake.

I grew up making these drop biscuits with my mom, from a recipe that my aunt used all the time.  I loved how quick they were to mix up in a bowl, and you didn’t need to do any rolling.  Just scoop with a spoon and drop onto a baking sheet!

Of course, I add the step of soaking the flour, butter, and buttermilk overnight, to make these biscuits more digestible.  The acids from the buttermilk or apple cider vinegar, depending on which recipe you are using, break down the whole grains so that their nutrients are more readily absorbed when eaten.  (It is said that soaking grains overnight reduces the amount of phytic acid, an acid that blocks absorption of nutrients.)

I also use freshly ground whole grain flour whenever possible.  This allows for the vitamin and mineral content to be at it’s highest point.  You can find grain mills online, from hand-cranks, to electric, to beautiful wooden low temp grinders (which I covet, immensely).

Equipment Needed:

Notes: The drop biscuits are the easiest to make, in my opinion.  So I have listed them first.  I love the ease of just scooping the dough directly onto the baking sheet.  The drop biscuit dough is more sticky, which makes it perfect for drop biscuits, but unsuitable for rolling out like traditional round biscuits.

Therefore, traditional round biscuits require a different dough.  This drier dough is suitable for cutting out rounds, or rolling into a large rectangle and then cutting into squares with a pizza roller.  The square method minimizes rerolling scraps from cutting out rounds.  Use whichever method you prefer.

And finally, we have the dairy-free versions of both recipes.  Simply use coconut oil, palm oil, coconut milk, and apple cider vinegar by following the dairy-free recipes below.

Between the four recipes below, I am sure you will find one that fits you and your family!

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

2 1/2 cups freshly ground flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, cool and cut into small pieces (buy grass-fed butter here, how to make butter)
1 cup buttermilk (buy buttermilk starters here, how to make buttermilk)
2 teaspoons baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
1 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, combine flour and butter with a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers.  (Alternately, you can use a food processor.)  Pour in buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. 
  2. Cover with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours.  In the summertime I use my kitchen (at 80-85 degrees or so), and in the wintertime I use my dehydrator (set at 85).
  3. The next morning, or when you are ready to bake the biscuits, preheat oven to 425.
  4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, drop spoonfuls of biscuit dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, with very little space between (these biscuits do not spread out much).
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the biscuits are nicely browned.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
  7. If serving immediately, keep the biscuits covered and warm so butter and jam and honey will melt into all the crooks and crannies.  Excuse me, I need to go eat a biscuit…

Old-Fashioned Round or Square Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups freshly ground flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour)
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, cool and cut into small pieces (buy grass-fed butter here, how to make butter)
1 3/4 cup buttermilk (buy buttermilk starters here, how to make buttermilk)
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
1 teaspoon baking soda (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
1 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, combine flour and butter with a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers.  (Alternately, you can use a food processor.)  Pour in buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  2. Cover with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours.  In the summertime I use my kitchen (at 80-85 degrees or so), and in the wintertime I use my dehydrator (set at 85).
  3. The next morning, or when you are ready to bake the biscuits, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out until 1 inch thick.  Cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to make round biscuits.  Alternately, cut into squares with a pizza roller to make biscuits without needing to re-roll scraps of dough.
  6. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Serve warm, or let cool and store in an airtight container.

Dairy-Free Drop Biscuits

2 1/2 cups freshly ground flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour)
6 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or palm oil, cold (buy coconut oil here, palm oil here)
1 cup coconut milk (buy coconut milk here)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (buy unrefined organic apple cider vinegar here)
2 teaspoons baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
1 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, combine flour and coconut oil with a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers.  (Alternately, you can use a food processor.)  Pour in coconut milk and and apple cider vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  2. Cover with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours.  In the summertime I use my kitchen (at 80-85 degrees or so), and in the wintertime I use my dehydrator (set at 85).
  3. The next morning, or when you are ready to bake the biscuits, preheat oven to 425.
  4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, drop spoonfuls of biscuit dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, with very little space between (these biscuits do not spread out much).
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the biscuits are nicely browned.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Serve warm, or let cool and store in an airtight container.

Dairy-Free Drop Biscuits

4 cups freshly ground flour (buy sprouted flour here, how to make sprouted flour)
1 cup virgin coconut oil or palm oil, cold (buy coconut oil here, palm oil here)
1 3/4 cup coconut milk (buy coconut milk here)
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (buy unrefined organic apple cider vinegar here)
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder (buy aluminum-free baking powder here)
1 teaspoon baking soda (buy aluminum-free baking soda here)
1 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, combine flour and coconut oil with a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingers.  (Alternately, you can use a food processor.)  Pour in coconut milk and apple cider vinegar and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  2. Cover with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 12-24 hours.  In the summertime I use my kitchen (at 80-85 degrees or so), and in the wintertime I use my dehydrator (set at 85).
  3. The next morning, or when you are ready to bake the biscuits, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt the bowl and stir to combine.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out until 1 inch thick.  Cut with a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to make round biscuits.  Alternately, cut cross-hatch with a pizza roller to make rectangular biscuits.
  6. Bake 16-18 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Serve warm, or let cool and store in an airtight container.

This post is a part of Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Monday Mania, Weekend Gourmet, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, The Mommy Club.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
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Comments

  1. Elizabeth P says:

    Thanks for the post! I love buttermilk biscuits, too. Usually I make them with purchased sprouted flour, but have been wanting a grain mill for over a year now. I wish they weren’t so expensive. The Wonder Mill you posted a link to seems pretty reasonable. Is that the mill you use? If so, how do you like it?

  2. We just love Hot Biscuits and your recipe looks awesome! Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  3. Now THIS looks like a recipe to try my hand at biscuits for the very first time. I’m a kitchen newbie and all the other recipes I’ve seen look too daunting. How do you use your dehydrator to soak it during the winter? I’m having a little trouble picturing that.

    • I have one of those large 9-tray Excaliburs. So I just take all the trays out, set it to 85 (the lowest setting), and put the covered bowl in there to soak at a higher temp than my 65 degree kitchen. It’s very handy to have a dehydrator sometimes!

  4. MMmmm! We just got a jug of buttermilk, so biscuits may be in our future!

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