One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner is biting into a flaky homemade buttermilk biscuit. The crunchy golden crust and fluffy interior makes the whole meal so much better. But you're asking, "How can I make perfectly flaky biscuits myself?" Don't worry; I'll show you how it's done!
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Why I Put Lard in Biscuits
In my recipe, I use both butter and lard. Why two kinds of fat? Well, butter provides a fantastic flavor, while lard increases the flakiness.
- Lard and shortening create flakier biscuits because they "shorten" the gluten strands in the dough, giving a lighter result.
- Lard also melts at a higher temperature than butter. The slow release of steam from the melting lard improves the rise and flakiness.
- Why use lard then? I prefer to use lard because it's an all-natural fat, as opposed to processed shortening. In fact, lard contains less saturated fat than butter and no trans fat, unlike shortening.
What does buttermilk do to biscuits?
The acid in buttermilk inhibits some of the gluten formation, producing a more tender biscuit. It also reacts with the baking soda to help the dough rise, while its fat content also adds extra richness.
Can I freeze them?
Yes, you can freeze biscuits before or after baking them. Defrost fully baked ones in the microwave or 350 F oven until warm. Bake raw biscuits from frozen; simply turn down the oven temperature to 400 F and bake for a few extra minutes.
How to Make
Measure out all the ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, lard, and buttermilk.
Whisk all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl until well blended.
Add the butter and lard to the flour mixture. Pinch the cubes of fat and mix them with the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Gradually pour in just enough buttermilk to make a sticky dough, mixing with your hand as you pour. (Yes, you'll have sticky fingers!) Make sure to pick up all the flour from the bottom of the bowl, but don't handle the dough more than you need to. Be gentle!
Roll out the biscuit dough on a floured surface to ¾ inch thick, then cut out the rounds with a biscuit cutter. Gently re-roll the scraps and cut more biscuits, then place them on a baking stone.
Make sure the sides are just touching each other, then bake them at 450 F for 15-20 minutes. They should be tall and golden on top. Let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then serve.
- Make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup, then pour in milk until you have 1 cup of liquid. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 minutes before using.
- Be careful not to overwork the dough, or the biscuits will be tough. Mix the dough until just combined, and be gentle when re-rolling the leftover scraps.
- Avoid twisting the cutter; just push it straight down. Twisting the cutter can seal the sides together, inhibiting the rise.
- Place them with their sides just touching on the baking stone or cookie sheet. It will make them have soft sides and rise higher.
- Let them sit for 10 minutes on the tray before baking to get a lighter-texture and a higher rise.
- Kitchen Scale: this digital scale makes it easy to measure ingredients accurately.
- Whisks: this set of 3 sizes are sturdy and perfect for whisking dry ingredients.
- Measuring Cup: this is perfect for measuring liquids with its pouring spout.
- Baking Stone: this large, heavy stone insulates the bottom of the biscuits as they bake.
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Steal my secrets to making amazingly fluffy biscuits completely from scratch. Even if you’ve never made homemade biscuits before, you can be successful with this quick and easy recipe! They are made with lard and butter for flakiness and flavor.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed (43g)
- 5 tablespoons lard (72g)
- 1 cup buttermilk, chilled (236 ml)
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
- Dump in the chilled butter and lard and rub them into the flour by pinching the chunks of fat. Stop when the mixture has a breadcrumb-like texture.
- Add about half of the buttermilk and stir with your hand to start bringing the dough together. Pour in the rest of the buttermilk in one or two more additions, gently working the dough until all the flour and buttermilk are incorporated and a soft, sticky dough has formed.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface, scraping out the bowl to get all the dough.
- Sprinkle the top of the dough liberally with flour and roll the dough to ¾ inch thick.
- Using a 2 ½" round biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many biscuits as you can from the first roll. Don't twist the cutter, as doing so will seal the sides together, inhibiting their rise.
- Gently re-roll the scraps and cut more, being careful not to overwork the dough. Place the biscuits with their sides touching on the baking stone or cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 450 F. They should be well risen and golden brown.
- Make sure the butter and lard are cold; it will make the dough flaky.
- Handle the dough gently.
- Push the cutter straight down without twisting it.
- Placing the biscuits with their sides touching will help them rise higher and have soft sides.
- Bake on a pizza stone to prevent burnt bottoms on the biscuits.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Biscuits
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: easy, fluffy
This post was originally published on September 7, 2017.