Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits are flaky, fluffy, light and ready in 30-minutes

Just 6 ingredients needed for delicious homemade biscuits

Let’s face it – it’s impossible to resist a mile-high warm biscuit! These easy to make biscuits can be cut out, or you can make a drop biscuit if you are in a time crunch. You don’t even need a rolling pin.

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Ingredients needed for easy biscuits:

Making homemade biscuits is simple and the ingredients are so basic. No need to ever use canned biscuits again!

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Milk

How to make fluffy baking powder biscuits

When making easy tender fluffy biscuits there are a few quick important tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a light gentle touch with your ingredients. Biscuits, as well as quick breads, benefit from minimal mixing.
  • Make sure all ingredients are SUPER cold. I like to whisk my dry ingredients together, chop the butter into small pieces, add to the bowl and then pop the bowl in the freezer for 10-minutes before proceeding.
Baking Powder Biscuits on a gold pan
  • Preheat oven to 425° F and be sure your oven rack is in the middle position for even baking.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together – flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the very cold butter pieces in and cut them into the dough with a pastry cutter, or 2 table knives, until just combined. Look for coarse pea-sized crumbs.
  • Pour in the cold milk and mix with a fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened and combined.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to ensure that the dough sticks together.
  • Pat the dough into a round, about 3/4″ thick. No need to use a rolling pin as that can flatten the dough too much.
  • Cut biscuits into 3″ rounds or squares with a floured biscuit cutter.
  • Push cutter straight down and then back up and do not twist.
  • Gather any scraps, gently pat together again and cut remaining biscuits.
  • Place on baking sheet about 1″ apart.
  • Bake about 14-17 minutes or until biscuits are nicely browned.
  • Remove from pan and let cool on an oven rack for a few minutes.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.

How to make sure your biscuits are fluffy:

  • Cutting the butter into small pieces before adding to the flour mixture helps avoid overmixing. Overmixing the dough will result in tough biscuits.
  • The easiest way to cut in the butter without overmixing is to use a pastry blender or two table knives. The heat from your hands can start melting the butter, so avoid mixing with your hands. The dough should be mixed but still a little shaggy.
  • The goal is to keep the butter very cold up until the time the biscuits hit the oven. Ice-cold pieces of butter incorporate into the flour more evenly, improving the dough’s flavor and texture.
  • Butter creates steam as it melts in the oven and then the melting butter expands between the layers of dough. This creates pockets of air, yielding a fluffy, flaky biscuit. You should see small pieces of butter in your dough before it bakes.
  • Since salt will be added to the flour it’s a good idea to use unsalted butter for these biscuits.

Make sure your baking powder is fresh for fluffy biscuits

Most breads, biscuits, quick breads, cakes, and many cookies rely on chemical leavening such as baking powder or baking soda which is essential for the baking “rise”.

Nearly all baking powders are ‘double-acting’ meaning they react twice: once by producing carbon dioxide bubbles in the batter when liquid is added and again in the heat of the oven.

Make sure yours is still fresh for the tallest biscuits. Baking powder is magical for homemade baking powder biscuits.

Biscuits close up on plate
Baking Powder Biscuits

Tips for making the best fluffy biscuits:

  • Gently mix everything
  • Lightly flour the cutting board, your hands, and biscuit cutter for best no-stick results
  • Pat the biscuit dough gently into a round that is 3/4″ thick with your hands instead of a rolling pin
  • If you don’t have a biscuit cutter just pat dough into a square and cut into squares or triangles with a floured sharp knife
  • Press straight down with the cutter and DON’T twist. Twisting the cutter seals the dough on the sides and inhibits the rise.
Biscuits ready to bake
Baking Powder Biscuits ready to bake

Serving Baking Powder Biscuits

The traditional way to serve biscuits is with good salted butter, jam, or flavorful compound butter, such as our Orange Honey Butter or our savory Garlic Chive Butter

Biscuits and orange butter
Biscuits with orange honey butter

Making Shortcake Biscuits

This recipe works great for summer strawberry shortcake biscuits with a few added ingredients.

  • Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to the milk before adding to flour mixture
  • Brush tops of biscuits with a mixture of 1 teaspoon sugar dissolved in 1 teaspoon milk before baking to add sweetness to the top crust
Baking Powder Biscuits
Baking Powder Biscuits have beautiful layers!

Ideas for add-ins:

These biscuits are perfect for adding in other flavors. Be sure everything is finely chopped or shredded to ensure the biscuits still rise evenly. Add in at the end of the mixing step.

Here are some ideas:

  • Finely chopped herbs. 1 tablespoon rosemary is our favorite, but try fresh chives or thyme.
  • Citrus zest – 1 tablespoon orange or lemon zest gives these biscuits bright flavor!
  • Shredded cheese – hard cheeses work best, such as Parmesan, Romano or Pecorino. Cheddar will work too. Add about 2-3 tablespoons.
  • Finely diced dried fruit, such as cranberries, cherries or currants make a great addition. Use about 1-2 tablespoons.
  • For a tangy biscuit use half milk and half buttermilk.

More great bread recipes to try:

Baking Powder Biscuits with Blueberry Jam on flowered plate
Biscuits close up on plate
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking Powder Biscuits are flaky, fluffy, light and ready in 30-minutes. These biscuits can be cut out or you can make a drop biscuit. Add a bit of sugar for short cakes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Biscuits, Bread
Cuisine: American, British
Servings: 12 Biscuits
Calories: 173kcal
Author: Cyndy Ufkes – The Art of Food and Wine

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 Tbsp butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, very cold

Instructions

  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 425° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly butter the pan.
  • In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Add in the butter pieces. Cut into flour mixture using two knives or a pastry blender, just until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas. Do not overmix!
  • Pour in the milk and mix with a fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently a few times until dough clings together. Pat the dough into a round that is about ¾" thick.
  • Cut biscuits using a round cutter (3" recommended).
    Be sure to cut the biscuits by pressing straight down and lifting up. Do not twist the cutter.
  • Place biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 1" apart.
    Gather the scraps and gently pat into a ¾" thick round, and cut out remaining dough.
  • Bake biscuits until lightly browned, about 15-17 minutes.
    Let cool on a wire rack if not serving immediately.
    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Notes

If using for Shortcakes:
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to the milk before adding to flour mixture. Brush tops of biscuits with a mixture of 1 teaspoon sugar dissolved in a 1 teaspoon milk before baking to add sweetness to the top crust. 


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