Biscuits are synonymous with Southern comfort and hospitality. There’s just something magical about the alchemy of flour, butter, and buttermilk, the smell of buttery dough rising in the oven, and the golden crackle of the tops giving way to fluffy, flaky layers within. With the right recipe, they’re also much easier to make than you think. In other words, you should make these buttermilk biscuits for Mother’s Day brunch.
Chef Aaron Deal originally hails from North Carolina, so biscuits have been part of his recipe cannon since he started cooking, and they made for a stellar addition to brunch at his restaurant, River & Rail. Even though he’s stepped away from the stove (you can follow his consulting adventures with Deal & Associates Restaurant Consulting on Instagram), biscuits are the first thing he thought of to make for his mom on Mother’s Day.
Over the years, chef Deal has finetuned his recipe to create an easy, versatile homestyle buttermilk biscuit for home cooks and pros alike. The dough can be cut into smaller, round biscuits to serve with butter and jam, or cut into larger rounds to build mom a breakfast sandwich (we like scrambled eggs, cheddar, and hot sauce). So, whip up a batch of these easy buttermilk biscuits and make this Mother’s Day brunch one to remember.
Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
By Chef Aaron Deal
Buttermilk biscuits are one of my favorite baked goods, whether it’s for a special occasion or a weekday treat. And you don’t need any special equipment either. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, you can use a ring mold or cookie cutter, basically anything with a relatively straight edge and an open top. The straight edges cut through the dough evenly and the open top allows the air to release as you press through the dough (this is why a glass won’t work).
You can customize the biscuits’ texture depending on how you arrange them on the baking tray. Crowding the biscuits on the pan can produce greater rise, as the biscuits climb on each other during the cooking process. It does make for softer un-browned sides, which I especially love for biscuits and gravy. Separating them by an inch or so allows browning all around, ideal for structure in a biscuit sandwich recipe.
I like to use a digital scale to measure my ingredients; if you don’t have one, this conversion table will help convert to cups and teaspoons.
Yield: approximately 1 dozen 3-inch round biscuits or 6 sandwich bun-size biscuits
2 ½ pounds all-purpose flour
1 oz Kosher salt
3 oz granulated sugar
2 ½ oz baking powder
1 pound unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 quart buttermilk (whole fat)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sift dry ingredients together into a medium size bowl.
- Add chilled butter cubes to dry ingredients and incorporate using two forks, until it creates a flake-like consistency.
- Fold in buttermilk using a spatula and mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix.
- Roll dough to desired thickness, depending if you prefer smaller, round biscuits or thicker, sandwich-bun size biscuits.
- Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, press evenly down on the dough to cut into rounds; avoid twisting or smashing the cutter into the dough.
- Arrange biscuits on baking tray, depending on preferred texture (see recipe hed note) and place tray in oven.
- After 5 minutes of baking time, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. (This provides a jumpstart for the rising process and cooks the biscuits without overbrowning them.)
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately if desired. Otherwise allow biscuits to cool and store in airtight container for later use.
Pro tip: save scraps of leftover dough to make croutons or a pan of monkey bread coated in brown sugar and cinnamon.