This is another one of our favorite Amish recipes from the Amish Cooking Cookbook. You remember that delicious Amish Shortcake I posted a while ago, don’t you? This is one of those quick breads that is a perfect addition to any meal. It doesn’t take long to whip up and is totally worth the messy fingers.
These buttermilk biscuits can be eaten for breakfast as a biscuits and sausage gravy, lunch or dinner, alongside a simple side dish. If you are lucky enough to find any in the house the next morning, you’ll want to heat one up and spread on some butter and honey. Mmmmm. Not much better than melted butter and honey on a biscuit.
3 Secrets for Fluffy Layered Biscuits
We’ll talk about our three secrets for THE BEST homemade biscuits in detail below, but here they are:
Lots of butter.
The “folding” technique.
These easy homemade Amish Buttermilk Biscuits are definitely not your normal biscuits. They are slightly crispy on the outside, but flaky and soft on the inside. The texture comes from buttermilk so this is definitely not an ingredient you’ll want to leave out.
We highly recommend store-bought buttermilk for the best results in this recipe. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? Easily make buttermilk with milk and vinegar. Just put one tablespoon of vinegar in a measuring cup. Fill up the rest of the cup with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Voila… 1 cup of buttermilk! If you need more than one cup for a different recipe, just make the same way, adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each cup of milk. I only do this in a pinch for this recipe though.
**Pro Tip: If you have half & half or heavy cream, you can use that higher fat milk in place of milk for homemade buttermilk. This will give you a thickness closer to store bought buttermilk. **
Shortening or Butter in Biscuits
For this recipe, we’ve used both shortening and butter. We find that butter gives them a great flavor, but shortening helps them to have a better texture. You can even do a combination and use half shortening and half butter. Test the recipe and see which your family prefers.
**Recipe Update: Most recently we’ve switched to using butter 100% of the time because the flavor is just that good. Make sure you use real butter, not margarine.**
How to Make Biscuits
Here are our hints for making biscuits:
It’s important to mix ingredients the least amount possible. Whisk the dry ingredients together first.
Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter. This allows the butter to get distributed throughout. Make sure the butter is COLD which helps the biscuits stay light and fluffy. The colder the ingredients are when they go in the oven, the better your biscuits will turn out. The cold butter will melt and leave pockets of flakiness. Hungry yet?
Mix the buttermilk in just until the ingredients are combined. Be sure not to knead the dough or overmix it.
Folding Technique: Turn the dough out onto a floured pastry mat and pat it into a horizontal rectangle that is about 1 ½ inches thick. Fold the left side of the rectangle over the right side and pat it out into a vertical rectangle. Fold the bottom half up to the top and press it out into a horizontal rectangle again. Repeat the steps above 3 times for a total of 6 folds. Be careful not to overwork the dough while you are doing this. The folding is what creates the pretty layers. Sprinkle a little flour on the layers if the dough starts getting sticky, but just pat gently and handle the dough lightly.
Can you make biscuit dough ahead of time?
Because you are using baking powder instead of yeast, biscuits are best if they are baked right after you mix them.
If you’d like, mix up the flour, then cut in the butter. Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) and then mix the buttermilk in right before baking.
Why are my biscuits dry?
There are several reasons why biscuits could end up dry.
Not enough butter. You won’t have that for this recipe since we use 1 full cup of butter, but some recipes may not have enough butter for the amount of flour.
Not measuring the flour correctly. Be sure to spoon the flour into a measuring cup, then level it with a knife. You don’t want to pack the flour into the measuring cup.
Overworking the dough. Don’t knead this dough. Mix it just until barely blended (and still floury) then fold it as we state in the recipe below. You don’t want to overwork the dough.
Overbaking. Baking the biscuits too long can always cause them to be dry instead of soft and tender.
What is the best way to store biscuits?
You’ll want to store biscuits in an airtight container at room temperature. Biscuits will last for 1-2 days at room temperature.
Tools for Making Biscuits
Pastry Cutter: I use this tool all the time. It cuts butter into flour perfectly for streusels, crusts and other pastries.
Pastry Mat:: This silicone mat keeps your cupboard clean and makes rolling out pastries so easy.
Biscuit Cutter: LOVE these handled cutters that come in different sizes.
Amish Buttermilk Biscuits
4.79 from 14 votes
You'll love how easy these soft, flaky Amish Buttermilk Biscuits are. They come together in less than 30 minutes. Hints for making them perfectly.
1/2cupflour (for dusting the pastry mat & dusting while rolling)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. If you feel the flour with your hands, you should feel the butter chunks in it. That's the texture you want so don't over mix it at this point.
Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured pastry mat and pat it into a horizontal rectangle that is about 1 ½ inches thick. Fold the left side of the rectangle over the right side and pat it out into a vertical rectangle. Fold the bottom half up to the top and press it out into a horizontal rectangle again. Repeat the steps above 3 times for a total of 6 folds. Be careful not to overwork the dough while you are doing this. The folding is what creates the pretty layers. Sprinkle a little flour on the layers if the dough starts getting sticky, but just pat gently and handle the dough lightly.
After 6 folds, gently pat the dough into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Use a sharp circle biscuit cutter and press down through the dough, then lift up. Do not twist the cookie cutter or shuffle it around. Just push down, then pull straight up.
Place biscuit on a silicone baking mat.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.
Bake at 475 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (without opening the oven) and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes.
Allow the biscuits to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
The calories shown are based on the recipe making 14 biscuits with 1 serving being 1 biscuit. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.