Homemade buttermilk biscuits baked in a cast iron skillet are a staple of Southern cooking. In just 35 minutes, you’ll have warm, tender, and perfectly flaky biscuits ready to serve with a generous dollop of honey butter. Visual guidance provided for assembling the biscuit dough before baking!
My gosh. There are just some things in life that are the ultimate comfort. A warmed-buttered biscuit is high up on that list!
Or maybe you're in the mood for a more Savoury breakfast recipe like Cheddar-chive biscuits or Jalapeño-cheddar drop biscuits. Or using this fluffy biscuit recipe for a breakfast sandwich or Ham and cheese biscuit sandwich. It doesn't matter what your taste or preference is, homemade Southern biscuits are EVERYTHING!
This was one of the first things that my mom taught me to make - like any good Southern mother would. From using the bacon grease from the fridge stored in a mason jar (if you're from the south then you know what I am talking about), to how to gently bring the dough together to not form a tough and dense biscuit to baking them in a cast iron skillet that has been in our family for 100+ years.
There is so much tender care that goes into these. They are simple, easy, made in 35 minutes and with 6 ingredients, and taste like home. Never buy canned biscuits again!
You will need a couple of tools that will make this recipe just a bit easier.
- Pastry Cutter - this will help cut the fat into the dough making it ultra tender and flaky
- Cast Iron Skillet - the key to cooking these biscuits
- Biscuit Cutter or Cookie Cutter - the tool needed for cutting out the biscuits
*all links are Amazon affiliate links*
How to Make Buttermilk
Fun fact...I never buy buttermilk. On the rare occasion, I need buttermilk for a recipe I usually only need a cup or so and they don't sell it in small enough containers that it would just go bad before I use it - because again I don't use it but for a couple of baking recipes.
But we usually have whole milk on hand and we always have white vinegar - so there is no need to buy actual buttermilk from the store. 99% of the time I just make my own buttermilk at home in just 5 minutes (the recipe is in the link!).
You just need 6 staple pantry ingredients for this cast iron skillet buttermilk biscuit recipe:
- Flour - I always use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour for all of my baking and household recipes.
- Baking Powder - make sure your baking powder is fresh! I always write the date on the lid of my baking powder and throw it out at 6 months regardless if it is used all up or not. Baking powder will go bad and if you use old baking powder in recipes then your recipe, and in this case for quick homemade biscuits, they won't rise as tall and well as they should.
- Salt - for flavor.
- Baking Soda - also helps with the rise and tender texture.
- Crisco, Lard, or Shortening - any of the following will work just fine.
- Buttermilk - link for how to make your own at home.
How to Make
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut in Crisco or shortening until the dough has pea-sized clumps in it and is crumbly.
- Add in the buttermilk and gently mix with a spatula until the dough has just come together. Do not over-mix!
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently bring it together in a round disk.
- With a rolling pin, gently roll out the dough until it is about ½-3/4" inches tall.
- Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut straight down into the dough and lift up. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Rub either bacon grease or butter on a cast iron skillet using a paper towel. Place the cut biscuits into a greased cast iron skillet (the biscuits can be close together and touch).
- With the remaining dough, gently bring it together and pat it out into a disk again. Cut out more biscuits and place them in the skillet. Repeat this process until all the dough has been used - being careful not to overwork the dough during this process.
- Place the skillet in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy immediately hot and fresh with butter, honey, your favorite jams, or honey butter.
Helpful Tips for Biscuit Making
It can be easy to mess up this easy biscuit recipe. Here are a couple of tips that will help you in your baking process.
- ONE - do not overwork! This is the most important tip! To keep homemade buttermilk biscuits tender and soft you CANNOT overwork. The dough will turn tough and your biscuits will be flat and hard if you do overwork the dough. Mix the buttermilk in the dough until just combined. Use to hands to bring the dough together on the countertop. Gently roll out with a rolling pin. And when using the last little bit of dough, gently bring it together with your hands and flatten it out and work as little as you can. This is so so important in getting the soft and tender result we all love in a biscuit!
- TWO - use cold fats. Using cold shortening or lard will help the biscuits be tender with a flaky texture. I usually keep my container of lard in the fridge so that it is always cold when I need it.
- THREE - cutting the fats into small pieces. You want to make sure the biscuit dough resembles a crumbly texture with pea-sized lard cut into the dough before adding the buttermilk. By having small pieces of fat in the dough, you are ensuring a tender and flaky biscuit recipe every time. Use a pastry cutter to make this easy to do.
- FOUR - do not twist the biscuit cutter. When cutting out the biscuits, press the cutter straight down into the dough and lift it straight back up. Do not twist. This will help the dough rise tall and not close/pinch off the sides when cutting (hindering the ability to rise tall).
You can freeze it either unbaked or baked.
Unbaked Biscuits: make and cut out the biscuits. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to flash freeze. Store in a freezer-safe airtight bag or container and freeze for 6 months. To bake, place frozen biscuits in a greased cast iron skillet and bake at 450 for 17-20 minutes.
Baked Biscuits: Bake and cool biscuits. Place on a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to flash freeze. Put the frozen baked biscuits in a freezer-safe ziptop bag sealed airtight for 6 months. To thaw - move to fridge for 24 hours before use. You can freeze stale biscuits as well to use in Cornbread Stuffing during the holidays.
Uses for Stale Biscuits
Leftover biscuits will keep stored in an airtight bag for 3 days. But when they are on their last legs and getting a bit hard and stale, don't throw them out! Instead, save them for the following uses:
- Make homemade breadcrumbs: let the biscuits sit out on a baking sheet for 24 hours to harden and stale. Place in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbles with salt, pepper, and whatever herb of choice. Place on a baking sheet and toast at 300 for 10ish minutes until lightly golden brown - stirring halfway through. Store in an airtight container for a month or in the freezer for up to a year and use in any recipe calling for breadcrumbs.
- Use for a Southern-style side dish or Baked Southern-Style Cornbread and Biscuit Dressing for year around or the holidays: let the biscuits sit out on a baking sheet for 24 hours to harden and stale. If not the holiday season yet, then place stale biscuits in an airtight ziptop bag in the freezer until the holidays or until needed. Remove and use in a southern cornbread and biscuit dressing recipe that requires stale biscuits and cornbread!
DISCLOSURE. SOME OF THE LINKS BELOW ARE AFFILIATE LINKS, WHICH MEANS THAT IF YOU CLICK ON A PRODUCT LINK, I MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION. THIS COMPENSATION COMES AT NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, AND AS ALWAYS I ONLY RECOMMEND PRODUCTS I TRUST! HEATHER BILYEU IS A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR SITES TO EARN ADVERTISING FEES BY ADVERTISING AND LINKING TO AMAZON.COM.