- 3 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (or honey, agave, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, frozen
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk for brushing
- (optional) Smoked salt for topping
- Place the sticks of butter in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before starting.
- Sift together the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Remove the sticks of butter from the freezer, and grate it immediately into the dry ingredients using the big holes on a box grater. Toss the butter in the flour mixture and use your fingertips to pinch the butter into the flour until you have a coarse meal.
- Make a well, and pour in the cold buttermilk. Pinch the mixture together until you have a sticky, shaggy dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for an hour.
- Transfer the dough from the fridge to a lightly floured surface. Pat it down to about form a 10-inch square. Fold it in half, and then fold it in half again into a smaller square.
- Lightly roll the dough into another 10-in square, and repeat the process of folding twice one more time.
- Roll the dough into a 1-inch thickness square and cut out the biscuits using a 2 ½ – 3” round cutter. Do not twist the dough as you press down firmly. Gently gather the dough scraps and reform the dough, repeating the process.
- Place the biscuits into a cast iron skillet or parchment-lined baking sheet with sides, making sure the biscuits are touching (otherwise they may topple without support). Set the skillet/pan in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush the tops with buttermilk and sprinkle with flakey salt (if using). Bake in the middle rack of your oven until they are golden and have risen, which takes about 12-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Press down once and firmly with your biscuit cutter. Do not twist it! Twisting the biscuit cutter will seal the edges and prevent the dough from fully rising.
- Do not over-mix your dough! The tenderness of these biscuits comes from not allowing too much gluten to develop. The more flour is worked, the more glutens that form. This also compresses down on the dough giving you a dense texture.
- Keep everything COLD at every stage. The reaction of super cold butter combined with high heat causes the steam pickets that give rise to these impressive southern buttermilk biscuits.
- Prep Time: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Side Dish
Keywords: southern biscuits, buttermilk biscuits, homemade buttermilk biscuits, flaky buttermilk biscuits, homemade biscuits