Flaky biscuits are notoriously difficult to make. But, there’s no need to be afraid to dive in and master these southern favorites. Ask any biscuit expert and they’ll tell you that two simple tricks will help you achieve flawless biscuits: Don’t over work the dough and keep your dough cold.

I like to get my hands in the dough and flake the butter with my fingers. Grandma always said “The dirtier the apron, the more love is in the recipe.” But, if you’d rather not be wrist-deep in flour, freeze your butter then use a cheese grater to shred it before folding it into the biscuit dough.

If you’re confused about what it means to “over work” the dough, just remember…the dough should look chunky, not smooth. Don’t let the chunks of butter get to you. That just means there’s going to be plenty of flaky goodness when these beauties bake up.

These delicious biscuits are a great base recipe for some of our other favorite southern dishes. Find links to more below.

Old-Fashioned Butter Biscuits aka Sky High Biscuits

  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Yield: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup chilled butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  1. Instructions
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Beat together egg and milk and stir into dry mixture. Stir quickly and briefly, being careful not to overwork. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface then pat into desired thickness (roughly 1-inch).
  5. Cut into biscuits and place on baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Remove biscuits from the oven and brush with additional butter, if desired. Serve as a side with any meal or as a base for your favorite southern desserts using the adjustments below.
  7. For Shortcakes:
  8. To use biscuits as shortcakes, replace the granulated sugar with dark brown sugar and stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon with the dry ingredients.

Use these biscuits as shortcakes for our Fireball Peaches & Cream Shortcakes or as the topping for Sausage Gravy & Biscuits Casserole.

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Flaky Old-Fashioned Butter Biscuits For Beginners