Easy 3 Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits

Recipe Pin
30 minutes
10 biscuits

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3 Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits are ‘no-fail Southern perfection’ that will propel you to pro, even if this is your first time baking them!

A stack of buttermilk biscuits, with jam.

Your weekend hot breakfast doesn’t get any simpler or more delicious than a batch of 3 Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits. With just a few minutes of prep time, you can create these grab-and-go morning handhelds in just about 30 minutes. They’re make-ahead if you choose, and enjoyed plain or gussied up with your favorite toppings.

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Not married to a rounded biscuit? Leave these belly-filling crowd pleasers square by shaping your dough into a rectangle and making one even cut down the middle, and four more even cuts from side to side… BAM! Ten square biscuits!

3 Ingredient Fully baked biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet with one biscuit buttered.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

·         Customizable – Add different ingredients directly to the dough such as cheese, herbs, or bacon, giving these a unique flavor.
·         Versatile – Biscuits can be enjoyed on their own, or used to make breakfast sandwiches, assemble sliders, or even as a base for a breakfast casserole.
·         Affordable – With only 3 ingredients, homemade biscuits are a budget-friendly option to fast food or a package of English muffins, especially if you have many people to feed.
·         Fresh and Tasty – Homemade buttermilk biscuits are richer in flavor than store-bought biscuits due to the use of fresh buttermilk. They are best eaten warm from the oven but keep well stored for up to two days.


A hand using a biscuit cutter to cut biscuits in rough.

Ingredients That Go Into This Recipe

For THIS recipe, use self rising flour and work on a lightly floured surface of self rising flour. Other biscuit recipes calling for all-purpose flour follow an entirely different method. This method will not work the same using all purpose flour with baking powder added. It just won’t.

A photo showing all ingredients required to make 3 ingredient butter milk biscuits.
  • Salted butter – adds the right amount of salt while pleasantly balancing the sour profile of the buttermilk.
  • Self-rising flour – not the same as all-purpose flour in that Self-rising flour has baking powder and salt already added to it.
  • Buttermilk – offers a slightly sour taste and a thick, creamy texture.
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See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.


Substitutions and Variations

  • Cracked black pepper – mix in one teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper (not pre-ground) to the flour/butter mixture just before the buttermilk. This prevents the pepper from becoming bitter.
  • Cheese – shred a half cup of cheddar directly into the dough and knead to combine.
  • Chipped ham – chip into tiny bits with the aid of a food processor, mix directly into the dough and knead to combine.
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Fresh chives, rosemary, or thyme – really, fresh herbs are hard to beat!
  • Spices – think freeze-dried minced onion or cayenne pepper.

Don’t Own A Biscuit Cutter?

An image of biscuit dough rolled out, with round biscuits stamped out into the dough.

Grab for an upside down glass, dip the mouth of the glass into a couple of inches of flour, and presto! Instant biscuit cutter!
 
Alternatively, find a high-sided cookie cutter. This gets interesting because the shape of your cookie cutter equals the unique baked shape of your soon-to-be biscuits. Cookie cutters that are not terribly intricate work the best!

Shortening vs. Butter: Which is Better for Biscuits?

When it comes to making biscuits, there’s a long-standing debate over which fat is better: shortening or butter. Shortening is easier to work with, but butter has a richer flavor and melts in the mouth more easily.

In my opinion, butter is the clear winner. It also won when we tested a batch of biscuits using butter, and another baked using shortening. Seven out of seven of our tasters voted in favor of the butter biscuits.

Overall, they are moister, have a better flavor, and melt in the mouth more easily than shortening biscuits. If you’re looking for the best possible biscuit, I recommend using butter.

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This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

Do These Biscuits Re-Heat Well?

  • The biscuits re-heat well, either in the oven or in the microwave, without compromising the texture.

Step By Step Instructions

When rolling out the dough, don’t press down too hard or overwork the dough. It’s scary how easy layer upon buttery layer of biscuit perfection really is to achieve.

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Freeze the Butter!

The butter cannot be cold enough! Freeze your butter, then grate into a large mixing bowl, cutting it the flour. Then re-freeze for 10 to 12 minutes right in the bowl.


1: Preheat oven to 475°. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Alternatively, the biscuits may be baked in an ungreased cast iron skillet. Measure out self-rising flour into a large mixing bowl.

2: Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate frozen butter. I find it’s easiest to do this on a half sheet pan. Toss together grated butter and flour and re-freeze for 10 to 12 minutes.

3: Make a well in center of mixture. IF using honey, add it to the bowl now but wait to stir. Add buttermilk.

4: NOW stir 15 times but NO MORE. Dough will be very sticky and somewhat stringy. And as you snicker over the ’15 times,’ well I really do mean it. Unless you are partial to tough biscuits, just trust me.

5: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

6: Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times. This process is you creating flakey layers!

7: Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.

8: Place dough rounds onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure their sides just touch. Touching sides will help them rise.

9: Bake at 475° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

10: Brush with melted butter or with honey or both straight out of the oven, or load up your favorite toppings.

How to Serve Buttermilk Biscuits

  • Jam or jelly – homemade if you have it.
  • Ham gravy – so, so Southern!
  • Sausage gravy – even more Southern!!
  • Pimento cheese
  • Honey
  • Hot honey
  • Boneless fried chicken
  • Chipped ham – especially good if you frozen leftover holiday ham. Use your food processor to chip it.
  • Bacon
  • Taylor ham or pork roll – it’s a Jersey thing…
  • Eggs- any way. 

Get Your Breakfast On!

A buttermilk biscuit, with scrambled egg, cheese, and pork roll.

Go BIG or go home!

Storage Instructions

  • Room temperature: Biscuits can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. To prevent them from drying out, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerator: Biscuits can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To prevent them from drying out, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in an airtight container.
  • Freezer: Biscuits can be frozen for up to 3 months. To prevent them from drying out, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place them in a freezer bag.

Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips

  • If you do not care about a round biscuit, cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch squares. Square biscuits are more efficient, are quicker, and there is less waste.
  • Use COLD butter. Flakey layers equal fluffy biscuits, but they require some science. COLD butter will create air pockets in the dough as it melts, which will then create steam when baking.
  • The buttermilk must also be WELL CHILLED!
  • If you like your biscuits to have some sweetness, not real sweet, rather just a lil something, add 3 tablespoons of honey at the step you stir in the buttermilk.

Recipe FAQs

Which Size Biscuit Cutter Do You Use For A Biscuit?

The most common size cutter is 2 3/8-inch which will yield a very pretty breakfast or sandwich biscuit large enough for eggs and gravy, slices of country ham, a scoop of pimento cheese, or plain old butter and honey.

Why Aren’t My Biscuits Fluffy?

Use cold butter to make fluffy biscuits. Warm butter will absorb into the flour and make them tough.

What Is The Secret to High-Rising Biscuits?

Pre-heat your oven all the way to 450°F BEFORE you pop your biscuits in. High heat produces maximum steam, which in combination with the ice cold butter, encourages the biscuits to rise as high as they possibly can.

More Breads and Biscuits You’ll Love

Recipe

A buttered biscuit with strawberry jam.

3 Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits

Jenny DeRemer
3 Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits are 'no-fail Southern perfection' that will propel you to pro, even if this is your first time baking them!
4.06 from 56 votes
Servings: 10 biscuits
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 10 biscuits
Calories 209 kcal

Equipment

  • 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter

Ingredients
 

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter FROZEN; re-freeze for 10 minutes after grating/mixing with flour
  • 2 ½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk WELL CHILLED; fresh; leave in refrigerator until ready to use
  • 3 tbsp honey optional – lends the smallest amount of sweetness while enhancing the salty profile of the butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Alternatively, the biscuits may be baked in an ungreased cast iron skillet.
  • Measure out self-rising flour into a large mixing bowl. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate frozen butter into the flour. Toss together and re-freeze for 10 to 12 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
  • Make a well in center of your flour mixture. IF using honey, add it to the bowl now but wait to stir. Add buttermilk into the well. NOW stir 15 times but NO MORE. Dough will be very sticky and somewhat stringy.
  • Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Your floured surface must also be with self-rising flour. Lightly sprinkle additional flour over top of dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Fold dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times. This action is what's going to yield flakey layers.
  • Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.
  • Place dough rounds onto prepared baking sheet, making sure their sides just touch. No touch = no high rise. Bake at 475°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Brush with melted butter or with honey or both straight out of the oven, or use to assemble your favorite biscuit sandwich.

Notes

Use COLD Butter 
Use COLD Buttermilk – Milk or any other milk substitute is not recommended.
Self-rising Flour – use self-rising flour and work on a floured surface of self-rising flour. This method will not work by substituting all-purpose flour with baking powder added. 
Store Leftover Biscuits – in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours. Alternatively, place any leftover baked biscuits into a zippered freezer-safe bag and store them in your freezer for up to 90 days.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingsCalories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 99mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 324IUCalcium: 35mgIron: 0.3mg
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Recipe Rating




30 Comments

  1. I loved these biscuits , best ever. I made them in Air Fryer. I froze the the rest of unbaked ones for another day.😛5 stars

    1. Sandra I love that you loved these and I especially love that you prepared them using your air fryer! I have yet to try them in the air fryer but now I think I will! x- Jenny

    1. Jeanette, isn’t this a nifty hack? Self-rising flour is a great pantry staple. Thanks for taking a minute to leave me feedback 🙂 Jenny

  2. So, I made these to eat alongside stew tonight. They are outstanding. I froze the butter flour mix and then followed as directed. The results were perfect, flakey biscuits. Thanks so much for your good guidance!5 stars

    1. Maive, so HAPPY to hear that you enjoyed these! I receive emails from folks indicating their biscuits were too hard or did not cook in the middle. That butter/flour mix MUST be frozen for this to work. Results won’t look or taste as they should if this step is omitted, so thanks for reinforcing this!

    1. Michiel, thank you so much for the compliment and for dropping by Not Entirely Average. I am afraid the recipe was a ‘necessary solution’ when the quarantining began and readers were writing and asking for adaptable recipes. I hope you do not mind, but I checked out Michiel’s Kitchen…I think I need to immediately make your recipe for cacio e pepe. Your recipes all look divine and your photography is immaculate. Well done. Well done.

    1. Faye, self rising flour is flour that has a leavening agent already added. I am not brand-loyal per se, but have had great results with White Lilly brand. I like it because it is available in small bags. If you wanted to make your own, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt. SIFT all together 3 times so the baking powder is very well distributed.

  3. Ohh my goodness! Totally going to make these!!! I do have a question tho. In the past, I’ve made buttermilk biscuits with buttermilk I’ve made. 1 cup of(2% milk) or cream+ 2 tablespoons of white vinegar) in a pinch it works. (Sometimes the store I go to doesn’t have it) would this work?!?

    1. Donna, yes please, DO make these! I also make my own buttermilk when a recipe say calls for only a cup and I do not want leftovers sitting in my fridge. Here is how my Grandmother taught me, and it’s much like what you have outlined; 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a 1 cup glass measurer. Then, fill milk to the 1 cup mark, so it’s kind of a scant cup of milk I guess. Stir and then allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The time sitting gives the milk the opportunity to curdle slightly and then the liquid takes on both buttermilk-like texture and taste. Donna, should you make these, please send me a photo and rate how you liked the recipe using the stars. Your feedback would mean a lot for other readers and for me!

  4. Hi, I know these biscuits will taste great because I learned to make biscuits just like this when the shelter in place order for NYC started. I will try your honey tip when next I make biscuits.

    1. Definitely going to make these! One question is I am out of self-raising flour and have not been able to find it. How much baking powder / baking soda would you add to all purpose flour in this recipe? Thanks for sharing!

      1. Fino, yes, yes DO make these! If you are unable to get hold of self rising flour, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt. SIFT all together 3 times so the baking powder is very well distributed. And remember that once you make your well to add your buttermilk, ONLY stir 15 times. I know it sounds crazy but the ‘coming together’ of this dough does affect the integrity of the finished biscuits. I’d love to know how these turn out for you, so check back and give an update or rate the recipe using the stars 🙂

  5. It’s been a long time I actually pulled out a piece of paper to take notes on a blog post. Thanks for this. You’ve earned yourself a new reader!