Visual learner? Watch me make these 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits from start to finish!
It’s 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit time!! I have many memories of Grandma Barb making from-scratch buttermilk biscuits. They were always the last thing made for the meal, and she’d work quickly and effortlessly. Those biscuits were made and placed into the hot oven in under a minute flat and goodness they were heavenly, and still are. She’s good!
It’s no surprise; she’s been making homemade buttermilk biscuits for over 80 years.
Next week, I plan on teaching my sons how to make homemade biscuits, starting with these super easy, 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuits. My boys have a few simple recipes that they know how to make. Still, as they get older (so quickly), it’s important to me that they know how to bring together a homemade meal using real ingredients. And in the South, fresh, hot biscuits are welcomed at any meal!
I love this 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe because it’s perfect for kids and biscuit-making newbies. It was one of the first recipes I learned to make because it was easy to memorize 2-1-1. Although I called it 112 biscuits growing up (like the 90’s music group) and had to blast Cupid or Only You while making them.
2 cups self-rising flour
1 stick butter
1 cup buttermilk
Now that you have the ingredients let’s go step by step on making these 3-ingredient biscuits. Watch the video for a visual of the process.
How to make the BEST 3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits
Prep. Prep all of your ingredients and tools beforehand. Preheat your oven to 450 F. Measure and sift out your flour, freeze your butter and make sure the buttermilk is cold. Gather your biscuit cutter, baking pan, and bowl for fixing.
Measure the flour. Measure out the flour by spooning it into your measuring cup. I give the cup a few taps along the way to make sure there are no air pockets that will throw off my measuring. Once you have a heaping cup of flour, use the back of a butter knife to sweep across the rim of the cup so that that you have a perfectly leveled cup of flour. Place the flour into a large bowl.
Add the butter. If possible, freeze the butter beforehand. It needs to be cold, and the frozen butter will help keep the dough cold, which is a must if you want the BEST biscuits. Take your butter out of the freezer only when you are ready for this step. Use unsalted or salted. I’m using unsalted. Remove the wrapper from the butter and grate the butter into the flour. Grating helps the butter distribute easily through the flour. This creates a buttery biscuit that is soft and tender.
Cut in the butter. Now that we have that pile of grated butter, it’s time to cut it into the flour. Cutting butter into flour simply means getting it all distributed, so all the butter is coated with flour. To do that, get a pastry cutter and start pressing it repeatedly into the flour and butter. Soon the mixture will look like little crumbs. That’s what you want, just tiny pieces of butter coated with flour.
Add the buttermilk. Take your cold buttermilk from the fridge and add in a cup. I usually only need a cup if I’ve measured my flour right. However, if you’ve accidentally added a lil too much flour, you made need a tiny bit more. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the buttermilk until a sticky dough has form. You want your dough to be slightly wet and sticky when you turn it out onto the floured work surface in the next step.
Knead and fold. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto the work surface. Flour your hands and begin to gently knead the dough, just enough so the dough is soft. Add more flour as needed to the work surface and your hands but use only what’s needed. Too much flour will make your biscuits dry. Slight wet dough is best. Now begin folding the dough. Fold in half and pat out. Then fold in several more times and gently pat out. This will create flaky layers in your biscuits.
Cut out the biscuits. Finally, pat out the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut out 5-6 biscuits. Press the cutter firmly into the dough and then bring it back up. Do not twist, or you’ll seal the biscuits, and they will not rise. Place the biscuits on a pan with the sides touching. This will give them stability so they won’t fall over as they rise high and quickly in the oven.
Bake and butter: Bake the biscuits on the top or middle rack for 12-14 minutes. You may need longer (I bake on the top rack ). I like to brush the tops with butter and then broil the last minute or 2 to help with browning but keep an eye on it the entire time while broiling. As soon as biscuits come out of the oven, brush with melted butter. Allow the butter to absorb and then brush one more time.
3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuit FAQS
Why do you have to keep the ingredients cold? Keeping the ingredients (butter and buttermilk) cold will result in a tender, flaky biscuit. You want the butter to melt in the oven while it’s suspended in the dough and not while you’re creating the biscuits. The small pieces of butter will melt and create steam. This steam will make the biscuits fluffy with that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Can I use shortening instead of butter? Yes, you can. I’d suggest butter-flavored shortening for the best flavor. Or an equal mix of butter and shortening (although it wouldn’t be 3-ingredient biscuits, huh?)
I don’t have self-rising flour. Can I use all-purpose flour? Yes, here how to make 1 cup of self-rising flour using all-purpose flour. For 1 cup of self-rising flour: Sift together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
How do I make my biscuits fluffy? To make sure your biscuits are fluffy, follow the steps above and remember these essential tips:
- Keep the dough cold and slightly sticky.
- Work quickly.
- Don’t use too much flour when kneading.
Can I use milk instead of buttermilk? Buttermilk will make these biscuits rockstars, so I highly suggest using buttermilk instead of regular milk.
Can these biscuits be reheated? Yes! These 3-ingredient Buttermilk biscuits are one of my favorite reheated biscuits. Pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds.
I want to add more ingredients to this biscuit to increase the flavor. Any suggestions? Absolutely! These biscuits are delicious but very basic! If you want to increase the flavor, use half butter and half butter-flavored shortening. Also, add in 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Here’s my grandmother’s buttermilk biscuit recipe!
Remember, biscuit-making is an art that very few people nail on the first try! This 3-ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe will help you jump ahead in the line to creating amazing biscuits. However, you still need to give yourself a bit of grace if you are new to biscuit making.
Now go rock this recipe!
3-Ingredient Buttermilk Biscuits
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 stick frozen butter (1/2 cup) + more for brushing
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450 F. (read the tips in the notes before proceeding)
- Add flour into a large bowl.
- Grate the frozen butter into the flour.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour in the cold buttermilk and stir with a rubber spatula until a dough form.
- Lightly flour a work surface, and turn the dough out onto the work surface.
- Flour your hands and gently knead the dough, add more flour as needed but not too much. Dough should be slightly sticky.
- Fold the dough several times to create layers. Work quickly to prevent the dough from warming, which could result in a flat, dry biscuit.
- Finally pat the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle.
- Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out 4 biscuits. ( Regather the dough and pat it back out to cut the remaining biscuits.)
- Place biscuits on a baking sheet, with the sides touching.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. (Optional- During the last minute or two: Brush the tops lightly with extra melted butter and then switch the oven to broil to brown the tops if needed. Keep an eye on it the entire time while broiling since the browning happens quickly.)
- As soon as biscuits come out of the oven, brush with melted butter. Once the butter has absorbed, brush them once more.