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You might not think this is the perfect biscuit.
No, they don’t have a cookie-cutter-flawless shape. And, yes, you will be covered in crumbs when you eat them.
But every imperfection is, actually, perfect.
Inspired by Jessica Fechtor’s recipe from her food memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home, you won’t find an easier drop biscuit that you can make in less than thirty minutes.
To be slightly more exact, I’d call these a modified drop biscuit. I like to shape them lightly when I’m portioning the dough on the baking sheets for a more uniform shape and size. But there’s still no kneading, no folding, no cutting, or careful measuring involved!
With large chunks of butter that melt throughout the dough, each golden-brown, lumpy morsel offers the (excited) eater a delicate, buttery, flaky bite.
They’ll come out of the oven puffy and golden, and smelling so good that you could have sworn you heard the mailman outside loudly breathe in the heavenly scent while he was on your doorstep delivering packages.
And you may have heard him mutter under his breath, loud enough that you could hear it from your front door, that he wishes he could have some of whatever delicious item is baking behind the door of Apartment B.
He may be the one to deliver all of my Amazon Prime packages, but I’m scarfing down all these biscuits myself!
With a couple spoonfuls of sugar mixed into the dough, you have the subtly sweet freedom to enjoy them with any variety of accompaniments.
I’ve gone both ways when I reach that serious fork in the road between sweet and savory: I’ve smeared them with softened butter and fruity jam, and I’ve used them on top of chicken stew or tomato cobbler and I’ve made killer breakfast sandwiches with a runny fried egg, bacon, and cheese.
Or just love them as they are: plain, simple, and (im)perfect.Print
Do you need a go-to basic biscuit recipe in your breakfast repertoire? Get baking with Foodal’s easy and simple buttermilk biscuits.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the cubed butter, and use a pastry cutter to incorporate it into the flour mixture until the larger lumps are reduced to pea-sized pieces.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon or with your hands, combining everything until a thick dough forms. Do not overmix.
- Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a small ice cream scoop, scoop and gently pack the dough. Drop in mounds on the prepared baking sheet, leaving an inch or two between each.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Biscuits
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Baked Goods
Keywords: buttermilk, biscuit, drop biscuit
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Step 2 – Whisk Dry Ingredients
Thinking about using an alternative flour? We love it! Try using any combo of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, einkorn flour, or spelt flour.
Step 3 – Cut in Butter
Add the cubed unsalted butter to the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter until it’s reduced to pea-sized pieces.
You can also use your hands, two knives, or two forks to mix in the butter, but the pastry cutter is a huge help!
Step 4 – Add Buttermilk
Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk.
Stir with a sturdy spoon or with your hands, combining everything to make a dough.
Do not overmix! The risk of developing too much gluten is pretty high. Keep the final baked goods soft and tender by only mixing until the dough forms.
Step 5 – Shape
Using an ice cream or cookie scoop, or a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the dough in small mounds. Gently pack the dough in the scoop.
Drop the dough directly onto the prepared baking sheets, with about an inch or so of space between each.
Step 6 – Bake
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve fresh from the oven.
Have ‘Em While They’re Hot!
I have one cardinal rule for any biscuit recipe: enjoy them right away, while they are still warm from the oven.
This is when they’re at their very best – the crust is ridiculously, unbelievably light and crispy, and the interior… ohhhhh, lemme tell you what happens…
Seriously, there’s nothing like it – an eruption of butter-infused steam instantly escapes the moment you rip into the crispy, golden crust!
Smear it with jam, make a breakfast sandwich out of it, or just eat it plain – while you have the freedom to eat it as you please, the one and only law in Nikki’s Biscuit Land is to eat it warm, while the steam is still escaping from inside.
However, I can be lenient if necessary. You can freeze them once they’ve cooled, and reheat them in the oven or microwave, like we suggest for our cheddar garlic biscuits. The magical moment of the crisp, buttery, freshly baked goods will be a little less magical (if you ask me), but they’ll still taste lovely once they’re soft and warm again!
Do you like the precious cut-out method, lots of layers, or do you prefer our super quick and easy slightly modified drop style? Let us know in the comments below.
And for more buttery, fluffy biscuit recipes like this one, try these favorites next:
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on June 13, 2015. Last updated: August 1, 2022 at 16:31 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.