Mattie Ball Fletcher’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 12 pieces

These tender biscuits are an old-time favorite.

Mattie Ball Fletcher's Buttermilk Biscuits
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

The secret to these biscuits is starting with a very wet dough, then dipping your hands in flour and, working very quickly, adding just enough flour for the biscuits to hold together. Sifting the flour makes the biscuits even lighter. Butter tastes much better than vegetable shortening in this recipe, and nowadays they say it’s better for you. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, the top of a can of cooking spray works great. Resist the urge to add more flour to the dough—the wetter the dough, and the less handling, the more tender the biscuit.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Add 7 tablespoons butter, working with your fingers, until the mixture has no lumps.
  3. Stir in buttermilk and let mixture stand a few minutes.
  4. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup flour on a board or waxed paper. Dip your hands into flour, then scoop up wet dough, adding only enough flour to make it manageable. Pat dough into a rectangle about ½-inch thick on floured surface. Dip a 2-inch glass or a cookie cutter into flour and then into dough, cutting circles and placing them on the baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough, molding any scraps into circles. Prick tops of biscuits with tines of a fork.
  5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan or microwave and brush on biscuit tops. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden.

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