No-Mess Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
I grew up enjoying my mother’s fresh Algerian and French breads and her amazing pies. One thing my mother never baked, however, was flaky buttermilk drop biscuits. It wasn’t until the early 2000s when I visited a bakery in Connecticut, that I had my first encounter with a biscuit worth remembering. When the man who was taking my order apologized that the bakery had nearly sold out of all its different types of biscuits, I was so intrigued that I knew I just had to find out what was so special about them. So, I ordered the last remaining biscuit: an egg and cheese biscuit sandwich. To this day, I still remember the rich smell of the butter. I recall the indulgent thickness ideal for sinking my teeth into and the perfect crumble of the biscuit’s soft interior.
Since this first experience, I have had many different biscuits. I’ve discovered that one worth remembering engages most, if not all, of my senses. These Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuits are both savory and sweet. They’re crunchy on the outside but soft in the middle. They are the perfect biscuit because they’re strong enough to hold heavy toppings such as eggs or sausage while still having a delicate texture and just the right amount of crumble.
This Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuit recipe is a delectable combination of all the best qualities you’ll find in a delicious biscuit. They remind me of that very first biscuit I ever tried.
Flaky Without the Muss and Fuss
Biscuits, the humble combination of sour milk, flour and butter, are one of the few foods that I associate with luxury. They are best eaten straight out of the oven, when they’re still warm. But the indulgence doesn’t stop there with these Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuits. They are steamy and buttery. They don’t crumble in your hands but dissolve in your mouth. These biscuits have a slight crunch on the outside, but their interiors are delicate and soft. Whether you decide to drizzle one with honey or use two to make an egg and cheese sandwich, these biscuits deliver a harmony of flavors and textures impossible to ignore. I dare you to eat only one!
Using just a large bowl, knife, whisk, spatula, and ice cream scooper, these Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuits are not only easy to make, but your kitchen will be an easy clean afterward.
Prepare your ingredients
Cut your butter into small cubes. This will reduce the time it takes to break down the butter into the flour.
Shaping The Biscuits
Because of the flexibility of the dough, you can use a spoon to shape each biscuit, smooth the edges, or leave the biscuit as is for a more rustic look.
No-Mess Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
These biscuits are a weekly staple at my house. Whether they’re for breakfast during the week or on the weekend, we especially love them fresh out of the oven. On a morning when you don’t have much to do, this recipe is quick and doesn't require any rolling/cutting which makes cleaning-up a breeze. This recipe was inspired by ATK’s Best Drop Biscuit recipe.
by The Lore | January 2019
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 25 hours
- Total time: 40 minutes
- 9 ounces all-purpose flour (245g, 1 3/4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (18g)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2g)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (20g)
- 1 teaspoon salt (4g)
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan* (25g, 1 oz)
- 1/4 cup shredded fontina* (25g, 1 oz)
- 4 ounces chilled unsalted European style butter* (110g, 1 stick)
- 8 ounces chilled buttermilk* (237ml, 1cup)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter for finishing*
- Preheat the oven to 475ºF. Adjust oven rack to the middle (or lower middle) position.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Cube the butter into 1/2 inch cubes (or smaller if you can), put in a small bowl and store in the freezer until ready to use.
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Make sure everything is well incorporated-- you can't overmix it.
- Add the shredded cheese and mix until the cheese is well coated with the flour mixture.
- Add the cubed butter and mash it with a fork or your fingertips. The butter should not dissolve. You want to break up the butter into smaller pieces to ensure that it gets coated with flour. This can take up to 5 minutes.
- Add the buttermilk and fold in with a spatula until just incorporated. There should be no white patches of flour, but lumps of butter are desirable.
- Using an ice cream scoop or serving spoon dipped in butter, scoop enough batter for one biscuit and place on the baking sheet. By plunging the serving spoon into the melted butter (which will be used again later) to the batter will be prevented from sticking.
- Space the biscuits at least 2 inches apart as they will spread during baking.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough. Use a second baking sheet if necessary.
- Using the back of a clean spoon coated with the melted butter, smooth out the shape of the biscuits.
- Reserve the remaining butter for later. Lower the oven temperature to 400ºF and immediately place the biscuits in the oven.
- Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, between 20-30 minutes.
- Take the biscuits out of the oven and brush them with the remaining melted butter. You can use up to 1 teaspoon per biscuit.
- Serve warm.
- The shredded cheese can be omitted, but we find that the combination of parmesan and fontina adds a tangy flavor that is hard to replicate with other cheeses.
- We don't recommend any buttermilk substitutes for this recipe since none of them result in the same fluffy biscuit. However, if you must, combine 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt with a 1/2 cup whole fat milk to replace the buttermilk. We use a 91% milk fat unsalted butter from Trickling Springs Creamery in PA. This butter is more superior to any imported butter (including most of the types we used in France). It has less water which results in a flakier biscuit (or pastry of any kind). It is sold at some supermarkets on the East Coast. You can find information regarding exact purchasing locations at Trickling Springs Creamery Locations (but make sure to call the store beforehand to find out if they carry the unsalted butter)- This is not a sponsored post.
Denotes items that we prefer to be organic. Read more about it here: Items to buy organic when grocery shopping.