The Best Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

We tried several versions of this recipe, including one with double the amount of baking powder. And while the biscuits turned out puffy and beautiful, they ultimately were too dry. So, we tweaked the baking powder amount along with the butter and buttermilk and arrived at these beauties –flaky, golden, tender and moist, just as biscuits should be.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 12 biscuits
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Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note)

2 teaspoons baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1 teaspoon sugar 

1 teaspoon fine salt 

10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing 

Directions

Special equipment:
2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Rub 2 tablespoons of the cold butter into the flour with your fingertips until completely absorbed. Work the remaining 8 tablespoons of cold butter into the flour with your fingertips until pea-size bits of butter remain. Use a rubber spatula to stir the buttermilk into the flour until the mixture comes together into a shaggy dough. (Don’t overmix the dough.) 
  3. Lightly flour a cutting board or work surface, turn the dough out onto it and pat into a rectangle. Fold the dough in half and pat again into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Then fold the dough in thirds, as if folding a letter, and pat to an even thickness. Cut out biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter and put on the prepared baking sheet. Press together the remaining scraps of dough. Pat out and fold the dough into thirds again and cut out more biscuits. Brush the biscuit tops with buttermilk.  
  4. Bake until the tops are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool on the pan at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.  

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)