All-Purpose Biscuits Recipe (2024)

By Sam Sifton

Updated Nov. 13, 2023

All-Purpose Biscuits Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Rating
5(6,050)
Notes
Read community notes

Homemade biscuits are what take us into the kitchen today to cook: fat, flaky mounds of quick bread, golden brown, with a significant crumb. Composed of flour, baking powder, fat and a liquid, then baked in a hot oven, they are an excellent sop for syrup, molasses or honey. They are marvelous layered with country ham or smothered in white sausage gravy, with eggs, with grits. They make a great Thanksgiving side. And if you've never made them before, you'll be delighted to know that biscuits are easy to make. Really.

Featured in: A Quest for New York’s Perfect Biscuit

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Ingredients

Yield:6 to 8 servings

  • 2cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2tablespoons baking powder
  • 1scant tablespoon sugar
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 5tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, preferably European style
  • 1cup whole milk

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

204 calories; 8 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 287 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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All-Purpose Biscuits Recipe (2)

Preparation

Make the recipe with us

  1. Step

    1

    Preheat oven to 425. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Alternatively, cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter.) Return dough to bowl, add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat it down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat two more times. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.

  3. Step

    3

    Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured biscuit cutter (or even a glass, though its duller edge may result in slightly less tall biscuits). Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.

    All-Purpose Biscuits Recipe (3)
  4. Step

    4

    Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Ratings

5

out of 5

6,050

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Private Notes

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Cooking Notes

Kim

No, please don't turn the oven on to 425 degrees as your first step. No need to waste energy while you let the biscuits rest for 30 minutes!

swalters

Freeze the butter and then grate it. Use a fork to mix up the dough. Works like a charm and no need to wash the bowl of a food processor!

Samsnona

I'm 78, Southern and these were the best biscuits I've ever made. Probably because I followed the recipe and used 2 tablespoons of baking powder.
Geez and from and a Yankee!

LEL

Many of the notes here raise questions or concerns about the amount of baking powder. Everyone should know that baking powder formulations vary from brand to brand. Go to your supermarket and read the ingredients. The products that use aluminum salts in their formulation are likely the ones that result in an unpleasant flavor. Also see Wikipedia article on Baking Powder.

Cie

Needed only 3/4 cup milk. Mixed dough before bedtime, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated 8 hours.
Baked for breakfast. They rose to twice their original height, crunchy bottom and top, tender crumb, scrumptious. I think the dough "matured" in the fridge overnight, and so the baked product had less of the raw flour taste that I usually get with my quick breads.

Ceece

Great recipe that makes for a very light and flaky biscuit, plus is very flexible.
- I did not find 2 Tbsp of baking powder excessive.
- The 30 minute resting period can be skipped if time's short, but it really improves the final texture.
- Works both as rounds and squares -- but squares rise "lopsided" since one or two of the sides won't be cut.
- Buttermilk substitutes nicely for the milk, no baking soda needed.
- Have also swapped a bit of white flour with whole wheat. Also delicious!

David

Instead of cutting in the butter, I've been using a simple technique I read about for getting the butter worked into the dough. Try melting the butter, either over low heat or low power in the microwave, then pour it into the cup of very cold milk. It will reform in smallish chunks that work into the dough very well.

JoanC

"European style" here in the US means imported butter that has a higher butterfat content than we ordinarily get with domestic butter. (which means more flavor). European brands I see here include Plugra, Lurpak, Presidente and Kerrygold, if that helps.

cc

I pat that rectangle out on the cookie sheet and then, with a sharp knife, cut square biscuits. I don't saw them to cut, as Sam indicates this will impede their rising. I lay the blade on top and press down through the dough.
This way, no re-rolling scraps of dough.
And since the NYTimes health section has informed us to "stop fearing fat"......., melt some bacon grease, shortening or butter. Make sure it's not hot. Dip each biscuit in the extra fat before baking. Double yum.

Gael C

I have tried these several times and this recipe hasn't failed me yet! Key point...do not twist the biscuit cutter! I like to place my biscuits in a 8 or 9 inch round cake pan so the sides of the biscuits touch each other...it helps them rise and the sides are soft. Great recipe!

Tinsa

I will never understand the use of a Cuisnart in making a biscuit or pie dough for that matter. However, unless you're putting out the biscuits for the Queen, one can simply gather the left-over pieces together and push them into crooked little mounds and bake. The 2nd best advice I received for biscuits was to never roll the dough out twice.

Christine

Hey--what's with this "cover the dough and allow it to rest for 30 minutes??" Are you kidding? Cut those puppies and pop them right into the oven at 425 degrees F and watch them head for the sky. Why take such a simple recipe and complicate it?

Regular old American unsalted butter works just fine. So does 1% milk or whatever kind you have in the fridge. Start with 2/3 cups and work your way up, as the dough requires.

2 T of baking powder?? Ewww.... See comment below.

Bill

to take this recipe to a new level of perfection. Take about 4-6 ozs. of sharp cheddar cheese, cut it into 1/4 inch squares (more or less) and mix them into the flour before you add the milk. Do not use the food processor to add the milk, use a spoon or fork to mix. When the biscuits are done, the cheese will have melted throughout and you will swoon with pleasure.

Donneek

I prefer Strawberry Shortcake made with biscuits. These are perfect with a little more sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of gr. coriander. yum!

As a basic biscuit they were perfect.

Tamar

I saw this recipe and and five minutes later I was in the kitchen looking for the ingredients and pre-heating the oven. I think the recipe is forgiving-I used 4 Tsp aluminum free baking powder, no sugar, and just used a fork (no food processor) to cut the butter into the flour. I used 2/3 cup half & half instead of milk (what I had on hand)! I kneaded the dough, pressed it out by hand, and cut into squares with a knife. I am having them with honey and tea right now and they taste delicious!

myr

Needs a tad more salt! It’ll be wet.

Skyler A.

I left out the sugar and held back some of the milk based on how wet the dough felt and they came out great. Very basic and trusty biscuit recipe:)

Len

I don't know -- I've had really great biscuits and I'm still on the search for that perfect recipe!I made these exactly as directed, and then with buttermilk. No difference. I used brand-new baking powder, but the loft was the same as my older baking powder. I used a sharp biscuit cutter, but these still didn't have the loft I want. They are generally soft, without a nice crisp outside and tender inside.These are best eaten the same day for best flavor.

KK

Used buttermilk, goofed and forgot to let dough rest but turned out great nonetheless. Flipped oven to convection for last 5 minutes for better browning.

Ben

Very good biscuits! Personally I will add a little more salt and more butter next time. While the biscuits were delicious and rose nicely, they were a little dry and bland for my taste. Adding some salted butter when consuming could be a good solution as well.

Julie KN

I usually make the Scott Peaco*ck/Edna Lewis recipe (also on this site) because to me it seems like the gold standard. I tried this recipe to switch things up. These biscuits are tasty, but tbh, the Peaco*ck/Lewis biscuits are just as easy and far superior. I do not understand laminating biscuit dough. You get a lighter, more fluffy, tender biscuit without it. It seems to be a chef-y thing that emerged in the last few decades. Doeanyone have insight? Is there a history of laminating biscuit dough?

Gunzablazin

Absolutely fantastic recipe that requires no adjustments. Sam Shifton KNOWS what he is doing. Trust the recipe. Thank you.

CC Baker

Good simple recipe to make with kids, really great recipe. Instead of a biscuit cutter, I cut into squares with a sharp knife.

abbie s

Made as written, although I doubled the recipe, it made 13 3” round biscuits.I brushed them with melted butter before baking. They took a while to brown, baked about 18 minutes, I might try upping to 450° while keeping a close eye on them.Delicious and softly flaky!

MeeshM

Too wet and too sweet.

CanuckCook

I don't know what I did; while these were light and delicate, they had a dumpling-like texture rather than a flaky interior with a crisp crust. I baked them on a pot pie, but I do that all the time with biscuits from other recipes.

Mamadoesitall

Tried and trusted. I've made this multiple times they always turn out wonderful! I do freezer and grate my butter.

Chandler

don't like having to spend the $$$ for European butter. What happens if I use Land o' lake or other groc. store brand? Thanks. CH

Erica Pascal

I made these with the grated butter method. OMG. I will never make biscuits any other way! Tall, flaky, crisp on the outside and meltingly soft in the middle.

Erin

I really wish I had watched the little video above prior to making these, as I am not an experienced baker/biscuit maker, and I also live at high altitude which makes baking more difficult. I don't think I had the dough thick enough, the biscuits barely rose at all during cooking, so they were quite flat. Still tasted very good though! I added some black pepper for additional flavor. Will make again following the video instructions more closely.

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All-Purpose Biscuits Recipe (2024)

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