Classic Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

The key to a tender flaky biscuit is White Lily Self-Rising Flour and a gentle hand. The ingredient list is pretty basic and can be found on the back of flour bags everywhere, but this one is adapted from White Lily.

If using a brand of flour other than White Lily: Add an additional tablespoon of buttermilk to accurately hydrate the dough, and bake for a total of 15 minutes.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 6 (3-inch diameter) biscuits


  • 2 cups (280 g) White Lily self-rising flour (see Recipe Note for substitutes)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, packed
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter to brush on the biscuits


1 Preheat and set up: Preheat the oven to 475°F. Place a little flour in a shallow dish and keep it next to your dough.

2 Cut in the shortening: Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the shortening and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter or two forks until the shortening is covered in flour and the size of small peas.

Southern buttermilk biscuits - green bowl with flour and pastry cutter

3 Make the dough: Slowly pour the buttermilk around the bowl in circles, fluffing the flour with a fork as you go. Continue to stir with a fork until the flour is moistened and the dough looks shaggy. You will have some loose flour. That’s ok. Overworking the dough leads to dense biscuits.

Southern buttermilk biscuits - buttermilk being poured into bowl with flourButtermilk Biscuits Recipe green bowl with shaggy dough

4 Knead the dough: Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it gently about 5 or 6 times. It will just come together. Use your hands to shape it into a 7-inch round that is an inch thick.

Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - woman forming dough wtih hands Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe - woman forming round of dough Southern buttermilk biscuits - woman forming a round of dough

5 Cut the biscuits: Dip a 3-inch biscuit cutter in the shallow dish with flour, then cut out the biscuits. Push straight down and lift up. Don’t twist. It can pinch the sides together and inhibit the rise.

Gather the remaining dough pieces to form the last biscuit or two by hand; don’t knead, and roll out the dough again.

Homemade Biscuit Recipe - woman cutting biscuits out of a round of dough with a biscuit cutter

6 Bake the biscuits: Place the biscuits on a baking sheet so they are touching each other. Bake for 12 minutes until the biscuits have risen, spread a little, look bumpy on the surface, and are slightly golden and toasted.

Homemade Biscuit Recipe - baking sheet with six biscuits on it

7 Butter the biscuits: Remove from oven. Brush with melted butter. Remove the biscuits from the pan and place on a baking rack to cool. Or eat them immediately because hot biscuits are tasty and delicious.

Homemade Biscuit Recipe - biscuits brushed with butter.