Perfect Biscuit Tips

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Perfect Biscuit Tips

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

There are few things more satisfying than biting into a buttery American biscuit.  These soft, fluffy pillows of goodness go well with just about anything (though enjoying them as a breakfast basket or part of a fried chicken fix are both hard to beat).  Some of us like them packed with savory flavors like cheddar and chive, but everyone can appreciate a classic homemade plain biscuit, ever-so-slightly sweet and moist, just out of the oven.

To make sure that you can provide the perfect basic biscuit fresh out of your oven, the Test Kitchen has put together step-by-step instructions with photos, using Paula’s basic biscuit recipe.

imageStep 1: Gather your ingredients and equipment
Preheat your oven to the directed temperature, choose a skillet or baking sheet, and get out a bowl or two, measuring devices, and hand tools. 

Most biscuit recipes will call for a dry mixture of flour, a little salt and sugar, leavening, butter, and some form of milk, buttermilk, or cream.  As with a pie crust or a scone, it’s important to begin with cold butter cut into even cubes so that it cuts evenly into the dry mixture and won’t leave you with a sticky mess.

Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl using a whisk or a fork.  This should be quick and gentle, just a couple light strokes to distribute the ingredients evenly.  Add the butter cubes to the bowl and measure out your milk.  Set aside some flour for when you roll out the dough later.

imageStep 2: Cut the butter into the dry mixture
We like to use a pastry cutter to get those tiny pea-shaped clumps, but if you don’t have one, you can always use your hands.  And besides, an unusually large piece of butter in a biscuit dough will likely be one of the most delicious bites of all. 

imageStep 3:  Add in the milk or other liquid
Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and gradually pour in the milk. 

imageWhether using your hands, a wooden spoon, a rubber spatula, or a fork, the idea is to incorporate the liquid evenly and gently for optimal texture.  You may have to knead the dough in the bowl a little, but do not overwork it.  You should be able to ball and transfer it to a rolling surface without too much crumbling or sticking.

imageStep 4: Pat and roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
The key here is moderation: unless you feel your dough is too wet, don’t use too much flour on your board, and, especially if you are rolling out the dough with a rolling pin, don’t use too much force.  You don’t want to compact the dough, or you won’t get that puffy, crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside texture.  Three-quarters of an inch is a common biscuit thickness.

imageStep 5: Form the biscuit rounds
You can use a biscuit cutter, ring mold, tablespoon, ice cream scoop, or even a small glass.

imageStep 6: Place the biscuits on the prepared baking surface and bake until golden brown.
We like to bake our biscuits on an oven-proof skillet brushed with melted butter for crispy, golden edges, but a baking sheet (lined with a Silpat, parchment, or greased) works fine.  Some recipes recommend brushing the tops of the biscuits directly with a little extra milk, cream, or butter before they go in the oven.

Serve immediately.  Biscuits stale quickly and are best when fresh out of the oven.  There’s your excuse!

For more biscuit recipes, check out these!:
Chive and Cheddar Biscuits
Bobby’s Lighter Sweet Potato Biscuits
Cheese Biscuits

Read More From Kitchen Basics.

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Reader Comments:


miss you also. When will you be back on TV??? Make your own network pick you up. lol

By Anonymous on April 08, 2014


I need lighter recipes as I'm diabetic like your Mom. I need to loose, loose, loose. I am also allergic to citrus. So what can I substitute in its place? I just love you all! Hungry in Indiana, Kay

By D. Kay Hunt on September 22, 2013


I love receiving your emails. I'm sooo glad you are back!!!! I did see a segment on the news from Texas. We have all made mistakes - I'm so glad you are moving on. Keep up the good work!!! Please consider a trip near the Toledo area - I would love to meet you!!!!

By Patricia Loeffler on September 21, 2013


Wow, I thought if biscuits came out of a can & were baked in my oven, they were homemade... who knew? Sharon, Newport News, VA

By Anonymous on September 21, 2013



By denice butler on September 20, 2013


Love trying your recipes. Did I hear right? Are you writing a cookbook for diabetics - so that we can have real & good food? I sure hope so. Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge, talent and recipes.

By Pat Moore on September 20, 2013


I am going to try these biscuits- I am sure they will be wonderful

By rose on September 20, 2013


I have not made good biscuit like my mom did but I am going to try

By rose hattpn on September 20, 2013


Hi Lady D, You can find those items in our online store!

By Jonathan Able on April 02, 2012


I have tried for 40+ yrs to make biscuits, even doing it side by side with a friend. They still turned out crappy. Some of my trials were so bad the dog buried them in the backyard!!! My husband gave me your Southern Bible Cook Book for Christmas this past yr and I reluctantly tried the buttermilk biscuit recipe. They turned out fantastic!!!! I now make them several times a week. Goodbye canned or frozen biscuits. Thank you so much for making that cookbook!!! Love it!!

By jeannette watson on March 26, 2012


paula i need find a skillet and bisciut cutter where can i find it

By lady d on March 19, 2012


Hi Paula, I just love your TV cooking show and your recipes are so delicious, I tape your cooking shows every day and I watch your shows all the time. Just love ya.

By Belinda on March 17, 2012


Buen día. Quiero adquirir algunos de sus productos, pero no cuento con tarjeta de credito,sin embargo tengo los medios económicos para hacerlo, y tambien cuento con tarjeta de debito. Agradesería su pronta respuesta

By rosario guadalupe villarreal flores on March 11, 2012


i never made home made biscuit but am going give it a try for the first time see how i do

By kimberly on March 10, 2012


Thought you might want to try this receipe. It is my mother in laws Fried Apple pie dough. It is good. 5 cups plain flour 4 tsp Baking powder 1 tsp salt 1/2 cup of sugar 2 eggs shortening the size of an egg 1 lg can Pet Milk Mix flour,BP,salt and sugar Add other ingrediants...Mix well... Refridgeate overnight. Pinch off a sm amount...Roll thin...cut with saucer... put heaping TB spoon of filing..Wet half of dough and with fork to seal. Fry..Enjoy This has been in the family for quite some time.

By Phyllis Hamman on March 09, 2012


Paula I love the rod that you have in your home kitchen holding your pots and pans,I would like ti purchase this rod. I love the way you have your kitchen set up I wish I could have a big kitchen like yours I too make breakfast burritos for a living so I am very busy using my 2 gas range one my kitchen and one outside in my garage. Please let me know where you had purchase this rod. Love ya Evelyn P. Sanchez

By Evelyn P. Sanchez on March 05, 2012


I would love to be able to revise this recepie for Lard biscuits. Please tell me how to adjust any measurements and or add soda for buttermilk?

By Connie Reeves on February 29, 2012


Hi,Paula, was excited when I saw the homemade biscuits tips & recipe In Jan. 2012, My sister was hosting a birthday dinner party of fried chicken for our next to oldest sister. Doris (our birthday sister) requested our mothers biscuits. Nancy calls all eight of us to see who could make them. not one of us knew how, because Mother always made them, we had outside chores to do as we grew up on dairy farm. so excited to try yours & take them to the family of 13. thanks,love

By Catherine Gipson on February 28, 2012


My, oh my, oh my - I've tried Paula's recipe and probably a million others. Kneading, no kneading, butter, shortening, lard, even a recipe that called for 'pounding' the dough. They ALWAYS, without fail, crumble, occasionally hard and rarely, even with a brand new can of baking powder, rise. Please help. dk

By donna kiser on February 28, 2012


I love ms Paula dean, my mother was a country cook and I miss that,

By T kent Davis on February 28, 2012

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