Virginia Willis' Buttermilk Biscuits

Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
10 min
Total Time:
20 min
12 biscuits


  • 2 cups White Lily all-purpose, more for rolling out
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk


  1. Heat the oven to 500°F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk and mix until just barely combined. It will be a shaggy mass. (Alternatively, you can mix the dough in a food processor: pulse to combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk through feed tube and pulse until just barely combined.)
  2. Turn the rough dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, using the heel of your hand to compress and push dough away from you, then fold it back over itself. Give dough a small turn and repeat four or five times.
  3. Roll out the dough using a lightly floured rolling pin. Dough should be 1-inch thick. Using a 2 1/4-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds (press cutter straight down without twisting so biscuits will rise evenly when baked).
  4. Place biscuits on prepared sheet. (If biscuits are baked close together, sides will be tender. If biscuits are baked farther apart, sides will be crisp).
  5. Re-roll scraps once. Do not simply roll them into a ball; this will create a knot of gluten strands. Instead, place the pieces one on top of the other in layers, then roll out dough and cut out more rounds. Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool just slightly. Serve warm.


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Baking Tip

For softer cookies, reduce baking time by 1-2 minutes. For crisper cookies, increase baking time by 1-2 minutes.

Baking Tip

Line your brownie pan with foil before baking, then simply lift up the edges of the foil to easily remove brownies after they cool.