Basic Biscuits

I have this disorder, it’s called “Can’t Sleep In Past 7 AM.” It’s not such a bad disorder because it actually forces me to be pretty productive. This past weekend when I had company staying with me and they were all sleeping off the effects of the night before, I was up trolling the internet for recipes. It occurred to me that I’ve never made basic biscuits before… from scratch, I mean. Making them from baking mix is super easy and really tasty but the problem is that you have to remember to *buy* the baking mix.

I started looking at recipes and realized that regular, everyday, basic biscuits really quite easy to make and I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Best of all, they didn’t seem to require much more effort than baking mix biscuits and they were twice as brag worthy.

This is actually a basic buttermilk biscuit recipe but I left out the word “buttermilk” because I didn’t want to scare people off. You DO NOT need buttermilk to make these. Buttermilk is just a cultured milk product that has a lower pH (more acidic) than regular milk and it is really easy to make a substitute (who keeps buttermilk in their fridge these days?). Take one cup of milk, add 1 Tbsp of some sort of acid and you’ve got your “buttermilk.” Lemon juice is the acid of choice but any flavorless or mild vinegar will also work. I didn’t have lemon juice so I used rice vinegar. You can’t taste it in the end product, I PROMISE.

Basic Biscuits

Baked biscuits on drying rack

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4.77 from 21 votes

Basic Biscuits

These basic biscuits are fast, easy, and perfect for everyday use. Eat them with breakfast, dinner, or even as part of your sandwich for lunch. 
Total Cost: $1.12 recipe / $0.09 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 12


  • 1 cup milk ($0.42)
  • 1 Tbsp mild vinegar or lemon juice ($0.05)
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, divided ($0.21)
  • 4 tsp baking powder ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda ($0.01)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter ($0.35)


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the vinegar or lemon juice into one cup of milk and place in the refrigerator until you need it.
  • In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well to make sure the ingredients are evenly combined. The mixture will not be stirred much after this step.
  • Slice the butter into pats and add to the flour mixture. Using your hands, mush the butter into the flour mixture until it is evenly incorporated. It will have a fine, sandy texture when it’s all mixed in (see photos below). You can also use a food processor for this step.
  • Stir in the cold milk just until the mixture is completely wet. The dough will be very wet and sticky at this point.
  • Liberally flour the counter top and your hands. Turn the dough out onto the counter, sprinkle with some flour and pat it down until it is about 3/4 inch thick. Using a cookie/biscuit cutter or some other round object (a glass or empty can) cut the biscuits out of the dough. Place the cut biscuits onto a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Take the remaining dough, form into a ball and pat it out to 3/4 inch again. Cut more biscuits and repeat until all of the dough is used up.
  • Bake the biscuits in the 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. After baking slice them open, slather with butter and honey and enjoy your morning!
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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 142.28kcalCarbohydrates: 21.33gProtein: 3.41gFat: 4.76gSodium: 322.58mgFiber: 0.72g
Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclaimer here.

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Step By Step Photos

homemade buttermilk - 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or mild vinegar to 1 cup of milk mixed into measuring bowl
Make your “buttermilk” by adding 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or mild vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to use it.

biscuit dry ingredients in clear mixing bowl
Combine 2 cups of the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix them well so that all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. The remaining 1/2 cup of flour will be used to flour your work surface and hands.

add cold butter to dry ingredients in clear mixing bowl
Slice the very cold butter into pats, add to the flour and smoosh it in until it is all evenly incorporated and has a sandy texture.

incorporated butter into mixture in mixing bowl
Believe it or not, the butter is all mixed in there. You can use a food processor to do this or one of those tools that “cuts in” the butter but I find it really quick and easy to just use my hands.

buttermilk added to dry ingredients
Stir in the “buttermilk.” The dough will be very wet and sticky.

biscuit dough on counter coated in flour
Liberally flour your work surface, turn the dough out of the bowl onto the flour then sprinkle more flour on top of it. Pat the dough down until it is about 3/4 inch thick.

cut biscuits in circles
Using some round object (I used a drinking glass), cut the biscuits from the dough. Take the dough scraps, reform it into a ball, pat down again and cut more biscuits. Keep doing this until you’ve used all of the dough.

biscuits ready to bake on baking sheet
Place the cut biscuits onto a lined baking sheet (parchment or foil). Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Make sure the oven is fully preheated before baking or else the biscuits will not rise properly.

baked biscuits on pan with parchment paper
And then, in about 15 minutes, you have these beautiful, tasty, comforting, home made “basic” biscuits!!

buttered honey biscuits on white plate
You know you want some… so get baking!

NOTE: I made my basic biscuits extra large today because I plan on using them for the breakfast sandwiches that I’m totally addicted to. If the sandwiches are even half as good with biscuits instead of English Muffins, I might make this my new staple. They’re fast, easy and just as inexpensive as my homemade English Muffins were!