ATK Flaky Biscuits

Flakiest and easiest biscuits though they require 30 minutes in refrigerator in addition to manufacturing time. This recipe scales easily by multiplying or by dividing it in one-half. However, it does not work to divide it into one-quarter (in search of making it for only one person) perhaps because the folding is too difficult and results in over-working the dough.


9 biscuits (full recipe from 3 cups of flour)


Full recipe
3 cups bread flour
2 tbsp sugar (for browning)
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda (for browning)
1½ tsp salt
2 sticks very cold butter
1¼ cups buttermilk
Half recipe
1½ cups bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 stick very cold butter
⅔ cup buttermilk


To make buttermilk ('cause who has any on-hand ever, right?) Pour a tiny amount (4 or 2 teaspoons) of lemon juice into your liquid-measuring cup and fill it the rest of the way with milk (to 1¼ or ⅔).

1. Whisk dry ingredients. Roll the butter stick(s) in the dry ingredients to help with holding while grating in next step.

2. Grate cold butter into dry ingredients. Coat butter without working it in with the mixed, dry ingredients.

The cold butter a) will create the flaky layers if not worked into the flour too much and b) its water will add additional humidity to what appears to be overly dry dough at first.

3. Add in buttermilk, stir until just comes together. It will be very dry; do not add more.

4. Form rectangular dough (7" square), fold in thirds, rotate 90°, then fold again, and again, and again and, finally, again. Use a bench scraper at first and a rolling pin later to do this.

5. Cover with plastic wrap for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

6. Cut into 9 square biscuits trimming to clean squares. Disperse 1" apart, brushed with liquid butter. Bake in 400° oven on upper-middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Rotate halfway through.

If not trimmed, the biscuits tend to shift and fall over. You can make something else, like rosettes with the long trimmings. (For two rosettes, pinch two trimmings together end-to-end, then roll up.)

If you cut the biscuits too small—less than 3" square—they will fall over in the oven. They'll still be good, obviously flaky, but not handsome.