I’ve been working on cooking smaller amounts for the past couple of months. The girls are back in in-person school this year, and mainly at their dad’s home and my freezer is STOCKED, so in order to prevent food waste and budget better, learning to actually cook for two is necessary! In comes this recipe for Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits.
This Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuit recipe makes two regularly sized biscuits or four mini-biscuits. They’re buttery, soft, pillowy, and kinda flaky too if you fold them while kneading. Looking to make a family-sized batch? I wouldn’t scale this recipe up, but instead, try my How High? Buttermilk Biscuits recipe.
Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits recipe:
- Self-rising flour: To keep the ingredient list as short as possible, I used self-rising. You can substiute all-purpose along with some baking powder, baking soda, and fine salt if you want.
- Buttermilk: No substitutions allowed.
- Salted butter: Unsalted would be fine, too.
- Sugar, Salt: Flavorings. Who wants a bland biscuit! If you’re using salted butter you can omit or decrease the salt. Keep in mind that self-rising flour usually contains a bit already.
- Egg, water: For slightly crispy golden browned tops. You can brush them with buttermilk or melted butter instead, if you want. Or, nothing, if you like them pale!
How to Make Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits recipe:
- Sift, grate, freeze. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a metal mixing bowl, then use a fork to stir in the sugar. After the sugar has been fully incorporated, grab the butter and a cheese grater. Grate the frozen butter into the bowl, right on top of the flour mixture, then transfer the bowl along with any tools you’re using (wooden spoon, spatula, pastry cutter, fork, etc) to rest while you make the egg wash. Whisk together the egg and water until completely combined: you shouldn’t see any streaks of the egg. Set it aside.
- Make the dough. Remove the bowl from the freezer. Use the same fork to work the grated butter into the flour mixture. Each lil’ piece of butter should be coated with flour, and if any of the butter has started to clump together, make sure to separate it with the tongs of the fork and work those into the flour, too. Next, make a well in the center of the bowl. Now, you’ll switch to a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, or your hands even. Pour the cold buttermilk into the center of the bowl. Moving your tool around the edges of the bowl, fold the flour into the liquid in the center. As it begins to come together, start to fold the center outwards. You want to be gentle here, very light and deliberate in your mixing. Too much motion, too much force will make for dense, heavy Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits. When the dough has just come together – there’s mostly one big mass sitting in the bowl – lightly flour your work surface and turn the bowl out onto it.
- Knead and build. Using your hands or a pastry cutter work the excess flour and any super dry bits into the dough mass. Don’t press too hard or mix too much, just kind of slap wet against dry until it holds together. As you’re doing this gently pat the mound into a flat oval or rectangle with your hands or pastry cutter. I like to turn the dough over onto itself and flatten it back out – not so much that I’m making layers, but enough to help me shape the dough. Once you have a nice mound of biscuit dough, choose your shape. Either way, these are Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits: if you have an oval, you’ll use a round biscuit cutter to cut out two regular biscuits, or four small ones. If you worked it into a rectangle, use a knife or the pastry cutter to cut it into two regular biscuits, or four small ones.
- Chill and bake. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner, then transfer the entire tray to the fridge to rest while you preheat the oven to 450°F. When the oven is preheated, brush the biscuit tops lightly with the egg wash – sides too, if they’re very high biscuits – and stick in the oven for 15 minutes, or until fluffy and browned. Brush with melted butter or put a thin pat of butter on top of each biscuit to melt on its own. Dassit!
What To Serve With Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits
These Small Batch Buttermilk Biscuits would go with pretty much any meal, but they really shine in brunch and breakfast in my household. Here are some potential pairings…
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