Feathery light and flaky baking powder biscuits are a perfect accompaniment to any meal. The crunchy exterior compliments the soft fluffy interior. Perfect served with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey.
This recipe came about in a funny way. I was craving biscuits so I set out the ingredients for my heavenly buttermilk biscuits. Then suddenly I realized I didn’t have any lemon juice or vinegar to make buttermilk. Well that left me in somewhat of a dilemma. When I crave something, I want it NOW!
I took my incredible recipe for buttermilk biscuits, which are super delicious I must say, and I changed the recipe to accommodate milk instead of buttermilk. To do that, I took out the baking soda and increased the baking powder.
What makes them so light and airy?
I add some cornstarch to the flour which makes them tender and light. With the added teaspoon of baking powder, these go through the roof. A little sugar is added for a touch of sweetness. It also causes the outside to brown a bit.
Dicing the butter gives you a head start when combining it with the dry ingredients.
This is not a dough you want to mess around with…
When adding the milk, I mix with a fork while pressing down to combine the wet and dry. I then use my hands to bring it together by grabbing the dough and flipping it over and pressing down so the dry bits on the bottom of the bowl (affiliate link) adhere to the dough. Do not over mix the dough!
Why is the dough so shaggy?
When turning out the dough it will be shaggy. Don’t worry. Just gather it together and press down. Using a knife or dough scraper (affiliate link), cut the dough into 4 pieces and stack them on top of each other. Press down until you have about 1 1/2″ in height. Repeat if the dough is still shaggy. Shape the dough into a small rectangle.
Does the shape matter?
I like to cut squares for 2 reasons – I don’t waste dough and it’s less work. After shaping into a rectangle, grab your knife or dough scraper and cut off the rough edges. I place those edges on top of the dough and lightly press down enough so they adhere. Those odd bits will create a crunchy and delicious topping. Now cut the dough into 6 pieces by slicing straight down and up. Don’t slide the knife across or you will seal the edges.
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You can put these in the fridge to help prevent them falling over but I don’t bother unless my kitchen is really hot. I don’t mind them being imperfect because those imperfections make them more delicious. If you want to butter the tops, simply brush with a little melted butter before baking. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes.
Don’t be surprised if some topple over. It’s no big deal. Those crunchy bits are what we fight for!
When you want a biscuit with your meal, you now have two choices – A heavenly buttermilk biscuit or this light and flaky baking powder biscuit. Neither will disappoint!
Be happy, eat well!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus a little more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar optional
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (4 ounces) cold and diced
- ¾ cup milk
Preheat oven 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Cut in butter using a fork, your fingers, or pastry cutter until small chunks of butter are incorporated throughout. You can simply squish the butter with your thumb and index finger and toss with flour.
Drizzle milk while mixing with fork just until incorporated. Use the fork to press down while you mix.
Turn dough out on lightly floured counter. The dough will be shaggy. Gather dough together, pressing down to form a square about an inch in height. Don’t knead the dough.
Cut the square into four pieces and stack them together. It will be shaggy when stacking but don’t worry, it all comes together.
Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough to a square about an 1 1/2” in height. If the dough is still shaggy, repeat cutting into four pieces and stacking. After shaping into a rectangle, grab your knife or dough scraper and cut off the rough edges. Place those edges on top of the dough square and lightly press down enough so they adhere while still maintaining that square shape. Those odd bits will create a crunchy and delicious topping. Now cut the dough into 6 pieces by slicing straight down and up. Don't slide the knife across or you will seal the edges.
Optional: Refrigerate or freeze (if you have room) for 10 minutes prior to baking to harden the butter for better layers. This step is optional but if your kitchen is warm, I highly recommend this step.
Place biscuits onto lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, but check at 15 because ovens vary.
Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey. Enjoy.