My gramma's easy baking powder biscuits were the BEST - great flavour & texture. Easy to make, too! This is her recipe, along with some helpful tips.
Originally Posted December 29, 2013. Updated 11/13/2022
We'd eat them with butter and lots of Homemade Jam as an easy breakfast, and life was good.
Eventually, I asked her for her recipe for baking powder biscuits.
I use her homemade biscuit recipe not only for baking biscuits, but as the base for our breakfast pizza, and it's been one I've carried with me in life.
Odd, because I don't tend to use recipes at all... and when I do, I usually tweak the crap out of them each time!
(Speaking of tweaking recipes, if you're willing to put in a little bit more effort, these biscuits provide the base for my Biscuits and Gravy - MY Way! Recipe. My use of a nice brown roux adds a ton of flavour - SUPER tasty!)
This is a favorite recipe that doesn't need tweaking, though.
Sure, there are minor variations I'll do - sometimes I'll use milk (as she did), sometimes I'll make buttermilk biscuits.
If I don't have shortening (as she used) or if I want a richer flavour, I'll use butter instead. It's all good!
As long as you don't over-handle the dough - more on that in a bit - these will bake up as light and fluffy, tender biscuits that are easily split in half.
This homemade biscuits recipe makes about 6 good-sized biscuits, but the recipe is easily doubled.
There are only a few simple ingredients in this recipe, and you’re sure to find them in any grocery store, if not in your pantry already.
That said, each ingredient does make an impact on the final recipe, so I have some notes for you:
For the best biscuits, be sure to use relatively fresh baking powder. If it’s been sitting in your cupboard for years, it can lose its “oomph”.
Yes, that’s a technical term.
Not sure if your baking powder is any good? Stir a bit into a cup of hot water. If it fizzes, you’re good to go!
If it doesn’t fizz, it’s not releasing carbon dioxide the way it should... which means it’s not going to work as a leavener. Get some new baking powder!
While my grandmother used shortening or lard when making this easy biscuit recipe , you can make this biscuit recipe without shortening.
For biscuits without shortening, simply use the same amount of butter.
Personally, I usually prefer the taste of baking powder biscuits with butter. (Though I’ll switch between butter and lard based on what I’m feeling like that day/what’s on hand!).
On the subject of flavour, you can even use bacon fat for part of your fat content, if you’d like!
If I’m making a shortening or lard biscuit, I’ll toss the shortening or lard in the fridge the night before.
Some people will freeze the fat, and either chop it up really small or use a box grater to shred it.
Personally... I’m too lazy. Also... pretty sure gramma would laugh at me for making such a production of her recipe!
One last tip: Do not reduce the fat content!
You can use milk or buttermilk for this easy recipe, 1:1. Unsweetened almond milk also works well.
If you want buttermilk baking powder biscuits and don’t have any buttermilk, just add 2 teaspoon of lemon juice to your milk and let it sit for a few minutes.
Whichever type you use, be sure it’s VERY cold when you add it to the mix!
Biscuit Making Tips
These homemade biscuits are very easy to make - I’ve been making them since I was very young!
There are a few things to keep in mind that will ensure success, though:
Handling When Mixing
First of all, be sure not to over-handle the dough for this.
You know how you have to knead bread dough? That’s to develop the gluten, allowing it to become stretchy and glorious.
... pretty much the opposite of what you want here.
This is what creates the flaky layers throughout the biscuits. If you don’t have those distinct little bits of fat throughout, you’re going to end up with hard biscuits!
So, use a light hand, mix only enough to incorporate, etc. Gentle and minimal handling goes a long way to ensure light and fluffy biscuits!
Handling the Finished Biscuit Dough
Once you have your dough brought - gently! - together, you’re going to have to flatten it out and cut it into your biscuits.
This is another point where you need to be sure to handle it gently, to ensure a light, fluffy biscuit.
If you use a rolling pin, don’t use a ton of pressure on it, and don’t really press down on the dough.
Think of it more as rearranging where the dough is, rather than forcibly flattening it.
Otherwise, just gather the dough on the work surface and gently flatten it out with your hands.
I’ll usually use a round cookie or biscuit cutter - or an inverted drinking glass - as round biscuits are just “right” to me,
Note: You can make drop biscuits with this recipe, if you prefer.
You can cut each biscuit right next to the last, and drastically reduce the amount of dough to be re-rolled.
Reheating Leftover Biscuits
In a Microwave
Wrap your biscuits in a paper towel, and place them on a plate. Reheat for around 30 seconds, or until the desired temperature.
In an Oven
Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 F. Place your biscuits on a baking pan, with a fair amount of space between each. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until warmed through.
In an Air Fryer
I like to reheat as a two-step process - 20 seconds in the microwave to warm it all the way through, then in an air fryer for a couple of minutes at 400F.
IMHO, it’s the best way to re-crisp the outside and give it that just-baked taste.
If you want to skip the microwave, you can reheat for 3-5 minutes at 350 F - just keep an eye on them!
How to Make Baking Powder Biscuits
The full recipe follows in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is the pictorial overview
Place your oven rack in the center of the oven, and heat oven to 450 F.
Prepare a baking sheet with nonstick pan spray, or line with parchment paper.
Measure shortening/butter into the flour mixture, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter / pastry blender or fork(s).
You want it to look like coarse crumbs / coarse meal.
Add milk or buttermilk to the large bowl, stir just until the a flaky but soft dough forms.
Don’t over stir or beat it, but be sure to scrape down the sides of bowl as you go.
You want to use only enough milk to bring it together, it shouldn’t be sticky!
Pull the dough together into a ball, place it on a lightly floured surface.
Cut into rounds with the rim of a juice glass. (I like to use about 2-3″ diameter), or a 2-inch biscuit cutter / 2-inch cookie cutter.
After cutting a round of biscuits, pile the dough together, gently roll out and repeat.
Place the unbaked biscuits on a prepared baking sheet as you go.
You can brush melted butter on top if you like, I don't bother.
Serve your warm biscuits, with butter and jam, a drizzle of honey, or topped wit sausage gravy!
Some of the photos in this post feature a homemade grape jelly from our friend Karine - SO good!
Once cooled to room temperature, leftover biscuits can be transferred to airtight container or freezer bag and stored in the fridge for up to a few days.
See the Tips section further up in the post for reheating advice.
More Breakfast and Brunch Recipes
Looking for more ideas to jazz up your breakfast experience! Here are a few more recipes for you:
Ambrosia Belgian Waffles
Apple Cinnamon Buns
Biscuits and Gravy - MY Way!
Breakfast Bagel Strata
Chai Cinnamon Rolls
Deluxe Pizza Strata
Easy Banana Bread
Easy Cheese Souffle
Fig, Honey, and Goat Cheese Strudel
Ham, Swiss, and Kale Strata
How to Make Peameal and Back Bacon
Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Rosemary Peach Balsamic Scones
Smoked Gouda and Chive Scones
Strawberry Orange Rolls
The BEST Hash Browns Recipe
Share the Love!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my free monthly email newsletter, so you never miss out on any of my nonsense. Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Finally, if you love this recipe, please consider leaving a star rating and/or a comment below, and maybe even sharing this post on social media!
Easy Baking Powder Biscuits
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 3 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ⅓ cup Shortening, lard, or Butter
- ¾ cup Milk or Buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, baking powder,and salt.
- Measure shortening/butter into the same bowl, and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or fork(s). The idea is to work it in until it’s evenly distributed throughout, in very small pieces.
- Add milk/buttermilk, stir just until dough comes together. Don’t over stir or beat it. If dough is too crumbly, add a small amount of extra milk. If the dough is sticky, add a small amount of flour.
- Pull dough together into a ball, place on a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll dough out to about ¾ – 1″ thick, and cut into rounds with a drinking glass. (I like to use about 3″ diameter).
- Arrange biscuits on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Serve hot!
More Recipes that Remind me of Gramma
Since originally writing this post, my gramma has sadly passed... but her memory lives on.
Here are a few recipes that remind me of her, whether as something she taught me to make, a replica of a retail treat we used to enjoy together, or one of my own recipes that she would request whenever I’d visit, as an adult.
Gramma's Perogies Recipe
Homemade Marshmallow Cones
Homemade Clodhoppers Candy
Puffed Wheat Squares
Honey Dill Dipping Sauce
Paska - Ukrainian Easter Bread
Baking Powder Biscuits
Grandma's Potato Salad
Easy Butterfly Cupcakes
Breakfast of Champions
French Canadian Pea Soup
Beep Drink Recipe