There are few greater pleasures in life than waking up to the smell of freshly baked biscuits, and these honey biscuits take that joy to another level. On top of being delightfully fluffy, the addition of honey to the biscuit dough makes them subtly sweet and an excellent vehicle for savory and sweet toppings alike.
These biscuits are perfect for lazy weekend breakfasts and laid-back brunches with friends where no fuss and good vibes abound, and any event will be transformed by this sweet spin on a beloved classic.
They can be dressed up with artisanal jams and spreads, smeared in homemade honey butter, or built into the perfect breakfast sandwich. Best of all, they take less than an hour from start to finish and don’t require any special ingredients or equipment.
What You Need to Make Honey Biscuits
The glorious thing about these honey biscuits is that they come together with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can definitely use heavy cream or regular milk in its place.
If your honey has crystalized, you can substitute agave nectar, maple syrup or brown sugar simple syrup and still yield a delicious result!
- All-purpose flour
- Buttermilk – very cold
- Butter – very cold or frozen
- Kosher salt
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
How To Make Honey Biscuits
Biscuits are relatively easy to make, but it is of utmost importance that your butter and buttermilk are extremely cold before you get started, and that they stay cold while you prepare the dough. Working with room temperature dairy products will result in flat biscuits and we definitely don’t want that!
To avoid this, place your butter in the freezer the night before you make your biscuits and use a box grater to grate the butter into the flour. This will ensure an even distribution of the butter with minimal hands-on mixing which expedites melting.
If you forget to freeze the butter, don’t worry! You can cut the butter into half-inch cubes and place them in the freezer for 20 minutes before incorporating it into the flour. Use a pastry cutter or fork to incorporate the butter, as the warmth of your hands will encourage the butter to soften.
If you do work with your hands, work quickly but don’t stress yourself out. The biscuits will go for a rest in the freezer before baking to resolidify any butter that’s gotten too soft.
As for the buttermilk, keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, and don’t measure it until you’re ready to use it. You’ll mix the honey directly into the buttermilk before adding it to the flour, so use a honey that hasn’t crystallized for ease of mixing.
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until thoroughly combined. Using the large side of a box grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the flour mixture, then use a pastry cutter or two forks to work the butter into the flour.
Work as quickly as possible until the butter has formed pea-sized balls. It doesn’t have to be uniform, but try to avoid large chunks of butter. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk and honey, and stir until the honey has completely mixed into the buttermilk and the mixture is homogeneous. Pour the buttermilk and honey mixture into the flour and butter mixture.
Using a fork, stir the two together until a shaggy dough forms. As soon as you have a shaggy dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and very gently knead until the dough comes together. This should only take one to two minutes.
Form the dough into a rough rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until you have a rectangle that is approximately ½ an inch thick. Carefully fold the dough into thirds (like a letter or a trifold), taking care not to rip the dough while folding. Using a rolling pin, gently compress the layers, then roll out into a rectangle that is roughly ¾ of an inch to 1 inch thick.
Flour the sharp end of a 3 or 4-inch round cookie cutter and punch out as many biscuits as you can, then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Gather and reroll the scraps and punch out more biscuits until you have scraps that can’t be rolled out.
Press the last scraps into a free-form biscuit. Place the baking sheet with the biscuits into the freezer and let them rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the butter to firm up.
Brush the biscuits with buttermilk or melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown. This can take more or less time depending on your oven, so keep a close eye on them!
Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and let them cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve with butter and more honey, or any other topping you prefer.
What can I serve with honey biscuits?
This is a common question for this recipe, and the answer is virtually anything! These biscuits are sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, which makes them great for breakfast sandwiches and traditional spreads alike.
Can I mix honey into the butter for honey biscuits?
Yes and no. Honey butter is undeniably delicious, and if you prefer to use honey butter in your biscuits instead of blending the honey and buttermilk, using frozen honey butter is non-negotiable.
Since honey butter requires the butter to be at room temperature, it is way too warm to go directly into the biscuit dough. If you want to use honey butter, plan ahead and freeze it or use it as a topping.
What kind of honey should I use?
Any kind you like! The most important rule about using honey in baked goods is using honey that is free of crystallization to avoid textural issues in the final product. Other than that, use whatever honey you prefer.
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup very cold buttermilk
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks or one large block) frozen
- ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the frozen butter directly into the flour.
- Working quickly, smash the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or two forks until peas-sized balls have formed.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the honey and buttermilk and stir until combined.
- Pour the buttermilk and honey mixture directly into the flour mixture.
- Using a fork, stir together the flour and buttermilk mixture until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and very gently knead until the dough just comes together, then form it into a rough rectangle shape.
- Gently roll the dough into a rectangular slab that is ½ an inch thick.
- Carefully fold the dough in thirds, so it overlaps like a letter or trifold.
- Using a rolling pin, gently compress the layers, then roll the dough into a rectangle that is roughly ¾ inch to 1 inch thick.
- Lightly dust the sharp side of a 3 or 4 inch round cookie cutter and punch out as many biscuits as possible and transfer to the prepared baking sheet .
- Reroll the scraps and punch out more biscuits until the scraps can’t be rerolled and press the remaining scraps into a free-form biscuit.
- Place the tray in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to firm up the butter.
- Brush the biscuit tops with buttermilk.
- Place the tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown.
- Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Top with your preferred toppings and enjoy!
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