Learn how to make these easy self-rising flour biscuits! 3 ingredient biscuit recipe…yes you can rock out fluffy homemade biscuits from scratch in minutes.
Let me tell you these homemade biscuits with self rising flour made me a convert to using self-rising flour. Last year when visiting Nashville I took a biscuit making class from an Emmy winning chef who wrote a documentary on the history of the Southern biscuit. Yes Emmy winning. Let’s just say I was in sitting there in awe.
So while she taught us how to make biscuits, she also taught some of the secrets of what makes southern biscuits better than all the rest. And one of those is secrets is the flour. Self-rising flour.
Now I’ll admit before that I just thought self-rising flour was a shortcut in the kitchen since it has the leavening and salt added. I’ve made buttermilk biscuits before with all purpose flour. Could it be that much different?
Oh yes it makes a huge difference. But it’s so much more than that! Just 3 ingredients (ok 4 if you count the fact that I added cheddar but that’s optional) is all you need. Yes a 3 ingredient biscuit recipe. When it comes to homemade bread recipes, nothing is better then these homemade biscuits with self rising flour.
Well only better if you brush them with melted butter before consuming.
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What Is Self-Rising Flour?
Self-rising flour is a staple in England and in most southern recipes. Self-rising flour is as it sounds- a flour that will rise on its own. No it’s not magic.
It contains a leavening agent! And salt. Once you have tried using it in a recipe, you will love it. I promise.
Self-rising flour was invented by Henry Jones in the 1800s, and is what gave rise to the popular mixes like Jiffy and Bisquik. (Source: The Kitchn)
But that’s not all. All purpose flour is a bit of higher protein content than self-rising flour. This is why Southerners swear by using self-rising flour in their biscuits. If you don’t have any you can make your own self-rising flour. Click here to learn how to make self-rising flour.
But just keep in mind that this means that your DIY self-rising flour may not produce quite a tender of a baked good then if you were to use store-bought. But hey if you’re making someone biscuits, I doubt they are going to be mad at you!
Pro Tip: Every cup of self-rising flour contains 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
What ingredients are needed to make this 3 ingredient biscuit recipe?
This is what I love, love, like make sure you have some on hand in the freezer for me at all times kind of love about these biscuits. Three ingredients. Oh wait you knew that from the title. But it’s seriously worth repeating. Because it’s amazing. These are amazing. Did I mention I love these?
- Self-rising Flour – This is of course the key ingredient to make these biscuits. It contains: all purpose flour, baking powder and salt, hence the name. It’s self-rising. The baking powder is what helps to make these biscuits rise. If you don’t have any on hand, you can make your own. * Substitution is in the note section of the recipe.
- Salted butter – I have updated this recipe from what I first made it. I originally used unsalted butter in the recipe but the lack of salt was noticeable making the biscuits bland. So by using salted butter it fixed the problem! If you don’t have salted butter you can additional salt to the dough. *I included substitution notes in the recipe section.
- Milk – I used regular milk in this recipe, but buttermilk can also be used in this recipe. I recommend using whole milk for the best texture. They will be a bit heartier than if you were to make them with a low-fat or skim milk. Of course if you want to use buttermilk but do not have any on hand you can always make your own buttermilk!
How Do You Make Self Rising Flour Biscuits?
Making these self rising flour biscuits is super easy. Here is the quick breakdown of the steps before we jump into the step by step photos.
- Heat oven to 450°F/230oC.
- Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray.
- Place flour in a large bowl.
- Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Or you can rub the butter in with your fingertips.
- Add milk and stir with fork until soft dough forms and mixture begins to pull away from sides of bowl.
- On lightly floured surface, knead dough just until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 2-inch round cutter. Place biscuits with sides touching on cookie sheet.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
Step 1: Pre-heat and measure
You want to start by pre-heating your oven and getting your cookie sheets ready by giving them a spray with cooking spray. Do not skip doing this! You want a super hot oven ready when your biscuits are ready to be put in.
Then in a mixing bowl measure out your self-rising flour in a large bowl. Add in your cold butter.
Pro Tip: Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. This will keep your hands out of the way from warming up the butter.
Step 2: Cut the cold butter until it is in small pea-sized clumps.
You want some butter left unincorporated into the flour. You want the mixture to resemble coarse crumbs.
This helps to create the flaky layers when the butter melts in the oven it will push apart the flour layers.
Step 3: Add in your cold milk
You want to add in your cold milk. Ok, but wait Heather is that cheese in the photo? Ok yes I added cheese too. The cheese is totally optional (this of course would make it 4 ingredient biscuits!). You can leave the cheese out (or add in something else if you like like fresh herbs or diced jalapenos!)
Step 4: Stir until a shaggy biscuit dough comes together.
It won’t quite look like biscuit dough at this point but that’s ok. We still need to knead the dough for a few seconds. So shaggy = good!
Step 5: Knead the dough
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times to bring it all together. Just simply flatten the dough and fold in half. Repeat this a few more times.
Step 6: Cut out your self rising flour biscuits.
Pat or roll out dough into a 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut out rounds of biscuit dough using a biscuit cutter. Push the scraps together and repeat cutting out the biscuits with the rest of the dough.
Pro Tip: Do not twist the biscuit cutter when cutting out the biscuits. Otherwise your biscuits will come out lopsided.
Step 7: Bake Your Biscuits Until Golden Brown.
Place the biscuits together on a baking sheet. You want them touching so they help each other climb and create tall fluffy biscuits. If you do want crispier edges, then simply separate the biscuits.
Tips On Making These Self-Rising Flour Biscuits
- You could make your own self-rising flour if you don’t have any! Just be aware that this may affect the overall texture due to the difference in protein content.
- Make sure your butter is COLD! You want cold butter so it doesn’t get incorporated into the flour leaving pockets of butter that will melt in the oven and create flaky layers.
- Be careful to not overknead. I knead a total of about 3 times to bring the dough together and help create layers.
- Do not twist the cutter. To cut the biscuits you want to push the biscuit cutter straight down and pick straight up. This will create lopsided biscuits.
- Handle the dough as little as possible. Do not handle the dough too much, especially when using the scraps.
- Place the biscuits close together. For tall fluffy homemade biscuits, place the biscuits together touching on the baking sheet. For crispier edges, then place them a couple inches apart.
Related: For more tips, check out my 9 secrets to baking fluffy biscuits post.
Self Rising Flour Biscuit Recipe FAQ’s
Should You Sift Flour For Biscuits?
I’m sure some recipes call for it. But I have made these a few times and never sifted. So skip the headache of sifting and just make sure you measure the flour correctly.
Can You Substitute Shortening In Biscuits?
I used butter in my biscuits because I like the flavor. You can use shortening as well if you want. But it doesn’t have the flavor. You could do a 1:1 swap if you want to though!
Are Biscuits Better With Butter Or Shortening?
Hands down butter, baby. It’s all flavor. But that’s my preference. However, shortening is definitely seen in Southern biscuits recipes because it has a higher melting point so it won’t incorporate into the flour mixture like butter will so you might have better success with it!
Why Are My Biscuits Crumbly?
The dough should be crumbly at first. You want pieces of butter that don’t work into the flour. That water in the butter when in the oven will turn to steam and push apart the layers of flour.
If you find that it’s still quite crumbly when you try to bring the dough together and knead it then just add a bit more milk.
What Happens If You Over Knead Biscuit Dough?
Kneading dough will activate the gluten in the flour. And gluten is what makes the dough tough and chewy. So if you over knead you are more likely to end up with a tough chewy biscuit.
Can I Use Buttermilk Instead Of Regular Milk?
Yes you can! It will give you a bit of tang. I used whole regular milk but you can substitute any milk you have on hand – buttermilk, or low fat milk 1% or 2%.
If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own buttermilk in a pinch.
Can I Use Unsalted Butter Instead Of Salted Butter?
Self rising flour does have salt already in it, but it’s not enough to give these biscuits flavor. So I chose to use salted butter. But if all you have is unsalted butter (and I usually only have that as well) then you can definitely use unsalted butter and additional salt.
Pro Tip: If using unsalted butter then add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the recipe. Add it to the flour and whisk to incorporate.
Tall fluffy homemade biscuits with self rising flour…with just 3 ingredients? Oh yes my friend it can happen.
Break out the stretchy pants. This is a Sunday game changer
If you make this 3 ingredient biscuit recipe let me know by leaving me a comment and star rating below! Thank you in advance 🙂
- 2 cups (8 ounces, 226 grams) self-rising flour
- 1/4 cup (4 tablesoons, 57 grams) salted butter
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) milk
- biscuit cutter
- Preheat. Heat oven to 450°F/230oC.
- Prepare baking sheet. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening or cooking spray. Or line with silicone baking mat. You can also use a cast iron pan to bake these in.
- Measure flour. Place flour in large bowl. (If using unsalted butter, then add the additional 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the flour and whisk to combine)
- Add butter. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
- Add milk. Add milk and stir with fork until soft dough forms and mixture begins to pull away from sides of bowl.
- Knead and cut biscuits. On lightly floured surface, knead dough just until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 2-inch round biscuit cutter. Place biscuits with sides touching on cookie sheet.
- Bake the biscuits. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
- Tools: 2- inch Biscuit Cutter, mixing bowl, pastry cutter, silicone baking mat
- If you don't have self-rising flour, you could make your own. Just be aware that this may affect the overall texture due to the difference in protein content.
- Use salted butter. There is salt in the self-rising flour but not enough. So salted butter helps to add that extra salt (and flavor). If you don't have salted butter, then add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to your flour.
- Make sure your butter is COLD! You want cold butter so it doesn't get incorporated into the flour leaving pockets of butter that will melt in the oven and create flaky layers.
- Be careful to not overknead. I knead a total of about 3 times to bring the dough together and help create layers.
- To cut the biscuits you want to push the biscuit cutter straight down and pick straight up. DO NOT TWIST THE CUTTER. This will create lopsided biscuits.
- Do not handle the dough too much, especially when using the scraps.
- For tall fluffy biscuits, place the biscuits together touching on the cookie sheet. For crispier edges, then place them a couple inches apart.
- Nutrition facts are based on the dough making 8 biscuits (with cheese added).