Fluffy, light, layers of buttermilk biscuit goodness in a square shape. Try these light, fluffy square buttermilk biscuits.
I wonder what my Great Grandma would say if she saw these biscuits. Maybe she’s look and think, “That’s a good idea.” Or perhaps she’d say, “Ohhh child, now that is not a biscuit.”
I’d like to think the former. Truth be told, I never really hopped on the square biscuit train until now. There was something so quintessential about a round biscuit. Not to mention my inherent love for so many round foods (I’m looking at you: bagels, pizza, doughnuts), need I say more?
Although truthfully, I have had a square doughnut (at the Doughnut Plant in NYC) and a square slice of pizza (delicious Sicilian slices in Brooklyn, NY), but I have yet to have a square bagel so if you see one, let me know in the comments below. Or perhaps I will try my hand at making square ones at home, lol!
Anyway, back to biscuits.
Why Square Biscuits?
Square biscuits allow you to fold the dough and create more layers through folding the dough. Although the dough is trimmed (trimming the edges ensures that you get the same flaky layers and even rise all around), it requires less rolling than standard biscuits because the dough can be cut into squares from the rectangle, thus naturally leaving less scraps. But save the scraps! (see more below). If you really want a round biscuit recipe you can find it here.
What are Squared Buttermilk Biscuits?
Square buttermilk biscuits are just like the round buttermilk biscuits except the dough is folded several times and the biscuits are cut into squares instead of circles.
What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Biscuits?
- All purpose flour – traditionally, I grew up making biscuits with a low gluten flour such as White Lily, but I’ve found that all purpose flour will still produce beautiful biscuits.
- Cornstarch – a little cornstarch lightens the dough to emulate the cake flour’s lighter texture that makes fluffy and soft biscuits. A minimal amount of cornstarch ensures that the biscuits will not crumble and keep their shape.
- Table Salt – to season the biscuits.
- Sugar – to balance the flavor and enhance the taste.
- Baking powder and baking soda – a dual leavener to get the lift and rise of the biscuits. Since my recipe calls for buttermilk, baking soda is an essential component for the acid.
- Unsalted butter – starting with frozen butter ensures that the biscuits will stay cold and that the butter will be dispersed throughout the biscuits to create those desirable flaky layers. Unsalted butter allows me to control the amount of salt in the biscuits so if you’re using salted butter, reduce or omit the salt in the recipe.
- Buttermilk – cold cultured buttermilk brings these biscuits together. The natural tangy and viscous buttermilk gives the biscuits their signature flavor. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use milk but the biscuits will not be as flavorful. Alternatively, you can water down plain yogurt to the consistency of buttermilk as a substitute.
Is It Really Necessary to Have Cold Ingredients?
Yes, when it comes to traditional biscuits, cold ingredients is necessary. Even if you can briefly refrigerate your dry ingredients, it will help, but is not necessary. Frozen butter ensures that the butter is evenly dispersed and that the butter will melt in the oven and not in the bowl. As the butter melts in the oven it will create layers of flaky dough (like crossiants) to give the ideal texture of biscuits. See a video of the process here.
What If I Want to Make Round Biscuits, Can I Use This Recipe?
Yes, just roll out the dough and use a biscuit cutter or even a glass and cut the biscuits into rounds and bake as normal. Try not to re-roll the excess dough too many times as eventually, the dough will become warm from the heat of your hands. The biscuits will still be delicious but the warmed dough will mean that you won’t get the same flaky layers.
What can I do with the Scraps of Dough?
I cut the scraps into small squares and bake them after I bake the biscuits. The scraps make little bitesize biscuits that are soft, fluffy, and buttery inside but a bit flaky and crisp on the outside. I was surprised at how delicious these little mini biscuits were so save your scraps. You might find yourself intentionally making mini biscuits, lol!
Square Buttermilk Biscuits
- 1 sheet tray lined with parchment paper
- 1 large bowl
- 1 whisk
- 1 box grater
- 1 bench scraper optional
- 1 rubber spatula
- 1 pastry brush
- 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour (350 grams)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup unsalted butter, frozen 1 stick, 8 Tablespoons
- 1? cup buttermilk very cold, reserve 1 T for brushing the biscuits before baking
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted for brushing on biscuits after baking
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes optional (for topping)
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Using box grater, grate the butter directly into the flour mixture. Stir together until the butter is dispersed and fully coated by the flour.
- Make a well in the bowl and pour in the buttermilk, reserving 1 tablespoon.
- Stir together until just combined, the dough will still be a bit shaggy.
- Dust the countertop with a couple of tablespoons of flour and pour the dough onto the countrertop.
- Using a bench scraper, fold the dough on top of each other until it forms a cohesive mass.
- Then dust a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough about 8 x 4 inches. Fold the dough, one third at a time, like creating a letter. Repeat 3 to 4 more times and then roll into a 8 x 4 rectangle.
- Trim the edges using a bench scraper or sharp knife.
- Then cut into 6 equal pieces.
- NOTE: Save the scraps and make little mini-bitesize biscuits to bake later.
- Brush the biscuits with some of the remaining 1 tablespoon of buttermilk, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown.
- Remove from oven, brush with the melted butter and serve immediately.