Fermented sourdough is a more digestion-friendly way to eat your favorite wheat products, including these super easy sourdough buttermilk biscuits. They are made with real-food ingredients, like all-purpose flour, buttermilk, real butter or lard, and honey.
Is there anything better than a homemade buttermilk biscuit? Saturday nights in our house are always “breakfast for dinner” and some weeks we love a good biscuit in place of potatoes to go along with the eggs and bacon.
I was looking for a really solid and easy recipe for sourdough buttermilk biscuits, but couldn’t find one I liked. So instead, I decided to consult many different recipes and form my own. After a few tries, these are now absolutely perfect! Flaky, moist, and oh so delicious.
These fermented sourdough buttermilk biscuits are super easy to make, like if you’ve never made anything with sourdough starter before you will probably still win with these! There’s some downtime for the fermentation (7 hours) but other than that the recipe is very quick to assemble and bake.
Breaking Down the Ingredients
- Unsalted butter or lard. High-quality animal fats like butter and lard are rich in fat-soluble vitamins and saturated fats. I highly recommend purchasing made from a grass-fed animal for the best nutrient density. We have been making our own lately from fresh raw cream and it’s so easy. (Also fun!)
- All-purpose flour. Good ol’ AP flour is the mainstay in a biscuit recipe. I personally love Central Milling Company’s organic unbleached all-purpose flour, purchased from Costco. We always have a pretty sizable stockpile in our pantry.
- Sourdough starter. This recipe is assuming you already have a sourdough starter that you’ll be using. You can use fresh starter or discard; either should work! Don’t have a starter yet? Check my Instagram highlight called “starter” to make one using rye or whole wheat flour, or stay tuned for a blog tutorial coming soon.
- Honey or granulated sugar. Raw local honey is by far my favorite sweetener for many things because it is a living food, containing enzymes, vitamins and minerals, and even trace amounts of native plant pollen that may help protect you against seasonal allergies. A granulated sugar is also fine if that’s what you have on hand.
- Buttermilk. The acidity in true buttermilk is helpful to a fermented biscuit recipe in so many ways. It helps to soften the gluten in the flour, adds a delicious tangy taste, helps keep the dough moist, and reacts with the baking soda to help the biscuits leaven nicely in the oven. If you make your own butter, which I highly recommend doing at least once, make sure you save the buttermilk for this recipe!
- Sea salt. A great way to add in extra trace minerals and a bit of salty flavor.
- Baking powder and baking soda. Both help to give the biscuits their fluff.
Questions & Answers
What if I don’t have a sourdough starter?
You can easily get a starter going using my Instagram highlight here. It takes about a week for a starter to mature enough to bake with it, so leave yourself at least one week before planning to try this sourdough buttermilk biscuit recipe.
Can I use white cane sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup in place of the honey?
Any sweetener should work fine in this recipe, although I personally think honey gives the biscuits the best flavor when combined with the buttermilk. Sub any sweetener 1:1 with the honey.
Can I use gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour?
Since this is a wheat-based sourdough recipe, I do not recommend substituting gluten-free flour as you likely won’t get the result you’re hoping for. If you are gluten free, try searching for a GF buttermilk biscuit recipe online.
Can I use another milk in place of the buttermilk?
You can, however the biscuits will not have the same tang and rise as they do with buttermilk (or kefir). We typically use buttermilk left over from making butter and sometimes we don’t have quite a full cup, so I will add a bit of raw milk to give me enough for the recipe.
Fermented Sourdough Buttermilk Biscuits
2 1/2 cups (450g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (110g) cold unsalted butter or lard, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup (150g) sourdough starter (discard is fine!)
1 tbsp honey or granulated sugar of choice
1 cup buttermilk (or kefir)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
- BEGIN AT LEAST 7 HOURS BEFORE BAKING. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl, then add the butter or lard. Cut the fat in using a dough blender tool or your hands until pieces are about the size of small peas.
- Add sourdough starter, sweetener, and buttermilk to the bowl. Mix with a spoon until a soft dough just comes together. Cover and place in a warm spot on your kitchen counter. Leave to ferment for 6-8 hours.*
- WHEN READY TO BAKE. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a small bowl, combine sea salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then stir together. Sprinkle mixture over fermented dough and knead gently until it just comes together into a cohesive, soft ball of dough.
- On your counter or a piece of parchment paper, pat the dough out with your hands until it’s about 1 inch thick. With a medium or large biscuit cutter, cut each biscuit out and place into a large cast-iron skillet or other oven-safe dish. They should just barely touch. Continue to cut biscuits until all dough has been used.
- Place the skillet into your oven and bake 20-30 minutes. You will know they are done when they’re golden brown on top.
- Serve warm with butter and honey or a slather of your favorite jam.
- Make sure you are prepping this dough ahead of time, as it needs to ferment for 6-8 hours before baking. I find it easiest to prep dough in the morning and let it ferment until just before dinner.
- *My dough usually rises quite a bit by the time I bake, but if you’re leaving it on the counter and it’s room temperature in your home, you can bake without a problem anytime between 6-8 hours. You’re looking for the dough to ferment as much as possible during this time for easier digestion, but most of it’s rise in the oven will come from the baking powder and baking soda with buttermilk.
- Baked biscuits can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or in the fridge or freezer for longer. Reheat in a warm oven until just warmed through.
Are you making this recipe? Please consider sharing and tag @howtonourish on Instagram!
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