Growing up, I didn’t like biscuits. In my mind, they were this white, bland, dry, and sad-looking thing that came with breakfast meals. A few years ago, I drove across the country and tried southern biscuits at a cafe called Happy Gillis in Kansas City and Lucile’s Creole Café in Denver where I started appreciating biscuits. But, I still saw them mostly as a delivery vessels for gravy and homemade jam.
It wasn’t until I visited Acme Bread in Berkley did I really started enjoying biscuits. I went there for bread and pizza actually, but after waiting in a line that wrapped around the block, I felt obligated to get my time worth and try everything (or close to it). Drawn in by the handwritten advertisements for their fresh hot biscuits posted on their shop windows, it was a happy accident that ended up getting it and after trying, was blown away by its deliciousness and simplicity.
These biscuits are mildly inspired by the one I got at Acme. I aimed to get that aesthetic tall layered biscuit look and to incorporate sourdough discard. The first three or so times I made biscuits the flavors were good, but I didn’t get the height that I wanted (see my sourdough discard cheddar biscuits below). I nailed it on the fourth attempt 🙌 .
Tips for a successful bake
- Make sure your ingredients are COLD. Use frozen butter, cold discard, and cold milk. You can even chill your flour beforehand if you like.
- Grate/Shave your butter into your flour. I use a cheese grater on the coarsest setting but you can use a vegetable peeler– it will just take a little longer. In the past, I have cubed my butter, cut it into my flour, and then used my hands to create little flour strands, but I found that shaved butter works better and is less messy on the hands. It also reduces the time you are handling the butter, which keeps the butter from melting.
- Avoid overworking the dough. Kneading a few times to get the dough to come together is fine. The dough is supposed to be a bit dry, with some dry floury pieces, but it should not be so dry that it is falling apart.
- Do “laminate” your dough. After the dough comes together, roughly flatten it, fold it in half, or cut and stack the pieces. Flatten it again, and stack the dough again. This will create your layers.
Looking for more sourdough discard inspirations? Check these recipes:
- Sourdough Discard Cheddar Biscuits
- Candied Pomelo Scones
- Sourdough Discard Butter Pie Crust
- Sourdough Discard Raisin Biscuit Crackers
- Sourdough Discard Popovers
Flakey Sourdough Biscuits
- 60 g all-purpose flour
- 50 g sourdough discard chilled
- 25 g butter frozen
- 25 g buttermilk or sour cream or greek yogurt
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Mix together flour, salt, baking powder and any additional seasoning and inclusions. Using a coarse cheese grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour, tossing it in after a few grates to prevent sticking. Pop the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes to allow the butter to solidify again.
- Combine chilled sourdough discard and buttermilk. Removed flour mixture from Step 2 from the fridge and add the sourdough mixture to it. Mix and then use your hands to press everything into a shaggy dough. If the mixture is too dry, add a few drops of cold water. Avoid over working the dough.
- Flatten dough into a rectangle and cut it in half. Stack the dough on top of each other. Flatten again and repeat. This will create your layers. Flatten one last time, making the dough about 1 1/2 inch thick. Cut in half to make 2 even pieces and place them on a linned baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are pale brown or, if your prefer, when they are golden.