Cooking, Recipes, Summer Recipes, Virginia

Buttery Breakfast Biscuits

Let’s start with a little bit of trivia – today is the day our Baby Bean was actually scheduled to make his appearance! But now he’s already three weeks old, eating tons, putting on weight, and thriving! I’m excited for the day when he can be an additional taste tester around here!


Perfecting the breakfast biscuit has been a pursuit of mine for some time. But after doing a fair bit of reading on the subject, I figured out just how new I am to the game – because what we consider the traditional American biscuit showed up here as early as the 1800s.

Biscuits are a staple in the South, where yeast was prohibitively expensive for most people. Instead of using yeast to make their dough rise, cooks would fold it many times in order to fold in air and make the dough expand in the oven. The end result? A light and fluffy concoction that was, at the same time, hard and sturdy enough to carry heavy gravy.

Even though the area of Virginia we live in was technically the North {the state split along the Occoquan River just south of us}, there’s not much denying that our culinary traditions around here have their roots in the South. Which means biscuits are a staple, and knowing how to make a good one a requirement of residency.

I thought I had my contribution to things all figured out with a tasty sour cream biscuit I love to add to our table, but then I picked up my copy of Magnolia Table and took a look at Joanna’s famous biscuits. More butter, more baking powder, and the unusual addition of eggs. Naturally, she used buttermilk while I prefer to substitute a mixture of milk and sour cream for buttermilk, but otherwise, just a few tweaks of difference.

And that was enough for me to start tweaking my recipe.

I gleefully embraced adding more butter to my recipe, decided the baking powder gave it a greater degree of flakiness, ditched the sugar I’d added to mine, and I LOVED the addition of the eggs, especially the egg wash spread over the top of the biscuits, giving them a delicious bit of crunch.

Am I done tweaking my recipe? Probably not. Are they as good as Joanna’s? We may have to make our way down to Magnolia Table and find out. But in the meantime, they are a really hearty and tasty way to start off your morning, and we love them. We hope you do, too!

Buttery Breakfast Biscuits

Makes about 16 biscuits.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for working area
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 large egg + 1 beaten for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

How to Make Them:

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.

2. Cut the butter into small pieces. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are pea-sized and the mixture looks pebbly.

3. Add the egg, milk, and sour cream and mix in with a wooden spoon until combined. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 30 minutes.

4. Preheat your oven to 400F and take the dough out of the refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Flour a bread board or other work surface and turn the dough out of the bowl. Using your hands, press the dough out until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter {or my favorite substitute, a mason jar}, cut out biscuits and refold the dough until all of the dough has been shaped into rounds.

6. Place the rounds on the baking sheet. It’s okay – and even preferred – to have them touching each other.

7. In a ramekin, beat the second egg and brush the tops of the biscuits.

8. Bake the biscuits 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Let them cool just enough to handle, and then serve with a little bit of butter, jam, or honey!

These are set to be new family favorites! And now I’m excited to explore the other cozy recipes in Magnolia Table!

Are you guys biscuit fans? What’s your favorite topper – jam, butter, honey, or something else?

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