Light and fluffy sourdough biscuits are easy to make with sourdough starter discard and this easy overnight recipe. Serve them hot right out of the oven topped with homemade butter and strawberry jam or slice them in half and make breakfast sandwiches with eggs and cheese!
So many of your favorite baked goods can be made with your sourdough starter and buttermilk biscuits are one of them.
This easy sourdough recipe is perfect for beginners or everyday home bakers that want to bake healthy, fermented bread for friends and family.
Sample baking schedule
Here is a sample baking schedule to give you an idea of how to arrange your own personal baking timeframes for this sourdough biscuit recipe.
The night before:
- 8PM – Mix the biscuit dough, cover and let rise at room temperature for 10-12 hours.
The next morning:
- 8AM – Preheat oven. Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda to the dough and cut out biscuits. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
How to make sourdough biscuits from scratch
These sourdough biscuits couldn't be easier to make. So, let's dive straight into the details and get these delicious biscuits on the table!
STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl, grate the cold butter using a cheese grater. Cut the flour into the butter using a bench scraper or a pastry cutter.
STEP 2: Add the buttermilk and the sourdough discard and stir until combined. Cover the bowl and let rise at room temperature for 10-12 hours.
STEP 3: Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Add the salt, baking soda and baking powder to the dough, making sure to work them in thoroughly with your hands.
STEP 4: Generously flour your work surface, turn out the dough and flour the top of the dough. Press into a rectangle 1 inch thick, and cut out biscuits. Gather scraps and continue to cut until you have 12 biscuits.
STEP 5: Arrange in a cast iron skillet and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Tips for success
Let's go over a few details that can help you bake the best biscuits from scratch every time!
What's the best flour for biscuits?
When baking biscuits, you want to use an all-purpose flour with a low protein content such as White Lily or Gold Medal all-purpose flour.
While most all-purpose flours have a protein content of around 12%, White Lily flour has a 9% protein content, which makes for a light and fluffy biscuit. Gold Medal all-purpose flour comes in at a 10.5% protein content.
How to cut biscuits
When cutting out biscuits, it's best to use a biscuit cutter with a sharp edge.
- Dip the biscuit cutter into flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough.
- Press the biscuit cutter down onto the dough, wiggle it to separate the biscuit from the dough and then pull straight up.
Do not twist the biscuit cutter when cutting out the biscuits. The twisting motion will seal the edges, making it harder for them to rise.
How to measure flour without a scale
If you do not have a kitchen scale, do not fret. Simply use the scoop and level technique. To do this, use a spoon to "fluff up" the flour in the bag or container. Use the spoon to scoop the flour into a measuring cup until it is heaped on top. Take a butterknife and level off the top.
This will give you the most accurate measurement for flour. If the flour is scooped straight out of the container, you will end up with more flour than called for in the recipe.
Make sure leavening agents aren't expired
Baking powder and baking soda should be replaced every 6 months because they start to loose their strength over time.
Make sure to thoroughly mix the salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl before incorporating them into the dough. If small lumps of baking soda aren't broken up, the biscuits will have brownish spots.
- Cheese grater - Cut cold butter into small cubes with a knife and use a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the butter into the flour. You can also use your hands to rub the butter cubes into the flour.
- Cast Iron Skillet - Arrange the biscuits so there is about ¼"-½" of space between each one on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
- Biscuit cutter - A regular mouth sized mason jar can be used in place of a biscuit cutter.
How to store and freeze
Store your biscuits at room temperature, in a covered container for up to a week. It is not recommended to store biscuits in the fridge as they will become hard.
Freeze individual biscuits wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and inserted into a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
More easy recipes
- blueberry bread pudding - great recipe for leftover sourdough biscuits
- sourdough english muffins
- lemon poppy seed sourdough muffins
- sourdough bagels
- sourdough banana nut muffins
Sourdough Biscuits Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- Cheese Grater
- Bench-Scraper or pastry cutter
- 3" Biscuit cutter
- 12" cast iron skillet or baking sheet
Initial biscuit dough mix
- 2 ½ cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter (cold)
- ½ cup (125 g) sourdough starter discard
- 1 cup (240 g) buttermilk (or milk)
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar (optional)
To add before cutting out
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) fine sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
The night before
- Grate the butter using a cheese grater, into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and use a bench scraper or a fork to cut the butter into the flour until it forms small, pea-sized crumbles. Add the sourdough starter discard, buttermilk and sugar and stir with a stiff spatula until fully combined. Cover the bowl and let rise on the counter for 10-12 hours.
The next morning
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Combine the salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl and use a fork to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the dough and work it into the dough with your hands. Sprinkle the second half and continue to work it into the dough until fully combined.
- Generously flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Flour the top of the dough and use your hands to press it into a rectangle shape that is 1 inch in thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits, pressing straight down and pulling straight up. *See notes.
- Arrange the biscuits in a 12" cast iron skillet and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove and serve warm.
- Active sourdough starter can be used instead of discard. Make sure to add the salt to the initial mix. (Omit the baking powder and baking soda.) After cutting out the biscuits, let them rise in the skillet for 60-90 minutes before baking.
- Do not twist the biscuit cutter when cutting out the biscuits. The twisting motion will seal the edges, making it harder for them to rise.