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Light and flaky Angel Biscuits
Yeasted buttermilk Angel Biscuits have been a staple in our family since the 1980s. I’m not sure where the original recipe came from but still remember the first time I tasted these light and fluffy hybrid biscuits.
This was my mom’s go-to recipe when feeding a crowd or hosting a buffet-style party. Over the years I’ve cut her recipe in half and tweaked it just a bit, of course.
These fluffy biscuits are part biscuit and part dinner roll. They make great mini sandwiches and are especially terrific served with a little ham and a squirt of honey mustard.
I’m also crazy about tuna salad or chicken salad served on a lightly warm Angel Biscuit.
I’ve made this biscuit recipe more times than I can count. Over the years we’ve served them at baby showers, football parties, holidays, office gatherings and just because.
If you’re a biscuit lover, like me, you’re going to LOVE this recipe.
Overview of ingredients:
- warm water about 100 to 105 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer
- granulated sugar – two teaspoons is all you need to add flavor and boost the yeast
- active dry yeast – one package or 0.25 ounces is all you need
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda – always make sure your baking soda is still active. Try our simple and easy test to ensure great rise.
- baking powder – again make sure your leavening agent is not too old!
- vegetable shortening – for these biscuits we use half vegetable shortening and half butter. The original recipe calls for all shortening and we still love them made that way too. All-butter does not produce the best results, however.
- unsalted butter – at room temperature. If using salted butter you can omit the addition salt.
- buttermilk – we prefer full-fat buttermilk in this recipe but low-fat works too. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, make your own by mixing 1 tablespoon of distilled vinegar with a cup of milk. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes then use as you would regular buttermilk.
Overview: How to make Angel Biscuits
Prepare the biscuit dough
1. In a small bowl combine the warm water and sugar and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and set aside to bloom.
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
3. Cut in the butter and shortening using a pastry blender until only small pea size pieces remain.
4. Pour in the buttermilk and yeast mixture and blend with a spatula until no dry flours remains.
5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before baking.
Bake the biscuits:
1. When ready to bake line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. You can also bake these in a cast iron skillet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Roll or pat the Angel Biscuit dough out to a 1/2 inch thick circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut out rounds using a floured 2-inch or 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Gather all remaining dough, gently re-roll and cut all remaining biscuits. Place on the prepared baking sheet and let rise for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size. If serving immediately brush the tops with melted butter, if desired.
What we love about this recipe
We love the texture of these golden brown yeasted biscuits. They’re flaky, fluffy, light and soft with a wonderful crust.
The flavor is also terrific with a slight yeast flavor and tanginess from the buttermilk.
This super simple yeast dough is one of the easiest you’ll ever make. It’s mixed up the day before you plan to bake, and refrigerated overnight.
If you’ve never made yeast rolls before, perhaps this recipe would be a great place to start!
The recipe calls for three leaveners: active-dry yeast, baking soda and baking powder. We don’t often find recipes with all three in the mix, but this combination creates an unforgettable fluffy texture just like you’ll find in these Cinnamon Rolls.
When ready to serve all you need to do is roll them out like you would a regular buttermilk biscuit, cut and bake. The dough is great to work with and very forgiving.
Another fine recipe from the family vault!
The old tried and true recipes are some of my favorites. This recipe has stood the test of time and will continue to be a favorite for generations to come.
Just like any great scratch biscuit, these are amazing served with homemade sausage gravy.
Serve Angel Biscuits with our Crustless Asparagus Cheese Quiche and fresh fruit for a wonderful brunch.
For a hearty party platter top each with fried chicken tenders, a little marinara sauce and some mozzarella cheese. Instant Chicken Parmesan sliders!
These all-purpose, serve anytime biscuits are also great split, buttered and toasted in the oven. Leftover biscuits never go to waste in our house!
Tips for the best Angel Biscuits
This recipe can be made with all-shortening or half shortening and half butter. We’ve found the all butter biscuits to be a bit heavy.
Angel biscuits are best served the day they’re made.
Don’t allow the unbaked biscuits to sit too long before baking. They’ll over-proof and fall after baking.
If making the rolls for an event later in the day, skip brushing melted butter on top.
Store leftovers at room temperature for a day or two. Rewarm in the oven or microwave. Split, buttered and toasted biscuits are great too!
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- ¼ cup warm water (100-105 degrees)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (0.25 ounces or 1 package)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (334g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening (48g)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (2oz or ¼ cup)
- 1 cup buttermilk full-fat, well shaken (8 ounces)
- Pour the warm water into a small bowl. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and set aside to until bloomed and foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening and butter using a pastry blender until only small pea size pieces remain. Add the buttermilk and yeast mixture. Stir with a spatula until blended and no dry flour remains.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured clean work surface to a ½-inch thick circle. Cut rounds using a 2 ½-inch sharp biscuit cutter dipped in flour. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet.
- Gather any remaining dough scraps, gently re-roll and cut the remaining biscuits. Using your thumb gently press down on the center of each biscuit to create a slight dip. This will help the biscuits rise straight up while they’re baked.
- Place the un-baked biscuits in a warm location to rise for 10 to 15 minutes (but no more) before baking.
- Bake the biscuits for 10-15 minutes (depending on size) or until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter, if desired, and serve immediately.
- This recipe can be made with all-shortening (1/2 cup) in place of the butter as written in the original recipe. We prefer half-butter and half-shortening and find an all-butter version to be a bit heavy.
- Angel biscuits are best served the day they’re made.
- Don’t allow the unbaked biscuits to rise too much before baking. They’ll over-prove and fall after baking.
- If making Angel Biscuits for an event later in the day, skip brushing on melted butter at the end.
- Angel Biscuits can also be baked in a cast iron skillet
Originally published January 2012, updated January 2022
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