These quick, easy, and buttery sourdough biscuits are the perfect way to use up some sourdough discard when feeding your sourdough starter. They can be mixed, baked, and on the dinner or breakfast table in less than 30 minutes!
Sourdough biscuits are even more flavorful than traditional buttermilk biscuits because of the delightful sourdough tang. They are just as easy to make as regular biscuits as long as you have a sourdough starter hanging out in your refrigerator. This is the only sourdough biscuit recipe you will ever need!
Post updated 2/16/22.
Why You Should Make Your Own Sourdough Starter
Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to make sourdough bread from scratch, a sourdough starter is the secret to the most delicious pancakes, waffles, and biscuits you’ll ever taste!
Sourdough starter can also be used in desserts like my easy Pumpkin Maple Sourdough Cake or rich and decadent Sourdough Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I’ve also experimented with adding it to quick breads like my favorite Sourdough Banana Bread. One of my very favorite ways to use sourdough starter is in my Sourdough Pie Crust. The sourdough possibilities are endless!
Although it takes a bit of time to make a sourdough starter from scratch, it’s easy to do. And once you have a sourdough starter going, you can keep it for a lifetime or even longer if your family decides to carry on the tradition – how cool is that!?
I also think that creating a sourdough starter could be a really fun and educational science project to do with kids. I’m really looking forward to sharing these things with my daughter when she is old enough.
I will be sharing easy everyday sourdough recipes here on the blog on Sundays. We love to eat sourdough biscuits or sourdough waffles on Sunday mornings so I thought it would be fun to start a Sourdough Sunday series to share these easy and delicious recipes with all of you.
Next, you’ll find lots of step-by-step photos to show you just how easy it is to make these biscuits from scratch. If you’d prefer to jump straight to the printable recipe, just scroll to the very bottom of the post. Enjoy!
How to Make Sourdough Biscuits
In addition to the sourdough starter, you’ll need just a handful of everyday pantry items to make these biscuits. Start with one cup of flour – either all purpose or a mixture of half all purpose and half cake flour for an extra light biscuit.
In a large bowl, measure out some baking powder, baking soda, and salt. You can use whatever type of salt you happen to keep on hand, just make sure to read the recipe notes for a tip on using the correct amount of salt if you prefer kosher or fine grain sea salt.
To keep things simple, I use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients. But you can also run everything through a sifter or sieve a couple times to make sure it’s well blended.
Next, add some very cold butter that you’ve chopped up in advance.
Blend the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or your fingertips. I like to use a combination of both methods. Just work as quickly as you can so the butter stays cold.
This is what the flour and butter should look like when it’s blended enough. It will look like a mixture of coarse crumbs with little chunks of butter about the size of peas mixed in.
Measure out a cup of unfed sourdough starter straight from the fridge.
Add the starter the to the flour and butter mixture. One cup of sourdough starter equals about a cup of flour plus half a cup of water. So half the flour in the recipe was blended with the butter and the other half is delivered in the sourdough starter. Does that make sense?
Do Sourdough Biscuits Need Buttermilk?
The water in the starter is the only liquid we’ll need to bring the dough together. There’s no need for buttermilk because the sourdough starter is acidic and works just like buttermilk to react with the baking soda. And I think it adds just as much flavor as buttermilk, if not more!
Mix everything together with a big spoon. If your starter has been fed more recently and is thicker than mine, it might be a little more difficult to combine everything with a spoon. In that case, just jump in with clean hands and quickly mix everything together.
Mix until the dough just comes together and most of the flour has been absorbed. Since sourdough baking isn’t an exact science, feel free to add just a splash more liquid if the dough seems way too dry (anything will do – water, milk, buttermilk) and if it’s way too wet and sticky, just add a bit more flour.
Knead the dough in the bowl a couple times just to finish bringing everything together.
Now dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
You can either roll or pat the dough out into a circle that is about 3/4-inch thick.
If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle just a bit more flour on top and underneath. I love keeping a little shaker container filled with all purpose flour in my pantry. It works perfectly and I use it all the time for baking bread, making pie crusts, biscuits, and scones.
Some containers come with lids, but I just keep mine in a plastic bag to keep the weevils away. I also use these containers for powdered sugar and homemade spice blends or rubs. So handy and inexpensive!
How to Shape Sourdough Biscuits
Next, cut your biscuits. For these I used a biscuit cutter that was close to 3 inches wide. If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, you can use a glass. Or, if you don’t care about round biscuits, I’m going to let you in on my favorite tip. Instead of rolling it into a circle, pat dough into a thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 8 equal squares using a bench scraper or a knife and you’re done! No worrying about re-rolling scraps.
But if you are cutting round biscuits, you’ll have scraps to deal with. To avoid a really tough biscuit, just gently combine the scraps without working the dough too much.
Pat it down to the same thickness as before.
Then cut your last biscuit.
the last of the scraps and just be hand formed into what I call the ugly biscuit. I eat the ugly biscuit as soon as it comes out of the oven. It’s the baker’s reward for getting up in the morning and making biscuits from scratch!
See the ugly biscuit up in the top right?
Notice how the ugly biscuit is now gone? Delicious!
How Long Do You Bake Sourdough Biscuits?
These golden brown flaky biscuits bake up in about 12 to 15 minutes. While they’re baking, you could always make some sausage gravy and a side of scrambled eggs, which is my husband’s favorite breakfast.
Or if you’re like me, you could just eat the biscuits with lots of butter and honey.
Whether it’s for breakfast, dinner, or an afternoon snack, I hope you give these biscuits a try soon. If you don’t yet haven a sourdough starter, you should begin here. If you’d prefer to make the best buttermilk biscuits from scratch, I have a great tutorial for that as well.
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Kitchen equipment and special ingredients used for this recipe:
(Some of the following are Amazon Affiliate links.)
- Flour shaker
- My favorite baking sheet
- Round cutters
- Dough Blender
- Stoneware Sourdough Crock
- Honey pot and dripper
- The Best Buttermilk Biscuits
- Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cracked Pepper Scones
- Bisquick Sweet Potato Biscuits with Bacon and Thyme
- Pigs in a Blanket made with Whole Wheat Cheddar Biscuit Dough
- Sausage and Sage Cream Gravy
Around the Web:
- Blueberry Sourdough Scones from Wild Yeast
- Whole Wheat Sourdough Biscuits from YayYay’s Kitchen
- Sourdough Biscuits (overnight recipe) from The Bread Monk
- 1 cup flour
- scant 1/2 teaspoon salt (or 1 tsp kosher salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
- 1 cup cold unfed sourdough starter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Sift or whisk together well the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or your fingertips until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs with pieces of butter about the size of peas.
- Add the sourdough starter and mix with a spoon until most of the flour is incorporated. Knead the mixture in the bowl a few times until it comes together.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface then roll dough or pat it out to about 3/4" thick.
- Cut biscuits, gather scraps, re-roll and cut out one or two more.
- Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet. You can use parchment paper if you'd like to keep your baking sheet clean. Place them close together, touching, if you want soft-sided biscuits or space them apart for crisper sides.
- Bake biscuits at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, until browning around the edges. If you placed biscuits close together, they will take longer than if they are spaced apart.
You can either use all purpose flour or half all purpose and half cake flour for a lighter biscuit.
If using regular table salt or fine sea salt, use a scant half teaspoon of salt. If using Diamond Crystal kosher salt, use a full teaspoon.
If you want to use salted butter, reduce the salt in the recipe by half.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g