How to Make Baking Soda Biscuits


Start to Finish: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 biscuits
Difficulty level: Beginner

Baking soda biscuits require a few basic ingredients, including milk and baking soda, and about 15 minutes of cooking time to yield steaming biscuits that are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. You don't use yeast, so you don't have to set the dough aside to rise. The acid in buttermilk or vinegar, if used, reacts with the baking soda to make the biscuit dough rise quickly while baking. Whether you use buttermilk or vinegar and plain milk, the baking soda and the careful mixing of ingredients make baking soda biscuits light and fluffy.


    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Mixing the Ingredients

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Cut the butter into small pieces and return it to the refrigerator until you are ready to add it to the other ingredients. The cold butter pieces melt in the oven and create steam pockets that add to the biscuit’s flaky, fluffy inner texture.

    Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and sift the dry ingredients several times to mix well.

    Remove the butter from the refrigerator; add the pieces to the mixing bowl and use a fork to gently fold the butter pieces in with the dry ingredients.

    Add ½ of the buttermilk and use the fork to gently fold the ingredients together. Add the rest of the buttermilk, using the fork to fold.

    Don’t over-mix the ingredients. The biscuit dough should be thick and crumbly when you've finished mixing.

Cutting and Baking Directions

  • Use your floured hands to knead the dough four to five times in the mixing bowl.

    Use your hands to spread the biscuit dough out 1 inch thick on a floured counter.

    Use a biscuit cutter or the mouth of a small jar to cut out the biscuits. Place each biscuit on the baking sheet about an inch apart.

    Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and cook the biscuits for 12 to15 minutes. The biscuits are done when their color is golden brown.

    Use a spatula to remove the biscuits from the baking sheet and place them on a large plate.

Tips and Variations

  • Tips

    • Serve the biscuits while hot, either plain or with a small pat of butter on top.

    • Refrigerate the mixing bowl before using it to help keep the butter cold during mixing.


    • Make biscuit muffins. Use an ice cream scoop to drop biscuit dough in greased muffin tins.

    • Make drop biscuits. Use a large spoon to scoop and drop the biscuit dough on a baking sheet. The drop biscuits will be irregular in shape, but a 2-inch drop of dough is a good size.

    • Use ¼ cup apple cider or white vinegar and ½ cup regular milk instead of buttermilk. You will still get the chemical reaction, but the vinegar sharpens the biscuit flavor.

    • Substitute 1/3 cup of shortening for the butter if you prefer baking with shortening.

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  • Photo Credit Brenda A. Carson/iStock/Getty Images
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