We won’t get too into the many different types of biscuits and all the regions they come from. But generally there are two main styles: drop-style biscuits and rolled biscuits. The biggest difference? A drop biscuit don’t rise as much as its flaky, buttery counterpart.
You’ll find both in most regions, but chef Jared Howard is partial to the rolled variety, specifically when laden with chilled buttermilk and butter, and covered with Old Bay seasoning. Howard is the owner of Honey Bunny’s Chicken, a pop-up concept celebrating comforting American Southern dishes like chicken biscuits, honey-roasted corn, and strawberry shortcake. And as a Baltimore native, Howard’s Chesapeake Bay buttermilk biscuits are a celebration of a very distinct Southern identity.
Howard took over Eater’s Instagram as part of our Eater at Home series to show how he makes these buttery, savory treats. Try the recipe for yourself with the instructions below.
Chesapeake Bay Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 6 to 8 biscuits
3 cups (384 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1⁄4 cup chopped parsley or any other herb
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced, plus more for serving
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, chilled
1 tablespoon of Old Bay or other seasoning salt
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic, parsley (if using), and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter/dough blender (or your fingers), work the butter in just until the mixture turns into coarse crumbs with some pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Using a spatula, gently add in the buttermilk just until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. It’s very important not to over mix the dough.
Flip the dough out onto a very lightly floured work surface and pat into a 3⁄4-inch thick rectangle. Fold it in half once so that it’s 1 1⁄2 inch thick. Do this 5 to 7 more times to create layers in the dough (I like somewhere between 64 and 128).
Roll the dough out to about a 3⁄4- to 1-inch thick rectangle (or large enough so that a 3-inch biscuit cutter can stamp out 6 biscuits) using a lightly floured rolling pin or your hands. If using a pin: Place in the middle of the dough and roll it forward, then put the pin back in the middle of the dough and roll it backward; repeat.
Using a lightly floured 3-inch round cutter (drinking glasses work here too) cut out the biscuits. Note: You should do this in one motion, do not twist or wiggle the cutter. Transfer biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between them. You’ll be left with dough scraps around the edges; you can turn these into doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, and countless other treats. If you prefer, you could also cut the rectangle into 8 squares, which will leave you with no scraps.
If you have time, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator and chill the biscuits for at least one hour before baking; this will yield a flakier biscuit. When ready, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Using the back of a spoon, rub the biscuits lightly with butter. Place the biscuits in the oven. and bake until risen and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with Old Bay or seasoning of choice to taste. Serve immediately with butter.