Butter Swim Biscuits: The Easy Recipe You Should Try Next

Posted: June 21, 2020 in Recipes

biscuitsFirst, there was a wave of quarantine baking, so intense that you couldn’t (and maybe still can’t!) find bread flour anywhere. Now, it seems like our Instagram feeds are seeing something new and comfort-foody: butter swim biscuits.

What are butter swim biscuits?

They’re delicious homemade biscuits (easy dough, I promise!) cooked in a pool of butter. Quick and easy to put together, the taste and tender crumb makes you want to have breakfast for dinner. So, let’s stop all this chatter and get on with the show.

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups cold buttermilk (here’s how to make buttermilk)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Then, whisk the four dry ingredients together. Cut the shortening in until the mix becomes a bit crumbly.

Step 2: Add the buttermilk

Bit by bit pour the buttermilk into the mix, working it into a dough as you go. As soon as it becomes a cohesive dough, stop adding buttermilk (and stop mixing—nobody wants a tough crumb). We don’t want a soppy dough. It should be just wet enough. If you find that the recommended amount of buttermilk is not enough, add a little more until the dough forms.

Step 3: Melt the butter

Melt 7 tablespoons of the butter. Once melted, pour it into your baking dish. (You can use any dish you feel is appropriate. I chose a roughly 13 x 6 dish. To be really precise, check out how to adjust for different pan sizes.)

Place the dough into the dish and flatten with your hand, filling the space with an even-ish layer of biscuit dough. You will see the butter come up over the sides and onto the top of the dough—this is exactly what you want.

Step 4: Cut the biscuits

Cut the biscuits before placing in the oven. I cut mine into eight, though biscuits in an 8" x 8" dish might work better as nine servings. Go with your gut—it’s your kitchen!

Step 5: Bake

Bake for 20 minutes. If the top hasn’t browned, turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes and let the top get a bit of color. Don’t go far, stick by that oven! You don’t want all your work to be for naught.

When ready, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. Finally, brush the tops with the last tablespoon of melted butter.

Serve warm with molasses, butter, sausages, eggs, or gravy. They’ll be a hit!

Initial Thoughts

The instructions above make this seem a lot more complicated than it really is. The process is straightforward. You should also have most ingredients in your pantry already, save for the buttermilk, perhaps.

I was concerned that the biscuits would be some difficult feat. However, this dough was simple to make and the result was fantastic. Remember: It doesn’t have to be complicated to be good!

About the Butter

The stick of butter? Not too much at all! The butter pool gave the biscuits beautiful color, incredible flavor and made the biscuits easy to serve, allowing them to pop right out. Instead of having the butter in the recipe, it is around the biscuits, allowing for the light browning that only butter can give, yet still soaking into the dough for the flavor.

The Outcome

Yes, yes, yes! This will become a weekly tradition, bringing me back to my Mississippi roots. Southern or not, these biscuits belong in everyone’s family cookbook.

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