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Cathead Biscuits

This easy Cathead Biscuits recipe makes buttery, flaky, huge buttermilk biscuits. They are a wonderfully versatile addition to anyone’s recipe box and there are so many ways to enjoy them!

There is nothing like a warm, flaky biscuit fresh out of the oven. Break it open, slather it with salted butter or sausage gravy, and dig in.

These cathead biscuits give conventional biscuits a run for their money. They are buttery and flaky and the buttermilk in them gives them a delightful tenderness and the perfect amount of tang. Plus they are literally the size of a cat’s head! These homemade biscuits deliver a hefty punch of southern comfort and are perfect for any occasion.

Why You’ll Love this Cathead Biscuits Recipe

Here are some of the reasons I love these southern biscuits and why I think you will too:

  • Simple. These cathead biscuits only require 5 ingredients and a few quick and easy steps. A busy baker’s paradise.
  • Texture. When I think biscuit, I think flaky, buttery melt-in-your-mouth perfection. These cathead biscuits have all of the above plus a unique tenderness made possible by the use of buttermilk.
  • Tangy. I love the tang that the buttermilk brings to these biscuits. It’s just enough to make you raise your eyebrows and ask “what’s in these that makes them so delicious!?”.
  • Versatile. There are so many ways to enjoy these biscuits! Serve them with sausage gravy, add them to your thanksgiving dinner, or serve them on top of chicken pot pie filling. Make a big batch and experiment with your favorite ways to enjoy them!
Cathead biscuits baked on a baking sheet.

Why Are They Called Cathead Biscuits?

Cathead biscuits are named because of their size: they are as big as a cat’s head! They were developed in pre-Civil War times in the south as an easy-to-throw-together take on the much-loved, classic biscuit. Instead of carefully rolling and cutting the dough, it was placed on the pan in a rough, large shape and cooked to puffy perfection.

I chose to roll and cut the dough here, but you could easily skip this step and do it the old-fashioned way. These biscuits are now popular all over the south, especially in the Mississippi Delta as a down-home comfort food.

Recipe Ingredients

You only need 5 ingredients to make these flaky buttermilk biscuits. Here’s a quick overview. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Unsalted butter – As cold as possible.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder – Make sure your baking powder is still good. After about 6 months, it starts to lose its potency.
  • Kosher salt
  • Buttermilk – Don’t use a different kind of milk here. The buttermilk adds tenderness and a tang that other products do not.

How to Make Cathead Biscuits

Here’s a quick rundown of how to make these southern biscuits. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cube the butter. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
  • Combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
Biscuit dough in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the chilled butter. Work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers by pressing the butter and flour mixture together. Or, you can mix on low speed until the cubes of flour are distributed evenly. The mixture should resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Add some of the buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated and you have a dough that holds together.
  • Roll and fold the dough. Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin on a well-floured work surface. Fold the dough over itself into thirds, roll flat again, and repeat.
  • Shape the biscuits. Cut the dough into 8 large circles. You can roll up extra dough and shape it into additional biscuits around the same size. (Note that the biscuits made with the dough scraps won’t be as pretty but they’ll still be tasty!)
  • Bake. Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, brush with the remaining buttermilk, and bake for 22-28 minutes or until golden brown.
Closeup of cathead biscuits on a baking sheet.

Tips for Perfect Biscuits

Biscuits are a marvelously simple thing. That being said, there are some important tips and tricks to keep in mind if you want to get them right. Here they come.

  • Keep the butter cold. Cold butter will release steam as it cooks, giving loft to the biscuits and making them flaky. So keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cube it. I even suggest popping it back in the fridge for a couple of minutes before incorporating the cubes into the dough.
  • Aim for pea-sized butter. When mixing the butter with the dry ingredient, do not let it break down into too-small pieces. The larger chunks of butter are largely responsible for the flaky texture you are aiming for.
  • Cold buttermilk. Keep the buttermilk in the refrigerator all the way up until adding it to the dough. This will help keep the temperature of the dough down and the butter from melting.
  • Don’t overwork the dough. When mixing the ingredients together, mix just until incorporated. No more. Otherwise, the gluten in the flour will overdevelop and leave you with tough biscuits. When rolling the dough out, note that hands give off a lot of heat. Handle the dough as little as possible to avoid melting the butter. 
  • Chill the dough. If you feel the dough has gotten too warm, pop it in the refrigerator before cutting and baking. It is important that the biscuits start their journey in the oven as cold as possible.

Ways to Use Them

I love how versatile these homemade biscuits are. Enjoy them on their own, with breakfast, as a tasty side dish, or even as part of a dessert. The possibilities are nearly endless but here are some of my favorite ways to use them.

  • With gravy. Smother these biscuits with sausage gravy you are well on your way to the perfect southern breakfast.
  • With eggs. Gravy or no gravy, these are great for breakfast. Serve them with scrambled eggs, or make a fried and let the yolk spill into the tender biscuit.
  • Butter and jam. Another simple yet delicious breakfast classic.
  • Butter and honey. Or, spread your biscuit with softened honey and drizzle it with honey. So good.
  • Chicken pot pie. Forget complicated pie crusts. Whip up a chicken pot pie filling and top it off with these buttery cathead biscuits.
  • Thanksgiving side dish. Slather them with butter and serve them with Turkey and cranberry sauce.
Cathead biscuits baked on a baking sheet.

How to Store Cathead Biscuits

Allow the biscuits to cool to room temperature before sealing them in an airtight container or wrapping them in plastic wrap. You can store them on the countertop for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can also freeze cathead for up to 6 months. If you go the freezer route, I suggest wrapping the individual biscuits in a double layer of saran wrap to prevent freezer burn. Allow them to thaw at room temperature or pop them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5-10 minutes before diving in.

More Biscuit Recipes to Try

Biscuits are one of my favorite comfort foods. Here are some more recipes to try!

Print

Cathead Biscuits

These buttery, flaky, buttermilk biscuits are literally as big as a cat’s head! They are a wonderfully versatile addition to anyone’s recipe box.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 biscuits
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Southern

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided use

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cube the butter and store it in the refrigerator while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt on low speed until incorporated.
  4. Add the chilled butter to the bowl. Work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers, or mix on low speed until the cubes of butter are spread evenly throughout the flour mixture and it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  5. Add 1 ¼ cups buttermilk and mix on low speed until just incorporated
  6. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and roll it flat with a rolling pin.
  7. Fold the dough over itself into thirds and roll flat again.
  8. Repeat step 7.
  9. Cut the dough into 8 large circles and arrange on the prepared baking sheet.
  10. Brush the biscuits with the remaining buttermilk.
  11. Bake for 22-28 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Last Step:

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Keywords: cathead biscuits, southern biscuits, homemade biscuits

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