A few weeks ago I visited a local Kentucky bakery. On a whim I picked up a package of rolls. They looked a little hard on the outside but I was intrigued by the name: Biscuits, though they looked a lot more like yeast rolls. The biscuits were amazing! This lead me on the hunt to try and recreate these rolls, something I’m still in the process of doing. Along the way, I stumbled upon these amazing high rise yeast biscuits. I don’t even want to tell you how many times I’ve made them since…they are so good. Adding yeast to biscuit dough increases the rise, fluffiness and absolute melt-in-your-mouth tenderness of these biscuits. They are the perfect biscuit to serve with Sunday dinner, spread with jam or use with some lunchmeat for a sandwich. I have a few different biscuit recipes on my site that I love for their ease and flakiness, but this one is worth the extra rise time for the tender, melt-in-your-mouth, high rise biscuit.Jump to High Rise Yeast Biscuits Recipe
Three Rising Agents
A traditional biscuit uses self-rising flour or a lot of baking powder to give it a large oven rise. These high rise yeast biscuits use a combination of rising agents. Instant yeast and an hour rise gives them height and makes them fluffy and delicious. The baking powder and buttermilk react with each other to help create a beautiful rise for the perfect biscuit. One note: I like to use room temperature buttermilk. If you can, pour the buttermilk into a liquid measuring cup before making the biscuits and allow it to come to room temperature. Usually biscuit recipes call for cold butter and cold ingredients to help the biscuits rise in the oven. These biscuits actually benefit from room temperature ingredients (with the exception of the butter) because a warmer environment helps activate the yeast, which gives the biscuits their big rise.
Grated Butter and Shortening
The easiest way to mix up little pieces of butter into dough is to take a cold stick of butter from the refrigerator and grate it. This gives the perfect size pieces of butter for biscuits and is quick and easy, especially if you don’t have a pastry cutter. I also love that the butter pieces are all uniform and combine simply. If you want to substitute the shortening for butter, go ahead. Shortening reduces gluten development or in other words, it shortens the strands of gluten in making biscuits tender and crumbly. Butter, on the other hand, melts in the dough and creates little pockets of steam that lift and puff up the dough. I like including both butter and shortening in my recipe to get a tender, crumbly, flaky biscuit. If you want to just use one over the other, that works. Just beware that you may be sacrificing texture by doing so.
Fold in Half and Top with Butter
I love that these high rise yeast biscuits are rolled out, cut and folded in half before placing in a greased baking dish. The fold gives the biscuits more height and makes them the perfect vehicle for a biscuit sandwich. I think these would be great with some bacon, egg and cheese or even as a nice hearty biscuit to top with some sausage or chocolate gravy. After the biscuits come out of the oven, use a pastry brush to brush them with melted butter. You may think a single coating is enough, but keep coating them until all the butter is used up. The extra butter on top takes these high rise yeast biscuits over the top.
I made these biscuits gluten-free for my sister who doesn’t eat gluten and she was blown away by how delicious they were. I even sampled some of the gluten-free biscuits and I must say they were delicious. If you want to make these gluten-free, follow the recipe exactly as stated, but substitute in Cup4Cup flour (affiliate link). I’ve found Cup4Cup does a great job in making cookies, muffins, and pancakes gluten-free. If you are looking for a great gluten-free biscuit, these are amazing using gluten-free flour.
Even though these high rise yeast biscuits take a little bit longer than a traditional biscuit recipe, they are worth every hour of that rise time. Still faster than traditional rolls because they only need one rise, you will love having these biscuits at your dinner table! Enjoy!
High Rise Yeast Biscuits
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast see note
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 5 cups all purpose flour see note
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening Crisco or similar brand
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups buttermilk room temperature
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for topping biscuits
- To a small bowl, add the instant yeast, warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater) and sugar. Set aside while you mix the other ingredients. The yeast will smell yeasty and become bubbly during this time.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large bowl. Stir together to combine.
- Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter (affiliate link), your fingers or two knives. Continue until the shortening is in very small pea-shaped pieces.
- Using a box grater, grate the cold butter on the edges of the grater. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture. Mix to combine.
- To the flour/butter mixture, add the reserved yeast and the buttermilk. Mix gently until the dough forms a ball.
- Turn the dough out on the counter and fold over once or twice, being careful not to overwork the dough.
- Pat and roll the dough into a large rectangle (roughly 20 inches by 13 inches) and 1/2 inch or more thick. Cut the dough into 20-24 rectangular pieces (depending on how many you want) using a bench knife (affiliate link) or sharp knife.
- Fold each rectangle in half and place in a greased 9 by 13 baking pan. Continue filling up the pan and nestling the rolls together.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise about an hour. The time may vary based on the temperature of the buttermilk and the temperature of your kitchen.
- Once the biscuits have risen (puffed up and approximately doubled in size), preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake biscuits for 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
- As soon as they come out of the oven, brush melted butter on top of the biscuits. Continue brushing until all the butter is used up. Enjoy immediately!
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