We all have what we think in our minds is the perfect biscuit. For me it’s tender in the middle, flaky layers throughout and crispy edges. And let me tell you — these biscuits deliver! They are tender, light and flaky with a soft middle, the perfect flaky sourdough biscuit. Made with cold sourdough discard, butter and a secret ingredient: cream cheese! These sourdough biscuits are so super delicious. I love mine spread with homemade jam or soft butter and honey. Talk about the perfect biscuit for breakfast!
Important Ingredients in Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
All-Purpose Flour: Biscuits are supposed to be light and flaky. You want to limit the formation of gluten strands, so use a lower protein content flour like an all-purpose or pastry flour for best results. You can also use self-rising flour and omit the salt and baking powder from the recipe.
Salt: Salt enhances flavor. Don’t forget to add it!
Baking Powder: Baking powder is the main rising agent in these flaky sourdough biscuits. Once the biscuits hit the hot oven, the baking powder is activated and the combination of heat, pockets of butter and baking powder makes those flaky layers.
Cream Cheese: The surprise ingredient in these biscuits. Cream cheese enhances the texture and makes the biscuits super tender.
Unsalted Butter: I always bake with unsalted butter. Unsalted butter allows me to control the flavor in my baked goods — there is no standard for the amount of salt in salted butter, which makes using salted butter a little unpredictable.
Sourdough Discard: For a sour flavor, use refrigerated discard up to a week or two old. For less sour flavor, use a fresher discard. Cold discard straight from the fridge keeps these biscuits cold and makes them rise even higher! I always use 100% hydration sourdough discard.
Heavy Cream: Heavy cream makes these biscuits tender and flavorful. If you want to substitute buttermilk, you can.
Mixing Up Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
Dry Ingredients: Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Fluff together with a fork. Cut the butter into about 16 small pieces. Add on top of the flour mixture. Cut the cream cheese into small pieces and add on top of the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter (or your fingers work too) to cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. If there are any little chunks of butter, smoosh them between your fingers to break them up.
Wet Ingredients: Add the chilled sourdough discard on top of the flour mixture. Use a fork or baking spoon to incorporate the sourdough discard into the flour/butter/cream cheese mixture. It will look a little shaggy but should mostly incorporate. Add the heavy cream and gently mix a few more times until all the flour is moistened by the heavy cream and the dough comes together to form a ball. If there’s a little flour leftover in the bowl, try to gently incorporate it into the ball of dough.
Looking for More Sourdough Discard Recipes?
Rolling and Cutting Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
Dump the dough onto a pastry mat and fold the dough over on itself a couple times. Incorporate any extra bits of flour as you do this. This creates a few more layers and incorporates any excess flour. Pat the dough out into a circle and use a rolling pin to roll into a 7-8 inch circle. The dough will be fairly thick. Cut dough with a biscuit cutter into 8 biscuits. Press down quickly and decisively without moving the biscuit cutter. Place the cut biscuit on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat until all the biscuits have been cut out. Any extra scraps can be pushed together to make an extra biscuit or two, though it will probably not rise as high as the others. Alternatively, you can shape the dough into a square and cut 9 smaller biscuits out of it using a bench scraper.
Baking Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. A well pre-heated oven will give and retain enough heat to make these biscuits rise high in the oven. If your oven is still preheating after the biscuits are shaped, stick the biscuits in the freezer for a few minutes while the oven preheats. Place the pan of biscuits in. the preheated oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 450 degrees F. Bake biscuits for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes check the biscuits. If you prefer them a little more brown on top, let them bake for another 3-5 minutes. Take them out of the oven and brush melted butter on the tops.
Eating Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
Pretty sure you don’t need a whole paragraph on how to eat one of these amazing biscuits, but here are our some of our favorite flavor combinations:
- Butter and homemade jam
- Butter and honey
- Homemade sausage gravy (or chocolate gravy! Have you tried that one?!)
- Pepper jelly and cream cheese
- Plain – they are just SO good!
How do you like to eat your biscuits?! Leave a review and let me know in the comments!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I store leftover biscuits?
Biscuits are best eaten fresh. Once they’ve cooled, I like to freeze them in an airtight container for. up to a couple of months.
How do flaky sourdough biscuits get their high rise?
The combination of the baking powder and cold sourdough discard give these biscuits a beautiful rise in the oven. The heavy cream, cream cheese and light hand when mixing results in a tender and fluffy biscuit.
Do I need a biscuit cutter?
More important than a biscuit cutter, I’ve found is being decisive and quick with whatever you choose to use. Wherever you cut, let that be your cut! Don’t try to move your biscuit cutter around in a circle. One decisive cut is all you need. You can do this with a circular biscuit cutter or use a bench scraper and cut the biscuits into squares instead of circles.
Flaky Sourdough Biscuits
- 280 grams all-purpose flour about 2 cups
- 12 grams baking powder about 1 Tablespoon
- 6 grams salt about 1 teaspoon
- 60 grams unsalted butter about 1/4 cup
- 60 grams cream cheese about 2 oz (1/4 cup)
- 150 grams sourdough discard cold, about 1/2 cup
- 175 grams heavy cream about 3/4 cup, see recipe note
- 45 grams unsalted butter, melted about 3 Tablespoons, reserved to brush on top of biscuits
- Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl.
- Cut the cold butter into about 16 pieces. Cut the cream cheese into pieces and place on top of the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter and cream cheese into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. If there are any little chunks of butter, smoosh them between your fingers to break them up.
- Add the cold sourdough discard straight from the fridge on top of the flour mixture. Use a fork to mix the dough together until almost all of the flour is incorporated with the sourdough discard. It will look fairly shaggy. Gradually add the heavy cream, a little at a time. If your discard is very runny you may not use as much heavy cream. Gently mix until just incorporated and the dough holds together.
- Dump the dough onto a pastry mat and fold a couple times. Pat out into a circle and use a rolling pin to roll into an 7-8 inch circle. The dough will be fairly thick. Cut dough with a biscuit cutter into 8 biscuits. Press down quickly without moving the biscuit cutter. Place the cut biscuit on the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat until all the biscuits have been cut out. Any extra scraps can be pushed together to make an extra biscuit or two, though it will probably not rise as high as the others. Alternatively you can shape the dough into a square and cut 9 smaller biscuits out of it using a bench scraper.
- Put the biscuits in the oven and immediately decrease the heat to 450 degrees F. Bake biscuits for about 15 minutes until tender on the inside and brown on the outside. If you prefer a browner biscuit, let bake for a few extra minutes.
- When biscuits are finished, brush the tops with melted butter. Serve immediately. Enjoy!