Sour Milk Biscuits

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Sour Milk Biscuits


I found myself with a huge container of sour milk this morning. I had bought two liters when my son was here the other week and hardly any of it got used.  

They didn't really have cereal or anything, or even coffees in the morning, and I am a person who hardly ever consumes milk at all. I will buy 1 liter and it lasts me a couple weeks unless I am cooking.

Sour Milk Biscuits 

So anyways, I had all this sour milk. I knew I would not be able to use all of it up, but I thought I could at least use some of it up so I went on a search for things to do with it that I hadn't tried before. 

I have a Sour Milk Chocolate Cake recipe which I make that is excellent eating, but I was not in the mood for a cake just now. We will be eating enough Christmas sweets next week.

Sour Milk Biscuits

The recipe I am sharing with you today I adapted from a page called Nourishing Joy, who adapted from a recipe in the book, Baking at Home by the Culinary Institute of America.

I am not sure if the original recipe used buttermilk or sour milk. but no matter, I am sure both would work the same way.  I was very pleased with how these turned out.

Sour Milk Biscuits


As you can see they achieved a really lovely high rise and the texture was beautiful. These were everything a good biscuit should be.

Light and fluffy inside, tall and crisp golden brown on the tops and bottoms. I  was really, really happy with them!

Sour Milk Biscuits 


Just a few simple ingredients are needed.  Nothing too extraordinary.

  • plain all purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • salt (I use fine sea salt)
  • cold butter (I used salted)
  • sour milk (you can also use buttermilk, or I tell you how to sour your own milk)
  • whole milk (full fat)
  • liquid honey

Sour Milk Biscuits 

I know some people can be really intimidated by making biscuits.  They may feel that they never turn out for them, and maybe they don't.

I have never had a problem with biscuits, generally speaking, and that's because I follow several rules when I am making them.  If you follow these, there is no reason why you shouldn't also achieve biscuit baking success!

Sour Milk Biscuits 

First of all sift your dry ingredients together. This helps to make sure that all of the leavening is evenly distributed through the flour. If you are adding sugar or salt, this can get stirred in after you have sifted the flour, etc.

Make sure your fat is cold.  Cold fat will not melt as easily as warm fat would when you are rubbing/cutting the fat into the flour.

Sour Milk Biscuits 

Also don't cut the fat into the flour until its really fine.  Make sure you leave some pea-sized bits of fat throughout.  These little bits of fat will melt and leave nice airy little pockets in your finished biscuit! 

A light touch is best when mixing up, patting/rolling your biscuits.  Over-handling makes for a much tougher result. So do not over mix/pat/roll them out.

Sour Milk Biscuits


When mixing wet ingredients into the butter and dough mixture use a well technique, much like pasta. Depending on the weather, use more or less flour. For humid days use more flour and cut back a bit on dry, hot days.

Bu the well technique I mean make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and then pour the wet ingredients into the well. Generally speaking I use a fork to mix the two together, taking care not to overmix.  Its okay if its a bit lumpy.

Sour Milk Biscuits 

Try to work on a cold surface and with cold hands. You don't want to melt the fat with the warmth of your hands, so hand contact should be as little as possible.

When you tip the dough out onto the surface don't over-flour it. A little bit goes a long way. Basically you just want to be able to keep the dough from sticking to the countertop and the rolling pin if you are using one.

Sour Milk Biscuits

Patting out the dough, folding it in half, patting it out again and repeating this process a few times with give you lots of nice airy flaky layers in your biscuits.

About three times should suffice, and then you should be ready to cut your biscuits out. Today I used a 3 inch round metal cutter.  Make sure when you are cutting them out you use a sharp up and down tapping motion.

Don't twist the cutter. Twisting can cause your biscuits to be lopsided. You may end up with some that are lopsided anyways, but generally speaking you won't if you employ a sharp tap up and down.

Sour Milk Biscuits 

Also, try to get as many cuts out of the first roll/pat out as you can.  Any ones cut from the repatted/rolled scraps will not be as nice to look at or rise as high.

They will still taste really good however, and be perfectly edible.  They just won't look as pretty!  And that's it really. There's no reason why you can't have good biscuits if you employ those hints and tips!

Sour Milk Biscuits

The majority of these have been packed into a freezer bag to take out when my son is visiting over Christmas, but I couldn't help having one myself today.  Split and spread with butter with some jam spooned over top.

Oh my but these are some good biscuits.  I can give them two thumbs up. I think you are going to really like these!  I really do!  

Sour Milk Biscuits

Sour Milk Biscuits

Yield: 12
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 25 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 45 Min
These biscuits are a wonderfully tasty way to use up milk that has gone sour. Alternately you can use buttermilk in the place of the sour milk. They rise like a dream and have a beautiful light texture. Crisp on the outside, fluffy inside.


  • 3 cups (420g) all purpose plain flour
  • 1 1/2 TBS baking powder (yes this is correct)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 8 TBS cold butter
  • 2/3 cup (180ml) sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (20ml) whole milk
  • 2 1/2 TBS honey


  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F/ 200*C/ gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Drop in the butter and cut it in with a pastry blender until you have a mixture resembling small peas. It should also hold together loosely if you press some of it together between your fingers.
  3. Whisk together the sour milk (buttermilk), whole milk and honey. Add all at once to the dry ingredients and mix together quickly with a fork just to combine into a soft dough. (Don't overmix.)
  4. Pat out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Fold in half, turn and roll out again. Fold in half once more, turn and roll out. Repeat this process several times. You want a final thickness of 1 inch.
  5. Using a 3 inch sharp round cutter, stamp out rounds, taking care not to twist the cutter. Place onto the baking sheet. Try to get as many rounds as you can from this first cutting.
  6. Gather the scraps, re-pat and cut as needed, until you have 12 rounds.
  7. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Scoop off onto a wire rack to cool.


If you are lacking in buttermilk and or sour milk, mix 1/2 cup (120ml) milk with 2 TBS lemon juice and let sit for several minutes until it clabbers.

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Sour Milk Biscuits

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  1. These look wonderful, Marie. Hope Nutmeg is finally through his ordeal, happy to be home with his sister and his mama. Have a lovely day. Love and hugs, Elaine.

    1. Thanks Elaine! Nutmeg is doing wonderfully. Cinnamon and I were both very happy to have him home again! I hope you will bake these! They are amazing! Love and hugs, xoxo

  2. Can you freeze these

    1. You absolutely can. Pack into an air tight container and freeze for up to three months. You can gently rewarm them in a low oven for about15 minutes, or until warmed through.

  3. Hi. Do you happen to know how many grams the 8 tablespoons of cold butter are? Have a great day!

    1. Sure thing, it is 114.7 grams! Hope you will bake and enjoy these! xo

  4. Hi does the Sour Milk need to be very sour and lumpy like Butter Milk?


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