If you like grandma's buttermilk biscuits, Tandem Bakery in Portland, Maine bakes off a cult favorite recipe that may just be the best buttermilk biscuit in America. Nostalgic in just about every way possible, this biscuit rises high into flakey layers of buttery goodness inside and a crispy top on the exterior that is made 21st century good with a flakey sea salt sprinkle when they are hot out of the oven. Hard to resist munching these golden discs straight from the oven, but even more extraordinary when split and slathered with European butter and homemade jam, or served alongside roast or pan fried chicken with cream gravy for a savory Sunday supper sundry. We always have rolls of compound butter in our freezer and we find ourselves reaching for the honeycomb butter most often when these babies are filling the house with the irresistible smell of baking bread. These biscuits are the pillowy, golden crisp deliciousness food memories are made of!
cuisine American
difficulty Moderate
makes 18 Biscuits
season Year Round

Ingredients for the Biscuits

  • 850 grams (5 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Diamond Kosher Salt
  • 25 grams (1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 1 pound Kerrygold Butter, cold, grated on medium sized hole cheese grater, or cut into 1/4" pieces (put in the freezer for 20 minutes)
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups buttermilk, cold
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Flakey sea salt, for finishing

Ingredients for the Honeycomb Butter

  • 8 ounces Kerrygold unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces honeycomb
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Sea salt flakes

Directions for the Biscuits

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper
  2. Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. If using cubed rather than grated butter, pour the dry ingredients into the food processor and toss in the butter. Pulse just until the mixture looks like small sandy peas, kind of shaggy, not completely homogenized. Otherwise, fold the butter into the dry ingredients until combined taking care not to smoosh the butter.
  4. Add half of the buttermilk and toss with a spoon, when incorporated add the rest of the buttermilk, and toss gently until dry mix is lightly hydrated all throughout. (it is important to avoid smashing or mashing the mixture together at this point).  
  5. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface.
  6. Use your hands to gently flatten out the mixture and then take a rolling pin and roll the mass gently but firmly to slightly flatten it. 
  7. Fold the mixture onto itself (it may be crumbly and messy, but just go for it) and fold what you can down from the top.
  8. Roll gently again with the rolling pin and rotate the dough 90 degrees. Repeat this roll, turn, and fold a few times until there is a more or less combined mass.
  9. Gather the dough together with your hands and knead firmly against the table surface until you have a slightly more combined ball of dough.
  10.  Roll this dough out a bit, then fold it in half and roll again. Do this one more time. This is your final layer building.
  11. After that, roll to 1 ¼” thick and cut with a large 3" biscuit cutter (we prefer a square cutter to minimize scrap waste), and place upside down on the baking pan
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate the tray, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and slightly pale on the sides.
  13. Brush the top of each biscuit with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.

Directions for the Honeycomb Butter

  1. Dice the honeycomb.
  2. Place all ingredients except for the salt into a bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Using a spatula, turn the butter mixture onto a piece of parchment paper. Fold the paper over the honeycomb butter and gently shape into a log.
  4. Put the sea salt flakes on a small plate.
  5. Unwrap the butter log and lightly roll it in the sea salt flakes until all sides have a bit of salt over the honey butter mixture.
  6. Wrap the butter in the parchment, twist the ends of the paper to seal the honeycomb butter, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.