Freeze and bake biscuits are the best way to have fresh bread on your dinner or holiday table without the stress! Black pepper and sage buttermilk biscuits can be baked fresh or frozen to be used at a later date when you have a moments notice need for biscuits or are trying to get ahead of the game when cooking for a crowd!
I don’t know about you, but fresh bread is pretty much one of my favorite things in the world. But let’s be honest, on a day as calorie packed as Thanksgiving, bread is really only worth the calories when it is less than an hour old.
That is a lot of pressure on a day like Thanksgiving, or really, any day that involves a lot of cooking. Or it could just be a lazy day that you want hot biscuits but really don’t want to get flour all over your counter and in your hair (is that just me?).
Thankfully, biscuits freeze and bake really well! These babies could be made days, weeks, heck even months, before you need them! Just pop them in the oven 15 minutes before you are sitting down to eat and a hot buttery biscuit is moments away from your mouth. That is may be the most exciting thing in life for me.
This biscuit recipe is the same as my Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits recipe with some added black pepper and sage to “fancy” it up a little. This is my trick during the holidays. I take my good old standard recipes and add just a little something extra to a few of them. Fresh herbs are my typical go-to. You could use thyme or rosemary here, or even tarragon would be lovely.
To start, all of the dry ingredients are whisked together in a large bowl.
If you remember from my Biscuit Mixing Method tutorial, pieces of cold fat are cut through the dry ingredients. The fat coats the gluten strands and “shortens” them helping to prevent a tough biscuit.
You want the mixture to look like coarse meal at this point. Those pieces of cold fat will produce steam when they melt and the moisture evaporates out of them. This is what helps create flakiness in biscuits.
Stir the buttermilk in to create a soft and fairly sticky dough. If it is a very humid day, you may need a touch more flour in your dough. But try to avoid adding a lot more flour. If the dough feels almost unmanageable, you are actually good. You want a good amount of moisture in the dough to produce the steam in the oven.
Lightly flour a clean work surface and your hands. Sprinkle some flour over top the dough and turn it out onto the work surface. Gently fold the dough over itself a few times to create some layers. Gently pat the dough out to about 3/4″-1″ thick.
Cut out the biscuits and, if freezing, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the biscuits are frozen hard, about an hour. Transfer the frozen biscuits to a zip top freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and store in the freezer until ready to bake.
When you are ready to bake the biscuits, remove from the freezer and arrange the amount you want to bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, while preheating your oven. For these particular biscuits, I like to brush them with some melted butter and top them with some fresh cracked black pepper just before going into the oven.
Now, I should note here, that baking these biscuits from frozen will not give you as much of a lift as baking them fresh. They will still rise and be flaky, just not quite as high. I think it’s a small price to pay for stress free fresh biscuits on a busy cooking day.
Now that I’ve experimented with how well the freeze and bake technique can work with biscuits I think I need to keep some on hand all the time! That way just a few can easily be baked when needed. I hate throwing out left over biscuits and they are just not the same the day after.
These biscuits in particular also made for a really over the top biscuits and gravy. The black pepper and sage only enhanced those flavor profiles in the gravy. I made this for brunch for Mr. BB and I this weekend and it was my favorite version I’ve made so far.
Can we just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of buttermilk biscuits? I just can’t even tell you how excited it makes me to pull these beauties out of the oven!
Fresh, beautiful, Black Pepper and Sage Buttermilk Biscuits anytime you want them. And you will want them a lot.
You are welcome.
Black Pepper and Sage Biscuits
These biscuits can be baked immediately or frozen and kept in the freezer until moments before you need them. Freeze and bake biscuits take all the stress out of having fresh hot bread ready when cooking a big meal!
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 TBSP baking powder
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 TBSP coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 TBSP finely chopped fresh sage
- 12 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups cold buttermilk (or soured milk- see notes)
- melted butter and black pepper for topping
- Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and sage) in a large bowl and whisk together.
- Add the cold butter pieces into the dry ingredients and cut into the flour, using a pastry cutter or a fork, until it resembles coarse meal.
- Add the cold buttermilk into the bowl and stir with a spoon or a rubber spatula JUST until combined. This should only take a few turns. The dough will be pretty wet and sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. With floured hands gently pat out (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Add a tiny bit of flour over top if needed and fold the dough over itself about 5 times, gently pressing down in between each fold. Gently pat the dough out to a 1 inch thick.
- Use a round cutter to cut into rounds about 2 1/2 inch wide.
- Gently pat the scraps together to cut out the rest of your biscuits. These biscuits will not be quite as tender.
- IF BAKING IMMEDIATELY: Place the biscuits in a cake pan or springform pan close together. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake in a preheated 450F oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven door for AT LEAST the first half of baking time. You want the steam to stay trapped in the oven to help with the rise. Brush biscuits with melted butter if desired.
- IF FREEZING THE BISCUITS TO BAKE LATER: Place the biscuits in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until frozen solid, about 1 hour. Transfer the frozen biscuits into a zip top freezer bag, pushing out all of the air, and store in the freezer until ready to bake.
- TO BAKE FROM FROZEN: Remove the biscuits from the freezer and place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, giving some space in between for heat circulation (this is important when baking from frozen). Let biscuits sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 475F. Brush the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 475F for 8 minutes without opening the door, then shut the oven off and leave the biscuits in the oven for another 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. The biscuits will only be halfway done baking after the first 8 minutes and will look really pale in color. They will get golden as they sit in the oven and finish baking.
If you do not have buttermilk on hand you can make “soured milk” by combining 2 cups of milk with 2 TBSPs of lemon juice or white vinegar and let it sit for about 5 minutes. You need acid in this recipe from either the buttermilk or the soured milk to activate the baking soda.