I love biscuits and have made many. The one thing that gets me is cutting the butter. I have used several different approaches with varying degrees of success. What works for you.

  • 8
    It'd be helpful if you edit in which approaches you've tried, and what you did/did not like about each. We're a question-and-answer site, not a discussion site.
    – derobert
    Oct 9, 2012 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


I love using a pastry cutter, something like this:

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It does the best job cutting butter or shortening into flour. Every now and again while using it I use a fork or butter knife to remove the big blockages.


I used to use a pastry cutter, but it was hard work and a pain in the butt clearing the blockages. So I switched to using a food processor.

It's so much quicker, and providing you cut the cold butter into 1x5cm sticks, it yields perfect results with just a few pulses.

  • I have to agree with this method. It is quick and easy. Oct 9, 2012 at 18:51
  • 1
    Having no dishwasher, I find removing blockages easier than washing out a food processor by hand. But I do agree that otherwise it is quick.
    – lemontwist
    Oct 9, 2012 at 19:08
  • I don't have a dishwasher. Hot water works wonders on butter Oct 9, 2012 at 20:15

I usually use my hands, working on soft butter chopping small pieces with my fingers.

  • 3
    Using your hands is a bad idea. The heat from your hands will, in time, melt the butter making your biscuits less flaky. Besides, karate chopping butter is difficult to boot. Oct 9, 2012 at 18:49
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    @Jake- This technique has its place and isn't a bad idea. It is done with the fingertips to limit melting and is more of a rubbing motion. It is less flaky because some of the fat is rubbed in but sometimes that is desirable for a more tender product. Oct 9, 2012 at 20:04

One, cut up your butter into small cubes, then freeze it on a plate. The colder you keep the butter the better the result. Then, if you have one, use a food processor to cut the butter into the flour. I don't have one, so I use a cutter, then finish it with my fingertips. If I feel the butter is getting too warm I'll put the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes.

I've found that as important as the cutting is the flour I use. The lower the protein content the better. That, and work the dough as little as humanly possible to avoid gluten chains.

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