These bacon Cheddar biscuits are surprisingly light and airy and take their goodness from applewood-smoked bacon and extra sharp Cheddar. A Southern classic perfectly suitable to any time of day.
These are the type of biscuits that Southerners like to keep on hand for cocktail parties, bridge luncheons, and afternoon teas. Feel free to experiment with various styles of bacon and cheese. [Editor’s Notes: Cocktail parties. Bridge luncheons. Afternoon tea. Weekend brunch. Holiday table. After-school snack. Midnight craving. We could go on, but we think you get the gist that these bacon Cheddar biscuits really suit any occasion. Well, almost any occasion. Use your judgement.]–James Villas
- 2-inch (5-cm) biscuit cutter
- 1/2 pound sliced applewood-smoked bacon
- Butter for the baking sheet
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1/3 cup lard* chilled
- 1/2 pound extra-sharp Cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup milk preferably whole
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Adjust the oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Lightly butter a baking sheet or wait and slick it with the bacon drippings.
- In a large skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat till crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble it into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne.
- Add the lard and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter or 2 knives held crisscross fashion till the mixture is crumbly. Add the bacon, cheese, and milk and stir with a fork just till the dry ingredients are well moistened.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times—no more. Using your hands, gently pat the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut out rounds with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Pat the scraps together and cut out more rounds.
☞TESTER TIP: Don't handle the dough too much—stir in the milk mixture just till the dry ingredients are moistened, knead the dough no more than a few times, and be certain to pat the dough out gently with your fingertips rather than roll it out with a rolling pin.
- Arrange the rounds about 1/2 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake till golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
*What You Need To Know About The Magic Of Lard In BiscuitsWe know, we know. You’re used to using butter in your homemade biscuits. But if you want the biscuits to be particularly light and crisp, rely on lard and not butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Being a southern gal, these bacon Cheddar biscuits are right up my alley. I did use lard, as I often do when making biscuits, and I also always pat out the dough with my fingers instead of rolling it.
The only thing I’d do differently next time is use buttermilk instead of plain milk. I used some really good white extra-sharp cheese and I loved this with the crispy applewood-smoked bacon—a marriage made in culinary heaven.
We had 1 warm, and it was wonderful, but they’re also good once they cool. I’ll definitely make these again.
These bacon Cheddar biscuits were indeed light. Incredibly light. I kneaded and patted very gently and was rewarded with high, tender biscuits full of smoky, cheesy goodness.
I fried the bacon as directed here, but I generally cook my bacon a pound at a time in the oven and store it in the freezer to have on hand. After the bacon is cooked, the rest is a breeze. I cut in the fat with my fingers, but you can also make a double batch in the food processor for a party. In that case, I’d make them a little smaller—bite-sized—and serve them as hors d’oeuvres.
I liked the suggestion of another tester to try buttermilk, although that will probably require a leavening adjustment. Really, there’s no reason to mess with this simple recipe since it works perfectly as written and these biscuits are so delicious. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Biscuits are always wonderful, but even more so when made with cheese and bacon! These are nice, light biscuits that are easy to put together, but definitely special enough to serve to company either with breakfast or as a side with dinner. I admit to having been hesitant to use lard, but biscuits aren’t health food and the lard works well.
I wasn’t able to find applewood-smoked bacon at my grocery store, but the good bacon I bought was just fine in this recipe. I had 1 percent milk on-hand, so that’s what I used and it was fine. I’m sure it would be even better with full-fat milk. I wish that there was some range suggested for the amount of cayenne instead of being “to taste.” I guessed and used 1/8 teaspoon, but I probably could have used more.
I am growing tired of the love affair with bacon, but I couldn’t pass up these bacon-Cheddar biscuits. I used Maytag extra-sharp white Cheddar (and you thought they only made blue cheese), local bacon (hello, I live in Iowa, home of the pig), and a light hand on the cayenne. Totally delicious. I inhaled 1 biscuit straight from the oven, another one that was on the hot side of warm, a warm one, and then a room temperature biscuit. (For research purposes, of course.) Each one was light, fluffy, and really, really good.
I’ve already made plans to try the rest with honey, apple wedges, and a microbrew. One word of warning: these biscuits are really salty. I’d decrease the salt by about half.
I enjoyed making these bacon Cheddar biscuits as much as eating them. I may not be an expert on biscuits (full disclosure: I’m a Northerner), but I made sure to use leaf lard and the biscuits turned out surprisingly light and not greasy for the large amount of cheese specified.
My dough was very sticky and I had a bit of trouble with only a lightly floured surface. I had to add an extra sprinkle of flour over the dough, but that variation is understandable.
I managed 22 biscuits from the recipe by using all the scraps. My family ate the biscuits in 3 days and they were fine stored airtight for that period of time.
I knew this was a hit just after glancing at the ingredients. Bacon. Lard. Cheese. It’s like something revolving around what would be My Last Meal. My guests felt the same way; there were 4 of us sitting around a platter of 18 biscuits and a 6-pack of beer. All of the biscuits were gone in an hour’s time. We loved the crispy cheese on the bottom of the biscuits.
I used 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, because we really like that kick, and next time, I’ll reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. The bacon is already salty as it is, so you don’t need to add that much more to the dough. Be sure to use some of the bacon fat to grease the pan (why not?).
This bacon Cheddar biscuits recipe yields a moist, tender biscuit with a slightly chewy crust and a great savory cheese flavour.
As good as these biscuits are, I think I’ll try a bit more crumbled bacon next time.
Although they do keep, they’re best enjoyed within a few days. To reheat, try about 5 minutes or so at 350°F in the oven before serving.
This bacon Cheddar biscuits recipe was good! I didn’t have sharp Cheddar cheese but I did use a medium Cheddar and it was still great. Though it was a little confusing to cut the bacon before you cooked it, it was much easier to cook that way.
These were a huge hit and I plan to make them for company, just like the intro says.
This bacon Cheddar biscuits recipe was very easy to make. Everything came together very quickly and everyone liked their taste. They could probably take even more spice (just adding a bit more pepper or adding other spice such as chipotle or chili powder).
Delicious. Crispy and tender. Easy to come together.
The dough was pretty sticky so I had to use a little extra flour, but I don’t think that changed the outcome too much. We ate them as soon as they were cool enough to rip into, and again warmed the next day with a fried egg.
As much as I adore biscuits, I’m usually looking for jam or ham to put on them. With these bacon Cheddar biscuits, I didn’t feel the need. The Cheddar and the bacon add that boost of flavor, and I appreciate that this is a recipe that you can riff on.
I did use butter, since the nearest grocery story that normally carries lard was out of it. The dough seems pretty wet at first, but it comes together nicely with the kneading, and not having to roll the dough makes the recipe easier. I recommend brushing off any excess flour from the top of the biscuits, as some of it wasn’t absorbed during baking.
I also used a mix of cayenne and chili powder for a spicy combination. I’ll try adding jalapenos or smoky chipotle powder the next time.
Originally published March 11, 2020
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You’re talking to a girl who grew up on Pioneer sausage and cheese cocktail biscuits—and these bacon-Cheddar biscuits are right up there with them! Easy, delicious, light as a cloud, exactly as advertised—the only problem was letting them cool before devouring them. They have just the right amount of bacon and cheese in them, along with a kick of cayenne (I used 1/4 teaspoon) that hits the spot.
Cut much smaller, they would be perfect for cocktails or for lunch alongside a bowl of soup or salad. Any way you want to eat them, these are worth a try. The recipe yield is just as stated—18 rounds of deliciousness.