Cheddar biscuits, made with buttermilk and sharp Cheddar cheese, made quite the impression with our testers. They adored them and we can very nearly guarantee that you’ll be as thrilled as they were.
Biscuits are prized for their flakiness and dramatic rise. Often they’re made with buttermilk, which historically was leftover after churning butter. The theory is that its acidity, combined with a small amount of baking soda, will result in a more dramatic rise and a tangy flavor.–Julie Van Rosendaal and Jan Scott
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USING MILK VS. BUTTERMILK IN BAKING?
Often biscuits are made with buttermilk. This is because the acid in buttermilk reacts with baking soda, giving your biscuits a loftier rise, with more crunch and a sturdier texture. And they’ll have that classic buttermilk flavor. Milk biscuits should have softer insides but are still satisfyingly flaky, while not rising as significantly. Visually, biscuits made with milk won’t darken as much in the oven, either.
- Biscuit or cookie cutter (optional)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter chilled and cut into pieces
- 1/2 to 1 cup grated Cheddar (depending on just how much you like cheese)
- 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk, or substitute buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat) plus more as needed
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the cheese and toss to combine, using more cheese if you’re into an intense Cheddar biscuit experience. Add the milk (or buttermilk) and stir just until the dough comes together. It may be necessary to add a little more milk (or buttermilk), 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the mixture comes together in a shaggy dough.
- For wedge-shaped biscuits, pat the dough into a circle about 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) thick on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and separate them so that they are at least an inch apart. For round biscuits, pat the dough into a circle or square about 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) thick on your work surface and cut it into rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter, rim of a glass, or end of an empty can. Move the biscuits to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently reshape any dough scraps and cut more biscuits.
- Bake the biscuits for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden. Let cool slightly. Best when served warm.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
These biscuits rock! The ingredients were readily available, and the recipe was a cinch to put together. I used 6 ounces of shredded Tillamook extra-sharp Cheddar cheese and buttermilk. I divided the dough into 8 wedge-shaped biscuits and baked them for the full 20 minutes. The result was a crunchy biscuit with browned flakes of Cheddar. The perfect addition to our scrambled egg breakfast.
I love all kinds of biscuits. And these Cheddar biscuits are easy peasy! I used the food processor for the first part of the recipe. When adding the cold butter, it's important that it's not incorporated completely into the flour. There should be little pieces of butter. This way, the butter melts between the layers of flour in the oven, rendering the biscuits flaky and tender.
I served these for breakfast on Valentine's Day, warm from the oven, and my husband was thrilled. The cheese added flavor but was still quite subtle. The biscuits needed some preserves—marmalade or any jam would work well. I'll definitely add this recipe to my biscuit list.
Originally published April 04, 2015