Can we talk about how awesome biscuits are for a minute? Fresh baked and fluffy, these delicious little monsters are a game changer. Served with a nob of butter and a side of scrambled eggs? Ahm, yes please. Add in some maple bacon? Incredible. And the best part? They are easy to put together and can be kept in the freezer for whenever you have a hankering for an extra special breakfast. Which is, you know, pretty much every day.
I started to recipe test these biscuits when I was putting together a menu for a ladies weekend brunch party. I wanted something both sweet and savory, so I thought cheddar biscuits with honey butter would be the perfect combination. The first few attempts to create the biscuits were fine, but nothing out of this world. I started by adding cheddar cheese to a standard recipe, however, these biscuits just weren’t flaky or tender enough for me. So I did some research and stumbled upon a blog post by A Cup Of Jo entitled ‘The Best (Cheesy) Biscuits You’ll Ever Have‘. With that kind of title I had to try making them, and they truly did live up to the name. What I noticed that set these biscuits apart were a few tricks that really changed the final product.
1. Use cold butter and shred into the dough with a box grater. Talk about an amazing baking trick. You know how every biscuit recipe says to work the butter until you have pea sized amounts? Well, voila! you’re already halfway there using a grater. Now for me, I already keep my butter in the freezer to prevent it from picking up odors in the fridge (see here) so I just use frozen butter to ensure a flaky final product. (similar to a pie dough!) When in the oven, the butter melts, creating the layers between the flour, and the water from the butter creates steam to help rise. In other words, the perfect biscuit.
2. Don’t overwork your dough! Seriously, stop touching it. Stop trying to make it perfectly incorporated. You want the dough to just come together and have visible bits of butter and cheese. Again, you want the butter to stay cold and just rise in the oven, not melt to the touch by you kneading it. When you are finished, you can pat into a circle and cut the biscuits, as Adrianna suggests, or use a rolling pin like I did because I was (sneakily) trying to get a larger yield- 15 instead of 8!
I guarantee if you use these tips, you will have a new breakfast staple. I think I might even modify my scones to use these methods as well and see how they come out. Stay tuned!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 stick (6 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen or very cold!
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
1 large egg, cold
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 large egg, cold
1 tbsp. buttermilk, cold
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp. honey
Preheat your oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside. Using a box grater, shred the cheddar cheese and set the bowl in the fridge. Take a small bowl and whisk together the egg and buttermilk for the egg wash and set in the fridge.
Take your frozen (or very cold) butter and shred into the dry ingredients as you go to get them coated in flour. If this process takes a while, keep the bowl in the freezer as you shred the butter and take out to keep tossing in the flour. When you’re finished with the butter, toss the shredded cheddar cheese into the mixture to incorporate. Leave the bowl in the freezer while you gather the wet ingredients.
Measure out the buttermilk, crack in your egg and whisk until combined. Take the bowl out of the freezer and pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix to incorporate and then using your hands, very gently knead just until the dough comes together. Dusting your counter with flour, gently roll out with a rolling pin, or with your hands, press into a circle- 3/4 inch for taller biscuits, or 1/2 inch to get a larger yield. Cut straight down- no twists- using a biscuit cutter to get those nice flaky edges (you can also use a mason jar or drinking glass, just know it doesn’t flake up as much).
Transfer the biscuits to the lined baking sheet and continue to combine the dough together to cut more. If the dough gets too warm, throw in the fridge until you’re ready to keep going- that goes for the cut out biscuits as well. Once you have a full sheet, brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 10-15 minutes. While the biscuits are baking, take the softened butter and combine with the honey until smooth. Spread over the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven. Delicious!
*If you want to store these frozen, simply keep the uncooked biscuits on a baking sheet or small tray in the freezer until they become firm, and then transfer to a ziploc bag. When you remove them to bake off, simply add a few minutes more to the baking time.
*I omitted the chives from the original recipe because I was serving with honey butter. Feel free to include if you’re serving with some fried eggs or something savory.