Cheese Biscuits (with a little something extra)

Well - it's a while since Ol' Lori has posted a recipe. I've been baking plenty but focus has been elsewhere.

Let's get on with the show shall we?

Things you Need (also known as ingredients)

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little for dusting the work surface
1Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)

1 tsp ground pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp granulated sugar

6 Tbsp (85g) chilled butter, cut into 1⁄2″ cubes
1 1⁄4 cups (251ish g)grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I've used other strong cheeses and combos)
1 cup cold buttermilk (see below for recipe)

Leftover buttermilk/milk/cream for tops.

Messing start to the work space

Things you Do (also known as directions)

I don't buy buttermilk so I simply make my own.  I squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon and top to the 1 cup mark with milk. Mix it and let it sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to curdle.

Buttermilk ingredients and tools


Sift the flour, baking powder, soda & salt (if any) twice. This is a personal choice, you don't have to do it at all if you don't wish.

Add the pepper, nutmeg and sugar to the sifted ingredients.

Cold Butter
 Cut in the butter. I use my hands and rub it in until it looks like a shortbread base (small bits of butter). Some people use their food processor and pulse it all together until is looks like a fine crumb.
 I grated all the cheese and stirred it in to the butter/flour concoction!

 A close up of the mixture should give a sense of how much I rub in the butter. The small bits melt while cooking and give the biscuits the pockets of air!
 If you learn nothing else from the recipe, take a jar, poke some holes in the lid and use it to dust your space! It's a life saver!!
 Now it is time to mix in the chilled buttermilk. At this point the milk should have curdled.
 I use a wooden spoon, then my hands to gently mix the milk into the flour/cheese/butter mixture. Just mix it enough so that all of the dried bits are incorporated - just.
 Turn the dough out on the floured surface and then knead it about 8-10 times until it forms a fairly nice looking ball. It is important to not overwork it because your hands are warm and can heat the mixture. Those butter pockets disappear.

 Flatten the mound with your hand (some use a rolling pin - I think it is overkill) to about 3/4" (2cm).
At this point you have a choice. Circle, square or triangle shaped biscuits? I went for circles (obviously). I've used a glass, a cookie cutter, a jar. The important thing to remember is to not push and twist, just push and pop it out. The twist "seals" the edges so they don't puff up quite the same.

You will notice that there are "scraps" when I want circles. I collect the pieces and form the round again. I usually do it a max of 2 times, after that they don't really rise quite as much. Oh cut until there is nothing left, I just bake them... for me.
Sample of my quasi triangular ones
 I recommend lining the pans - Either with a silicone mat or parchment paper - they work equally well.

 Add a dab of the leftover buttermilk in the jug to the biscuit top using a pastry brush. Or a little touch of milk/cream. Some people use an egg wash - it's entirely up to you. It helps with the golden top!

Notice I haven't preheated the oven yet. I let my biscuits rest for 10-15 minutes away from the oven. I don't know if anyone else does it - I find it helps.

Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Once the oven dings that it has reached temp just wait 5 minutes. I never put things in the oven right away - I always wait.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. I always start checking at the 13 minute mark as some ovens run hot. They should have a golden top and firm to the touch.

I'm pretty chuffed with the result

This recipe can be adapted for almost anything. Leave out the cheese, pepper and nutmeg and then use your imagination!



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