Sunday, August 19, 2012

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

I'm totally in love with these biscuits. Head over heels. Giddy as a school girl. And to think, I made them just to use up the extra buttermilk I had leftover from making buttermilk ice cream. Little did I know they would rock my world with their fluffiness and buttermilky/cheddary goodness. Mmm doesn't even begin to cover it. If you have more than four people around, double the recipe. Trust me.

Yield: 8 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or other coarse salt)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Maldon flaked sea salt (or fleur de sel or other coarse salt), for sprinkling on top

1.      Preheat oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.      Place the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
3.      Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened.
4.      In a small bowl, mix the cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
5.      Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to lined sheet pan.
6.      Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt, if using. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

barely adapted from Ina Garten
grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Use the good stuff if possible - it's worth it!
adding butter to the flour, baking powder & salt
adding buttermilk/egg mixture
adding the floured cheese
rough dough
dough gathered into an oval
rolled dough
dough roughly cut into biscuits
brushing with butter
sprinkling with flaked salt
buttered and salted - ready to bake
baked buttermilk cheddar biscuits

Definitely serve these warm.
buttermilk cheddar biscuit, up close
behold the fluffiness
UPDATE: Here's a nice variation I made:
buttermilk-cheddar-bacon-chive biscuits.

Just add 6 slices bacon (cooked until crispy, blotted dry
and chopped) + 1/4 cup minced chives, when you're
adding the cheese. I also used slightly less salt (since I
was adding salty bacon). They were sooo good!

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