These biscuits filled with Vermont cheddar were just delicious and smelled so good while baking. As Ina Garten said in her cookbook “Back To Basics”, they are light and fluffy but still moist. Cheese biscuits and cheese pie crust for an apple pie were always favorites in my family. See my recipe Cheddar Pie Crust (for Apple Pie). Also see my recipe Gene’s Favorite Apple Pie.
I made these twice, once using her ingredients and directions. The second time I followed my own directions and I omitted the sea salt. The main difference is I used a 2-1/2-inch round cutter (made 20) instead of cutting them into rectangles (made 8 large biscuits). My family preferred my version.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 12 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
- 1 cold extra-large egg (Ina always uses this size of egg)
- 1 cup extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (I used Seriously Sharp Cabot cheddar cheese, aged at least 14 months) my cheese was shredded and it worked fine
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk or water
- sea salt (she recommends Maldon flaked sea salt – I used a French sea salt which is what I had versus one from England)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place 2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas. This does take a few minutes to reach this consistency.
Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and beat lightly. Keep the mixer on low and add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and mix only until moistened. In another bowl, mix the Cheddar with a small amount of flour and add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
Turn the mixture out onto a well-floured cloth or board and knead about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 5 x 10-inches. With a sharp knife cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across making 8 rectangles. Move to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt (optional). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes – 25 minutes for my oven; until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through.
I changed the paragraph beginning with ‘Turn the mixture out onto a well-floured cloth or board and knead about 6 times; do not overwork the dough. Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 15″x7″. Using a 2-1/2-inch round cutter I cut out a total of 20 biscuits. I did re-roll the dough twice and they rose fine. Move to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve with a variety of fruit preserves and butter of course!