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Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from A Sweet Spoonful and Food and Wine
Makes 10 to 12 biscuits (I got 11)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, chilled
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

For Brushing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 475F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat; set aside. (If you’ve got it, I suggest a baking mat over parchment. At such a high temperature, my parchment actually started to burn at the edges.)
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. With a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the butter, as well, leaving some pea sized pieces. Place flour mixture in the freezer and chill until very cold, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from freezer and stir in the buttermilk until a shaggy, sticky dough forms. Add the cheddar cheese and mix gently to incorporate. Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface, and pat into a ball shape.
4. With a well floured rolling pin, roll into a 9 by 7 inch rectangle, about 3/4 –inch thick. Fold the rectangle in thirds (like a letter), folding the top third down, and folding the bottom third over it. Then fold it in half to form a small square. Repeat the folding process, rolling the dough out again into another 9 by 7 inch rectangle, and folding over, doing this 2 more times. Roll dough out to ¾-inch thickness, and using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out rounds. Gather and reroll scraps until all dough isused. Place rounds on prepared baking sheet and brush tops generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the tops and bottoms are lightly browned. Serve warm. (If desired, brush with additional melted butter before serving.)

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