Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Recipe: Cheddar-garlic biscuits
Cheddar biscuits have become popular enough that there are now mixes in the grocery store, but you can make them from scratch, saving money and avoiding artificial ingredients while making a more delicious biscuit! I've been using this particular recipe for about 20 years.
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup buttermilk
I prefer to use white whole wheat in this recipe, but you can use unbleached or red whole wheat, if you prefer. The advantage of white whole wheat is that is is high in fiber, but it does not have the heavy nutty taste of red whole wheat, allowing the taste of the cheese and garlic to shine. (Red whole wheat is typically sold as simply "whole wheat," but you can check the ingredient list on your flour to be sure.) Mix flour, salt, baking soda, and garlic powder in a medium bowl and then cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture looks like coarse corn meal. Add the cheddar cheese and stir. Add the buttermilk and mix until it hurts. Feel free to dig in with your hands whenever stirring gets to be too difficult or when your wooden spoon breaks. Once the dough is a solid mass, fold over several times. The folding is what makes flaky biscuits because you're creating layers of dough.
Roll out the dough into a one-inch thick circle on your baking pan. I prefer stone or cast iron for baking because it creates a perfectly browned bottom crust. Use your longest knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 16 biscuits by cutting down the middle then halfway between the first cut and the edge of the dough on each side. Turn the circle of dough 90 degrees and cut down the middle and then again on each half. Separate the biscuits so there is about an inch between them and they'll have room to rise and spread out a little.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Although these are delicious right out of the oven (after a few minutes of cooling so you don't burn yourself), they are also very tasty when cooled, unlike most biscuits. I especially like leftover biscuits with hearty cream soups or beef stew for lunch or dinner.