Jul 25, 2010

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits fresh out of the oven!

Biscuits: comfort, fresh, warm, crunchy top, airy, light inside, golden brown, delicious! That’s what I think of when I hear or see the word biscuit. They’ve been around for ages, which makes sense because they are one of the easiest things to make and they work with just about every meal. My mom makes some of the best and despite using the same or similar recipe, I still can’t replicate them exactly. In our family, we make these buttermilk cheddar biscuits all the time, but there is one occasion where you can pretty much count on their appearance: Birthdays! We have a typical “birthday” meal that over the years everyone asked for and it has now become the staple. Apart of that meal are these biscuits! When they come fresh out of the oven, they are the slightest bit crunchy on top and then when you break it open, you can feel the heat and your butter just melts into all the cracks and it is so fantastically delicious!!! My bottom half step uncle almost died at the table the first time he tried my mom’s buttermilk cheddar biscuits! They’re that good and yes we really do call him our bottom half step uncle!

Ok on to making the biscuits! Here’s what you’ll need:


(Slightly adapted from my Mom’s Recipe. Makes 12 medium sized biscuits.)

  • 5 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

The first step of putting these biscuits together is the hardest and it just gets easier from here. Take a large mixing bowl and pour in your flour and then add the butter to the bowl in small pieces. The hard part here is that you need to break the butter down into the flour so that the texture of the mixture almost looks like cornmeal. I find it easiest to just take a fork a mash down on the butter until I can’t find any more large pieces of butter throughout the flour.

Butter mashed into the flour to make a cornmeal like mixture.

Like I said, the rest is pretty much pour and stir! Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cheese to the flour/butter mixture. I like to use sharp cheddar and I have found that the large grate size makes for a stronger cheddar taste. Always a good thing! You can also add more or less cheddar depending on how cheesy tasting you want them to be. I always add what I think is enough and then a little extra because I always crave more of that flavor!

Sharp, white cheddar cheese.

The last thing to note about these biscuits and their flavor is that you can go savory or sweet with these! The recipe is so general that if you are making something where you need a sweeter biscuit you can replace your cheese with 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Just as delicious! I actually made the savory version for Jordan’s family once and his mom loved them so much she had us make a couple batches for strawberry shortcakes!

Last steps of the biscuits: All you need to add now is your buttermilk. I usually use about 3/4 cup but I like to add a little bit at a time. You want all the flour and dry ingredients to be thoroughly combined but I will give you fair warning that the dough is going to be on the stiff side. I use a wooden spoon to combine everything and it’s more of a folding action, as opposed to an actual stirring motion. Once everything is combined though, you can make what are called “drop” biscuits onto a flat baking sheet. I take a spoon, scoop up some biscuit dough and “drop” them onto the sheet. It’s the one time I don’t worry about their shape or what they look like: that’s part of their charm! Just make sure you try to keep them all about the same size so they cook evenly and are done at the same time!

"Drop" Biscuits ready for the oven!

Preheat your oven to 425 and bake the biscuits for about 15-20 minutes. The cook time always varies for me with these biscuits but you are waiting until you see the tops and edges start to golden. After that, you’re done and your biscuits are ready to be enjoyed!

These biscuits are really that simple! It usually takes about 15 minutes to get things together and pop them in the oven so they’re a perfect bread to make at the same time as your dinner. Only because they are not super labor intensive! The last time I made these, I think it was Jor’s week to make dinners so he made dinner while I put these together and we were eating in no time! But more importantly than how fast you can put them together is how they make a good meal a great one! Fresh, homemade bread is just one of my favorite things! It makes a meal that much more delicious or takes an ordinary sandwich to a phenomenal sandwich! It takes a few extra minutes compared to store bought or one of the pre-made mixes, but after you make it one time, you’ll never want anything but your homemade delights! Next time you find yourself making a meal where biscuits would be absolutely perfect, put these together real quick and make your meal complete! For now, that’s buttermilk cheddar biscuits…in the shell of a nut!

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