I love the public library. They have so many incredible books that I can read FOR FREE! Novels, gardening books, craft books and even cook books. I’ve been going a little crazy checking out cookbook lately. the problem with the library though is that I have to return them. Alas.
A great book I’ve been doing recipes from (well me and my sis both) is Taste of Home Baking 2012. I love it. I decided to make cheddar biscuits from here. We had a scrambled eggs, spicy sausage and cheddar biscuit breakfast for dinner the other day. Now the recipe says it make 6-8 biscuits. Now for a family of 6, that’s not enough biscuits. So I decided to double the recipe–which had some difficulties, but I’ll discuss those as I go along.
A bit of a tip. Some recipes double easily. Other you need to just make two separate batches. I’m not good at telling which is which. My biscuits didn’t suffer for the doubling though, I’ll guess that they’re fine then. Now the biggest tip is to write down the new measurements. I didn’t. The recipe I’ll be including is the doubled one. But feel free to half it as needed.
To start off blend together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cayenne. The recipe said 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp, so I used a scant tsp when I doubled. It was a bit much. I suggest keeping the cayenne pepper to 1/2 tsp tops.
Raise your hand if you have ever HATED having to cube and cut cold butter into something, such as pie crust or biscuits. I found this awesome tip in a few places and decided to give it a go. Use a grater to grate cold or frozen butter into the bowl. Its simple, and worked really nice. All I had to do was then stir the butter into the flour and viola ready to go for the next step. A couple warnings: With frozen butter use the larger holes on the grater. I used the smaller side when I had refrigerated butter, but with the frozen I slipped and grated my finger. Disgusting and painful right? But no prob with the larger holes. Also, when grating hold the butter with its wrapper. Anything to help slow the butter from melting. One mild frustration is when the butter sticks to the inside of the box grater. I suppose if you stick the grater in the freezer for a couple minutes before grating it won’t be as much of a problem.
Next I added the grated cheese. My sis had some seriously sharp cheddar in a block that needed to be used, so I used the rest of the block. It ended up being about 1 1/2 cups rather than the 1 cup I needed. But let’s be honest, extra cheese isn’t a problem.
Then I added buttermilk. Somewhere in one of my many recipe searches, someone suggested that if you don’t usually keep buttermilk on hand to get buttermilk powder. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the butter milk powder I found and used. It was simple to mix together. And bets of all I didn’t have to wait to make my normal substitute of vinegar/milk. Before I’ve over added the vinegar and had a weird taste (when I made corn muffins) but now no such problem! So get it. Especially if you keep coming across recipes you want to try that call for buttermilk.
Oh and you gotta mix the butter milk and flour mixture until just moistened. Unlike yeast bread you’re aiming for flaky underdeveloped gluten. The more you work it the more you work the gluten and get something not biscuit not yeast bread, but not a happy mix.
Do you still remember not to over mix? Well next you turn it onto a floured board and knead about 8-10 times. If its sticky add extra flour, but don’t over work the dough.
Roll or pat out to an inch thickness and use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to put pieces. The carefully gather the scraps together, reroll and cut some more. Oh and don’t forget to preheat your oven! (This is when I remembered, mid cutting). After each piece is cut move it to a greased cookie sheet,
I don’t have a biscuit cutter and my cookie cutters can’t handle dough an inch thick. I used what my mum used to: a cup or glass. One downside is my smallest cup was 3 inches across. This meant I didn’t make as many biscuits. I ended up making 13 total. I was hoping for 16, and to be honest the first bunch I cut were less than an inch thick.
Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. The biscuit needs to be golden brown. My biscuits started browning on the top sooner than I liked so I sprayed them with my handy dandy water sprayer. Also, cramming 13 onto my cookie sheet meant they started to come together slightly, which is not a problem in my opinion.
A great tip in the book about how to tell when they are done is that the top AND bottom will be golden brown, but the sides will be a little light in comparison. And yes, they taste best fresh from the oven. Hence the tiny biscuits in the second picture. It used to be the biggest one until I had to taste test before photographing.
Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
12-16 biscuits (doubled from original Taste of Home Recipe)
- 4 cups all purpose flour (I swapped out 1/2 cup for whole wheat flour)
- 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 1 cup cold butter, shredded
- 1-2 cups shredded or crumbled sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Combine flour, sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Add shredded butter (or cut in cubed butter) and combine until it looks like a coarse crumb.
- Add cheese and toss together.
- Stir in buttermilk until just moistened.
- Knead 8-10 times on a floured surface (add more flour to make dough not sticky if needed).
- Roll or pat into 1 inch thickness. Tip: Roll into 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 inch and fold to make the full inch. Pat so it sticks together. After baking the biscuits with easily tear into layers.
- Cut with a 2 1/2in biscuit cutter or a glass/cookie cutter of similar diameter. Place 1 inch apart on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until done. the biscuit should be golden brown on top and bottom. If the top is browning too quickly spray with water or cover with aluminum foil.
- Serve warm!