Remember when we established that there are a few types of Thanksgiving people? Like, some people are turkey people, side people, pie people? Well, who are these turkey people? Must be a very small portion of the population because we all know the BEST part about the day is the spread of Thanksgiving pies. And coming in second are the SIDES.
As far as Thanksgiving sides go, tradition reigns supreme in this family. The typical line-up includes green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, and apple sausage stuffing. I hope that they’ve found a spot on your Thanksgiving table too!
Biscuits are a quick bread like my banana bread, no yeast bread, and Irish soda bread. I love making them because they’re quick, don’t require any yeast, and satisfying all your carb cravings. Remember when we discussed biscuits at length? Today we’re making biscuits again, but this time we’re adding garlic, cheddar, and even more butter. These homemade cheddar biscuits are too good to be true. They taste similar to Red Lobster’s version.
By the way, if you enjoy adding flavor to plain biscuits, you’ll love my everything biscuits too.
This is my go-to recipe producing tall biscuits with a million layers of flakes inside. It’s easy, quick, requires minimal ingredients, and guarantees biscuit success. Today we’ll add a cup of sharp cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Mingling with butter, buttermilk, and a little honey, cheese and garlic feel right at home. Once the biscuits come out of the oven, we’ll brush them with melted butter, garlic, and parsley. All good things here.
I have 2 quick tricks for flaky biscuits and 2 quick tricks for tall biscuits. First, flakes!
Cold Fat = Flakes
For flaky layers, use cold fat. This is very important. When little crumbs of butter melt as the biscuits bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air – this makes the biscuits flaky on the inside while remaining crisp on the outside. You don’t want to butter to melt BEFORE hitting the oven because then there would be no steam. No steam means no pockets of air. No pockets of air means no flakes.
Flatten + Fold = Flakes
For the flakiest cheddar biscuits ever, flatten and fold the dough. Flattening and folding creates layers of flakes. Pour the scrappy, crumbly dough onto a work surface and work it together with your hands. Form into a rectangle, then begin folding. Let me show you.
Turn the folded dough horizontal:
Then press it down into a rectangle and repeat the folding process 2 more times before cutting into circles.
Now let’s move onto the tricks for tall biscuits.
No Twisting = Super Tall Biscuits
When cutting the dough with a biscuit cutter, don’t twist the cutter. Twisting it will seal off the biscuit edges, preventing the biscuits from rising.
Snug as a Bug = Super Tall Biscuits
Biscuits rise up nice and tall when they’re pressed snuggly against one another. Arrange them tightly in a cast iron skillet or on a lined baking sheet/baking pan. A cast iron skillet helps produce a super crisp bottom, so I prefer it over a baking sheet or pan.
Before baking, brush the biscuits with a little extra buttermilk. Why? Helps achieve a slightly crispier crust.
After baking, brush with garlic butter. Why? Because yum. The garlic butter seeps down into all the crevices and, obviously, makes the tops extra buttery.
So let’s get all this straight. There are 2 things we need to remember for flaky biscuits and 2 things we need to remember for tall biscuits. We will (1) use cold butter in the dough and (2) fold the dough together a few times to help guarantee lots of flakes. We (1) won’t twist the biscuit cutter and (2) we’ll place the biscuits super close together so they rise super tall in the oven.
And 2 things to remember for delicious biscuits: cheddar + garlic. 🙂
These delicious homemade cheddar biscuits easily rival Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits. Made in only 20 minutes, they’re a must try at dinnertime.
- 2 and 1/2 cups (313g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for hands and work surface
- 2 Tablespoons aluminum free baking powder (yes, Tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, cubed and very cold (see note)
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (270ml) cold buttermilk, divided
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 cup (125g) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).
- Make the biscuits: Place the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, and salt together in a large bowl or in a large food processor. Whisk or pulse until combined. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Cut/pulse until coarse crumbs form. See photo above for a visual. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Fold in the shredded cheese. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk and drizzle honey on top. Fold everything together with a large spoon or rubber spatula until it begins to come together. Do not overwork the dough. The dough will be shaggy and crumbly with some wet spots. See photo above for a visual.
- Pour the dough and any dough crumbles onto a floured work surface and gently bring together with generously floured hands. The dough will become sticky as you bring it together. Have extra flour nearby and use it often to flour your hands and work surface in this step. Using floured hands or a floured rolling pin, flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle as best you can. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough horizontally. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle again. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough horizontally one more time. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Repeat the folding one last time. Flatten into the final 3/4 inch thick rectangle.
- Cut into 2.75 or 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter. (Tip: Do not twist the biscuit cutter when pressing down into the dough– this seals off the edges of the biscuit which prevents them from fully rising.) Re-roll scraps until all the dough is used. You should have about 8-10 biscuits. Arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (see note) or close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure the biscuits are touching.
- Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Make the topping: Mix the topping ingredients together. Generously brush on the warm biscuits.
- Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked biscuits freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator, then warm up to your liking before serving. You can also freeze the biscuit dough. Prepare the dough in steps 2 through 4. Wrap up tightly in plastic wrap (plastic wrap is best for freshness) and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then continue with step 5. Also, after step 4, you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days before continuing with step 5.
- Baking Powder: To avoid a chemical aftertaste, make sure your baking powder is labeled aluminum free. I usually use Clabber Girl brand and though the ingredients state aluminum, I’ve never noticed an aluminum aftertaste. Alternatively, you can reduce the baking powder down to 1 Tablespoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
- Butter in biscuit dough: Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Keep butter as cold as possible until you need it. I recommend placing the cubed butter in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you begin.
- Buttermilk: You can substitute whole milk for buttermilk if desired. However if you’d like the tangy flavor, which I highly recommend, you can make your own sour milk substitute. Add 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup. (You need 1 cup in the recipe, plus 2 Tbsp for brushing– you can use regular milk to brush on top.) Whisk together, then let sit for 5 minutes before using in the recipe. Whole milk is best for the DIY sour milk substitute, though lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch. (In my testing, the biscuits don’t taste as rich or rise quite as tall using lower fat or nondairy milks.)
- Cast Iron Skillet: If your cast iron skillet isn’t well seasoned, I recommend greasing it with a little vegetable oil or melted butter. Brush a thin layer of either on the bottom and around the sides. No need to heat the cast iron skillet before using, though you certainly can. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes before arranging the shaped biscuits in it.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry Cutter or Food Processor | 3-Inch Biscuit Cutter or 2.75-Inch Biscuit Cutter | 10-inch Cast Iron Skillet | Pastry Brush
Keywords: cheddar biscuits, cheese biscuits