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Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Vegetarian

Cheese and Herb Biscuits

by Nick

A few weeks ago when I made my Porter braised brisket, I wanted a biscuit or something to go along with it and as luck would have it, I found a delicious recipe as I was browsing the latest Bon Appetit. The recipe is your standard buttermilk biscuit base, but then you fold in cheese and a lot of herbs as if you were making a laminated dough for croissants or something.

Except it’s a lot easier than croissants. The folding makes the biscuits really light and fluffy though and the cheese and herbs add a delicious punch to the dough. The biscuits were great with dinner, but were also good to just snack on.

The other thing about this recipe that I wasn’t expecting at all was that when the biscuits were baking, my kitchen smelled exactly like Thanksgiving. All of the herbs are pretty holiday-like and it smelled exactly like I was about to put a 15 pound bird in the oven.

So if you are looking for a good biscuit recipe this Thanksgiving, bookmark this recipe people!

Yield
Makes 16-20 biscuits
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Cheese and Herb Biscuits

Ingredients

  • Cheese/Herb Mixture:
  • 2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon fresh sage, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Biscuit Dough:
  • 2 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour plus some for dusting
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1 1/2 Cups buttermilk

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Freeze butter. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

2) Chop up all the fresh herbs and mix them in with grated cheese. Grate frozen butter.

3) Mix dry ingredients and butter together to incorporate everything well, then add buttermilk. Using a fork, mix it all together until it forms a ball.

4) Turn out dough ball onto a floured surface and gently roll it or press it into a rough rectangle. This should be about 8 inches by 10 inches. Then cover the right 2/3 of the dough with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Then fold over the left third of the dough to cover the cheese mixture. Finally fold over the left 2/3s of the dough to finish off the folding! So you have three layers of dough and two layers of cheese!
Do this folding process two more times. The easiest way to do it is to rotate the dough 90 degrees, roll it out again to the same sized rectangle, and repeat the whole folding process!

Note: A dough scraper helps lift the dough if it is sticking to the counter.

5) Once you’ve done this whole folding thing three times and all of the cheese mixture is deep in the dough, roll it out one more time and slice it into 2 inch by 2 inch (approximately) rectangles.

6) Transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet and they are ready for the oven.

7) Bake for only 10 minutes at 500 degrees.

8) Let them cool for 5 minutes before biting into them. You should have enough biscuits to need two baking sheets as you should give them an inch or so in between each biscuit. Bake them one sheet at a time though to make sure they brown nicely!

Adapted from Bon Appétit Nov. 2009.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Making the Cheese Mixture

You need a lot of fresh herbs for this recipe. This recipe is packed full of herb flavor from 4 different fresh herbs. I would encourage experimentation here people. If you have some rosemary around, don’t go buy thyme, just use what you have.

This would actually be a great way to use leftover fresh spices if you have some laying around!

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme! And by rosemary, I mean basil.

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme! And by rosemary, I mean basil.

Chop up all your fresh herbs and mix them in with your grated cheese!

Smells good!

Smells good!

Making the biscuit dough

This is a little trick I learned from Good Eats but is also written in the recipe: when making pie crust or biscuits, you want to make sure you have your butter as cold as possible. So freeze it! But once it’s frozen, it’s hard to distribute evenly in the flour.

Solution? Grate it! It looks like white cheddar, but that’s butter!

The Alton Brown Method.

The Alton Brown Method.

Mix your dry ingredients and butter together to incorporate everything well, then add your buttermilk to the party. Using a fork, just mix it all together until it forms a ball. Whatever you do, don’t over-mix it, or start kneading it or anything crazy.

Keep it as light as possible.

Forming the biscuits

So now we need to incorporate this huge amount of cheese and herb mixture into the biscuit dough while keeping the dough light and airy. BA recommends a method that’s used to make laminated doughs and croissants and it worked like a charm! Here’s the run down:

Turn out your dough ball onto a floured surface and gently roll it or press it into a rough rectangle. Should be about 8 inches by 10 inches. Then cover the right 2/3 of the dough with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.

This is just 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Get it?

This is just 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Get it?

Then Fold over the left third of the dough to cover the cheese mixture.

Fold one!

Fold one!

Finally fold over the left 2/3s of the dough to finish off the folding! So you have three layers of dough and two layers of cheese!

Fold two!

Fold two!

Two more times

Notice that we only used 1/3 of our cheese mixture. That’s because we are going to do that whole folding process two more times. The easiest way to do it is to rotate your dough 90 degrees, roll it out again to the same sized rectangle, and repeat the whole folding process!

It really doesn’t take that long once you get the hang of it.

One note though: As you work, if your dough starts sticking to the counter, it would be helpful to have a dough scraper to scrape up the dough as you are folding. Then you can throw down a little more flour and keep going. If you don’t have a scraper you can use a knife, but a scraper is worth the $8 if you make even a few baked products throughout the year.

For the math inclined

By doing this fold three times, you make 27 individual layers of dough. You could do one more series of folds and go for 81 layers, but you run the risk of overworking the dough. Three is about perfect I think.

Once you’ve done this whole folding thing three times and all of your cheese mixture is deep in the dough, roll it out one more time and slice it into 2 inch by 2 inch (approximately) rectangles.

I'm a square kinda guy.

I’m a square kinda guy.

Of course you could make circle biscuits but that just seems like more work than necessary. Square biscuits are the best!

Then transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet and they are ready for the oven.

See the layers?

See the layers?

Baking the biscuits

These need to bake for only 10 minutes at 500 degrees. Let them cool for 5 minutes before biting into them. You should have enough biscuits to need two baking sheets as you should give them a inch or so in between each biscuit. Bake them one sheet at a time though to make sure they brown nicely!

Try not to eat them all immediately.

Try not to eat them all immediately.

These are light and fluffy but have flavor of an intense cheese straw. They were great to use to sop up all the deliciousness from the brisket I made, but Betsy had a few as a study snack also and they are great no matter what!

As with most biscuits, these deteriorate pretty quickly after day one. I would say by day three or four you’re better off using them as a paper weight than trying to eat them.

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16 comments on “Cheese and Herb Biscuits

  1. Oh, wow, Nick these look so wonderful, I can't wait to try them. I think I just might have to do this real soon!

  2. Nick – found your site thru Summer Tomato yesterday and I'm already a RSS subscriber – love it! Have to tell you, this biscuit recipe looks like a winner . . . but I'm afraid to make it unless we're having company b/c I fear I'd eat the entire batch myself. I have a chicken that I need to roast, and these would be a perfect side.

  3. These biscuits look incredible. I can't wait to make up a batch and serve them along with some chili.

    Your site rocks– always full of interesting tidbits. I also enjoy the detailed recipes.

  4. yum… but i like to copy and paste recipes into my email. it's complicated to do that with this recipe — maybe link to BA when you use one of their recipes?

  5. Made these tonight with beef stew!! YUM!! The scraper is very important – and scrap as you are working the dough out to keep it loose. Thanks again!

  6. Hi Nick,

    I would love to make these for a dinner party I'm planning. Do you think they could be made ahead of time and then frozen and re-heated before serving?

    Thanks,

    Kathy

  7. @startcooking. I think definitely. You could just reheat them in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes or so (until they were warm obviously) and they would be delicious!

  8. Forwarded this recipe to my family to make, they LOVED it. They made a large batch for dinner and there was barely any left.

  9. just made these tonight and they were a HIT! i substituted the thyme and sage with rosemary and chives- and we used Parmesan and Gouda cheese as well as the cheddar- DELISH! Thanks!

  10. I loved these biscuits! My family ate every last crumb. Not to mention they were very easy to make!!

    Thanks for sharing Nick!

    Anessa

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