There’s no better treat on the weekend than a big homemade breakfast. Ryan is an excellent breakfast cook and I believe his favorite thing to make is a huge brunch – eggs over medium or omelettes, french toast, bacon, pancakes, juice and coffee, and breakfast sandwiches – of which I am the luckiest benificiary! I try to lend a hand in the breakfast kitchen when I can so last Saturday I got up early to add something special to Ryan’s breakfast sausage sandwiches: Cheddar Biscuits!
This recipe comes right from Ina Garten’s great Back to Basics, which is one of the few cookbooks I ever reference. Her recipes are simply delicious and of the highest quality (in flavor, ingredients and in the way the recipes are told, too), and her work is a huge inspiration to me. I’ve made this recipe over and over, modifying it with whatever I have on hand. I’ve added fresh herbs, substituted cheeses and added jalapenos, and I can tell you that this recipe is a great starting point for making a dense and delicious biscuit with your own custom ingredients. Also, I don’t have an electric mixer, so although one can be used to make the mixing a little easier, I’ll describe the hand-mixing process since that’s what I’m most familiar with.
• 2 cups flour plus more for kneading
• 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
• 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl then add the butter and mix until the butter has broken into pea-sized pieces. In a small bowl mix the buttermilk and egg together, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix it all together until it’s just combined but be careful not to overmix. Mix the grated cheddar with flour and mix it into the dough. Flour a large surface and plop the dough out onto it. Knead the dough about 6 times, into a rectangle shape, then cut into 8 pieces with a sharp knife. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges of the biscuits are golden brown.