Why It Works
- Butter will make the biscuits richer, but less fluffy; use or omit as your prefer.
- Finely grated cheddar keeps these biscuits light, and boosts the recipe's yield.
- Baking powder won't neutralize the buttermilk's acidity, leaving its tangy flavor intact.
- Buttermilk makes a thicker dough than milk, so you can use more, keeping the biscuits fluffy and moist.
These savory one-bowl biscuits are as easy as they are cheesy, which is to say: very. Best of all, the dry mix can be prepped in advance and refrigerated until the expiration date stamped on the package of cheese, so you can keep a bag on hand to bake whenever you need an easy side for a batch of chili or lobster bisque. Don't be afraid to tinker with the garlic and spice ratios listed below: their intensity will vary by age and brand of the ingredients you have on hand.
- 9 ounces bleached all-purpose flour (1 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon; 255g)
- 1 ounce unsalted butter (2 tablespoons; 30g) (optional)
- 1/4 ounce fresh parsley or chives, finely chopped (2 tablespoons; 7 g)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar, finely grated (3 3/4cups; 170g) (see note)
- 9 ounces cultured low-fat buttermilk (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons; 255g)
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F. Sift flour into a large bowl. If using butter, dice into 1/4-inch pieces, then toss with flour and rub with your fingertips until no visible bits remain. Whisk in parsley or chives, baking powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne. Add the finely grated cheddar, and toss until well combined. Pour in the buttermilk, and stir with a flexible spatula to form a soft dough.
With a pair of spoons, drop the dough into 10 large portions on a parchment lined half sheet pan (it's fine to eyeball their size; no need to weigh). Bake until golden brown all over, about 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and serve—the flavor of the biscuits will intensify as they cool. In an airtight container, leftovers will keep up to 24 hours at room temperature; warm in a hot oven to serve.
Parmesan grater or microplane (see note)
The consistency of these biscuits, and even their yield, depends on using a fine, Microplane or Parmesan-style grater for the cheese. I love Microplane's fine grater because it's extra wide, and makes quick work of the cheese.