Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cheddar and Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuits

Do you love the warm, fresh bread that restaurants bring out at the start of your meal as much as I do?  Particularly when you have to wait for a while for a table or when you've gone out for a glass of wine before dinner.

Recently, I've been ultra impressed by the bread baskets at restaurants. Olea serves their homemade bread with a tasty olive oil. Applewood's bread came out with four kinds of spreads, including a garlic butter, an herbed butter and a liver spread.

Yes, the bread basket can cause trouble. The longer it takes for my meal to come, the more bread I end up eating. No matter how much I try to have just one slice.

Still, even when I'm at home, I do love having a bit of bread with every meal, whether it's an actual slice of bread, crackers or biscuits like these.

These are pretty exceptional. The cheese and pepper add something interesting to every bite, and the buttermilk gives them a very pleasant bit of tang.

Best of all, they baked up perfectly from being FROZEN. Just what I needed for brunch this weekend.

Cheddar and Black Pepper Buttermilk Biscuits
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook and inspired by Joy the Baker's biscuits

Martha recommended these with thinly sliced ham. Joy the Baker had hers with turkey bacon and eggs.  I had mine with butter two ways: salted butter one day and melted, herbed butter the next. Yum. Then I had it with Deb's perfect egg and cheese omelet. It wasn't quite as perfect as Deb's-I needed a different pan-but it was fantastic.

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with a few large clumps remaining.

Add the grated cheese and the black pepper.

Pour in the buttermilk and using a rubber spatula, fold the buttermilk into the dough. Continue stirring until the dough comes together. Do not overmix it.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat the dough into a round about 1-inch thick. Using a floured biscuit cutter (I used the bottom of a glass about 2 1/2 inches wide), cut out the biscuits as closely together as possible.

Place the biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart on an unlined baking sheet (At this point, I put my biscuits on the baking sheet in the freezer, allowed them to freeze for about 3 hours, and then transferred them to tupperware to store. I baked them straight from the freezer, and they were delicious!).

Bake the biscuits for 15 to 18 minutes, until the biscuits are golden and covered with brown spots. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, or serve warm with butter.


  1. Anything that can be frozen, then baked and still be amazing is a keeper in my book. These sound so good and will be great to have on hand for when my dad comes to visit. Did you find you had to increase the baking time starting from frozen?

    1. I baked all of the biscuits from frozen (my secret to staying sane during Easter brunch!), so I'm not sure. I would probably start checking them a few minutes early if you're baking them fresh.

  2. Yes, please. These are beautiful and look so good. I would probably be able to stop at 2. Maybe.

    1. Having them frozen certainly is helping me eat a few less because then I have to cook one when I want to eat it. I could eat several of these if I had to, though.

  3. I'm a total bread nut too and I love the addition of buttermilk, that stuff is like white gold!

  4. I always tell myself to resist the bread basket...but I never do. I just love bread too much and I rarely have it at home! these biscuits look absolutely amazing. I would likely eat a whole batch. In one sitting.

  5. These look wonderful! I love me some cheese with my bread...