Buttermilk Cheddar and Thyme Biscuits… Without the Buttermilk!

There isn’t much that can take the place of a warm, flaky biscuit – especially when you’ve been dreaming about one for going on 2 weeks now. Yes, that’s right, I daydream in food.

I used a trusty Ina Garten recipe (all of hers are), but halved it so I wouldn’t have a major surplus (ahem, or scarf 1/2 a dozen at once). If you’d like the full recipe which makes 8 biscuits, click on the ‘recipe’ link below. I didn’t have buttermilk on-hand for this recipe, and wasn’t about to run out to the store for one of those giant cartons (why is it that you can only find buttermilk in huge portions?) for the 1/4 cup’s worth I needed for this, so I subbed out yogurt and a splash of milk. It worked swimmingly!

Buttermilk Cheddar and Thyme Biscuits

Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup cold buttermilk, shaken (I used yogurt and a splash of milk and it worked great)
  • 1 cold extra-large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • Maldon sea salt, optional

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I don’t yet have a mixer, so using your (clean!) hands as a kitchen tool is just fine. Just combine the cold butter with the flour mix until everything is slightly moistened and the mixture appears homogeneous. TIP: I would suggest popping this mixture into the fridge while you’re combining your egg mix and chopping your thyme and cheddar, because cold butter is extremely important in creating flaky biscuits, or really any recipe that you want to come out flaky!

Combine the buttermilk (or yogurt) and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low (or your hands at the ready), quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. Add the cheese and thyme to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.

Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then half again going the other way, making 4 rounded biscuits (sort of scone-looking).

Can you see the cheddar and thyme and bits of cold butter peeking through the dough? How beautiful 🙂

Transfer to a lightly greased sheet pan or one lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using. I didn’t want to waste a whole egg for about a tablespoon of wash, so I just used milk.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

These biscuits are beautiful to look at, with their cheddar and thyme peeking through, and incredibly flaky and delicious. They are great on their own, or with little additions like honey or jam. Don’t be afraid to try mixing savory and sweet – I ate these cheddar biscuits with strawberry jam and while it might sound crazy, they worked really well together! OR…

If you’re feeling like really kicking it up a notch, slice a biscuit in half and throw on some beef bacon and hot sauce or salsa verde. Unreal.

Enjoy!

-M-

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