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Cheddar-Herb Biscuits

Keep unbaked biscuits in the freezer and bake them as needed. They can be eaten on their own, served alongside a hearty stew, or accompanied by bacon and eggs for a delicious breakfast (see related recipes at left).

Storage tip: Unbaked biscuits freeze well. Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid, about 3 hours. Transfer the biscuits to an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Before baking, thaw at room temperature.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, plus more for brushing

Directions:

Prepare the ingredients
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Stir in the cheese and chives. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, stir just until evenly moistened.

Shape and bake the biscuits
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press together gently. Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds.

Place 8 biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Store the others for future use (see note above). Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool slightly and serve. Makes 8 baked biscuits plus 12 unbaked biscuits.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Make Ahead, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).