To make classic buttermilk biscuits, omit the cheese and chives and substitute 3/4 cup buttermilk for the milk. Decrease the baking powder to 2 tsp. and add 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Proceed as directed.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading dough
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup finely shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup milk
Prepare the baking sheet
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the dough
In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cups flour, the baking powder, salt, cheese and chives. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. 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. Knead the dough about 6 times and form into a ball. Pat into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds and place them on the prepared sheet, about 1 inch apart. Gather the scraps, pat out again and cut out more biscuits. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly, then serve. Makes 12 biscuits.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).