When it comes to baking, for me, sweet is easier. The sweet flavor combinations come to me easier: cinnamon + apples; brown butter + sweet potato; chocolate + graham crackers. All of that makes complete sense.
When it comes to savory baking, I have to really think hard about combinations. A couple weeks ago, Tillamook cheese was on sale, so I grabbed a block of sharp cheddar with no real plan. On a Saturday morning, I decided that cheese biscuits could be good, then my husband piped up ‘what about rosemary cheddar biscuits?’ and it was like a lightbulb went off.
Do Not Make These Rosemary Cheddar Biscuits If:
- You think you will only eat one.
- You are the best at sharing. Be prepared to fight someone for the last one.
- You’ve invited people over you don’t really like, because they are good enough to make lifelong friends.
- You will wait for them too cool before eating.
Rosemary is so aromatic that while the biscuits were in the oven, everyone was circling the kitchen, even the dog. Honestly, the rosemary cheddar biscuits didn’t stand a chance once they came out of the oven. My husband and I stood at the counter and ate them directly off the pan. Should we be ashamed of ourselves? Probably. Are we? Not in the least.
What’s the lesson here:
Rosemary adds an extra aromatic oomph to a soft, melt in your mouth buttermilk biscuit studded with pockets of cheesy goodness. Savory baking might be more sexy than sweet…
- Keep it Cool. With biscuits, everything needs to be cold. Buttermilk, Cheese, Butter. Everything. The recipe builds in two chances for the biscuits to stay cold.
- Cheese Notes:
- Don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. As is widely documented, pre-shredded cheese has a coating that prevents it from melting the way you want.
- Dice and Shred. Dicing the cheese guarantees that you will bite into a perfect pocket of cheese. Shredding the rest allows for more even distribution of cheddar.
- White Lily Flour or Bust. The real ones know.
Rosemary and Cheddar Biscuits:
Rosemary adds an aromatic lift to gooey cheddar buttermilk biscuits.
- 8 tablespoons of frozen butter + more for the pan
- 2 ½ cups of all purpose flour + more for shaping
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening cold
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese half diced, half shredded
- 1 ½ cups cold buttermilk
Butter a large cookie sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda and dried rosemary. Cut in the vegetable shortening, using your hands, until the mixture has a coarse crumb texture.
Using a box grater, grate the butter into the flour. Toss in the grated and diced cheese, making sure that the butter and cheese are coated with flour. Stir in the buttermilk, using a rubber spatula. As gently as possible, fold the dough together making sure that all of the flour is moistened.
Put the dough in the freezer and chill for 10 minutes.
Lightly flour the work surface and turn out the dough, noting that this dough will be sticky– don’t add too much flour.
Knead the dough two or three times and then pat the dough gently into a ¾ inch rectangle.
Flour a 2-inch round biscuit cutter and cut out the biscuits, trying to use all of the dough.
Gently pat together the scraps and cut out the remaining biscuits.
Place the biscuits on the butter cookie sheet. If you want softer biscuits, place them close together, if you prefer a taller biscuit, place them an inch apart.
Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Bake for 16 minutes and the biscuits are browned on the top.
Let the biscuits cool for a couple minutes before serving.
Notes: The baked biscuits and can frozen for up to two months. Thaw the frozen biscuits on the counter and bake in a 350ºF oven until toasted and warm.