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Awesome Herb + Cheese Biscuits from “Making Dough”

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 1 pound dough

Ingredients
  

  • 6 ounces cake flour
  • 2 ounces all purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 ounces 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

There are two ways to mix biscuit dough: by hand or using a food processor.

    By-Hand Method

    • Mix flours, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
    • Chop butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to flour mixture.
    • Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, pinch or cut butter into flour, breaking it into pieces about the size of coarse cornmeal. If using your hands, work quickly to prevent butter from melting.
    • Add the Italian seasoning and the shredded cheddar to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
    • Add milk and stir 10 to 20 times with a wooden spoon, until dough comes together. Take care not to knead the dough too much or add too much flour, which can make the biscuits tough.
    • Use your hands to rip off sections of dough that are about three inches in diameter. Gently press the dough together so that it stays in one piece as needed. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden on top. Let biscuits cool on the pan for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack. Serve warm.

    Food Processor Method

    • Pulse flours, salt, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor to combine.
    • Chop butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to flour mixture. Pulse for 1 to 2 seconds 8 to 12 times, until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
    • Add milk and pulse 2 to 4 times, until dough begins to come together. It will form a few large chunks and many small ones. Remove from the food processor and gently press together to form a loose ball of dough. Continue with step 6 above.

    Notes

    Why cake flour? According to Making Dough, the American South enjoys a growing season that is relatively long and free of harshly cold weather, so less hardy varieties of wheat can be grown there. The resulting flour has a lower protein content, which is responsible for the cakey biscuits associated with that region. The similarly low protein content in cake flour will consistently produce these classic soft biscuits.
    *The original recipe called for bread flour, but I found AP to yield an excellent result. If you have the bread flour on hand, go ahead and use it, but using all purpose won't disappoint.
    Recipe slightly adapted from Making Dough: Recipes and Ratios for Perfect Pastries by Russell van Kraayenburg and published by Quirk Books.