Cheddar biscuits are wonderful for brunch or breakfast! They will accompany many dinner dishes wonderfully. My biscuit recipe is so uncomplicated that you will not even need a biscuit cutter! These biscuits will be a little healthier because the ingredients include egg whites and less butter than traditional biscuit recipes. Even though they are less calories, they still taste scrumptious!
The word “biscuit” came from the British term that referred to a thin cookie or cracker. In the United States “biscuit” means something quite different. Now it refers to a flaky, layered bread that is made from flour, salt, baking soda or baking powder, butter or shortening, and buttermilk or milk. Biscuits are a bread that are typically leavened with baking soda or baking powder instead of yeast. They are a form of “quick bread”, which means that it does not need any rise time before baking.
Biscuits can be prepared in different ways. One way is to roll the dough out flat and then cut the dough into circles or rectangles. Another popular way to make biscuits to create a wet stiff batter and then drop spoonfuls of batter onto a baking sheet. These are known as “drop biscuits”. Large drop biscuits were originally called “cat head biscuits”, which described its size and rough texture. One very popular variation on the biscuit is a cheese biscuit, which is made by adding cheese to a basic biscuit recipe.
American style biscuits originated in the American South. They were a celebratory food. In the pre-Civil War South biscuits were usually only eaten on Sundays. Biscuits were created because early 19th century cooks wanted to produce a bread to eat with meals that required no yeast, for yeast was costly and difficult to store. The first American biscuits were “beaten biscuits” where cooks laboriously beat and folded dough to incorporate air into the mixture. This method caused the biscuits to expand and rise when baked in an oven. Biscuits were a better addition to meals than sliced bread because they were stiffer and could maintain their shape. People would use the biscuits to scoop up gravy in a popular dish called Biscuits and Gravy, eat them with fried chicken and barbecued meats, layer them with fruit and whipped cream to make shortcake, or they were eaten for breakfast served with butter, honey, or jam.
Cheddar cheese biscuits have always been a favorite in our household. I usually make them when I have some cheddar left over after making macaroni and cheese. We love these biscuits for breakfast and for dinner. After making the same cheddar biscuit recipe for years I wanted to try out a slightly healthier version. I substituted whole eggs for egg whites and used less butter than traditional biscuit recipes. The results were still very delectable. We did not notice a difference in flavor at all. Make them for yourselves and see! I hope that you and your family like this recipe. Please enjoy!
Slightly Healthier Cheddar Biscuits Recipe
Yields 12 biscuits
Specialty Tools: Electric mixer and pastry brush
Prep Time 15 minutes
Bake Time 18 to 20 minutes
Inactive Time 5 minutes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1 egg white
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Egg white wash (1 white egg beaten with a splash of water)
Preheat oven to 425 F.
In a large bowl place the flour, salt, black pepper, and baking powder. Mix together on low speed with an electric mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer.
Add the butter to the bowl and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Pour in the buttermilk and egg. Stir until the mixture is just moistened.
Carefully incorporate the Cheddar cheese to the mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula until just combined.
Flour a cutting board and place the dough on it. Knead gently just enough to shape the dough.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8 x 10 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 12 rectangular pieces with a sharp floured knife.
Place the biscuits to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Brush the biscuits with egg white wash. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the top of each biscuit if you like.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Cool biscuits on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
It is very important for the ingredients to be cold, especially the butter, in order for the biscuits to puff up properly.
Both sharp or mild cheddar work well in this recipe!
Variation I: Throw in a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme and a 1/2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary to make Herb Cheddar Biscuits!
Variation II: Add 1/3 cup chopped ham or cooked bacon bits into the mixture to make the biscuits very savory!
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