Southern Cheese Biscuits

grated cheese  meal

Is there anything more Southern than a biscuit? Of course, but biscuits are among the most Southern foods out there and I love ’em. I love womp biscuits, as my mother calls them, the Pillsbury ones that come in a can that you have to smack against the counter  to open, making a womp sound. But the best kinds of biscuits are homemade and my mother would make them for me often when I was a kid, and will still make them for me when I go to visit. 

cheese biscuits

I’ve made them a few times myself, they never quite worked in Italy, though I did try a few times. The ingredients were different, baking powder was impossible to find and cheddar cheese was totally unavailable. No complaints, Italy has great cheese, it would have been hard for me to miss one block of orange cheese in a sea of artisanal creaminess. 

But now that I have all of my ingredients available I can once again make cheese biscuits. The trick to biscuits is to work them as little as possible. The recipe suggests kneading 20 to 25 times and they mean it, no more, or the biscuits will be little bricks and not fluffy. This makes them a synch and I like a floury synch. 

cheese biscuits

Southern Cheese Biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 450°. Measure flour by dip-level pour method or by sifting. Mix dry ingredients well in bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or your fingers, until mixture looks like “meal”. Stir in almost all of the milk. If dough does not seem pliable, add enough to make a soft puffy dough easy to roll out. (Too much milk makes dough sticky, not enough makes biscuits dry). Fold in grated cheddar and round up on lightly floured cloth-covered board. Knead lightly 20 to 25 times. Handle lightly. 

Roll dough or pat out (with floured hand) to about ½ an inch thick. Cut close together with floured biscuit cutter. Fit leftover bits together. (Do not reknead). Pat out dough, roll smooth and cut as desired. Place close together for biscuits with soft sides, an inch apart for biscuits with crusty sides, on an un-greased baking sheet. Place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. 

cheese biscuit

~ by italicious on April 5, 2009.

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