by Judy Kim
Flaky Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits
Yield: 8 to 10, 2 1/2-inch biscuits or 24, 1 1/2-inch biscuits
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, extra for rolling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Jacobsen
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1 cup grated white cheddar
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Preheat oven 425°F. Prepare rimmed half sheet or baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Add butter to flour mixture and break it up using your hands or a pastry cutter. I prefer using my hands to create flattened shards of butter. Add cheese and scallions; toss together using your hands until they are all well coated in flour. Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly pour in buttermilk in 2 to 3 batches, mix together using a wooden spoon completely before adding more buttermilk. Switch to your hands when it begins to form a ball of dough; do not overmix. The dough will be slightly sticky. If it's too dry, add a few drops of buttermilk.
Lightly flour a rolling pin and turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Don't add too much flour at once or the dough will dry out, but add flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Roll until dough is about 1-inch thick and fold into thirds. Gently roll dough into rectangular shape. Repeat the folding process 2 to 3 times to create more layers, ending with 1 ½-inch thick dough.
Use biscuit cutter of your choice. Dip biscuit cutter in flour and cut dough with straight down motion; avoid twisting. Cut biscuits as close together as possible to avoid wasting dough. Instead of rolling out remaining scraps together to form one or two last biscuits, try cutting the remaining dough with a smaller biscuit cutter and bake off remaining bits in their odd shapes. They are the perfect snack and will remain tender if they are not re-rolled.
Place biscuits on sheet pan or baking dish. The dough should be touching, it helps ensure even rising. If you have smaller biscuits and scraps, place them on a separate small sheet pan or a mini cast iron pan; the smaller shapes will take less baking time. Lightly brush tops with egg wash, avoid brushing the edges. Optional: skip the egg wash, the cheese will still give it a golden crust.
Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on size of the biscuit. Scraps will take less time, about 10 minutes. Rotate if necessary for even browning, otherwise avoid opening oven during baking.
Serve warm or at room temperature.