How to Make Incredible Cheese Biscuits
I am excited to tell you about my latest NoviceToPro Interview with Chef Jenni Field, a graduate from the prestigious Orlando Culinary Academy’s Le Cordon Bleu program. It is a great interview and a must read if you are thinking of going to culinary school especially if you are over the age of 30.
Jenni started culinary arts school after a 16-year career as a teacher and avid amateur baker. The interview gets into why she changed careers, how she decided what culinary school to attend, what it was like plus Jenni talks about what qualities someone needs to enter the restaurant industry. Do check it out here.
I asked Chef Jenni for a signature recipe and she offer this one for Cheese Biscuits. Here is what she said:
“I make these for bread service at the restaurant every day. People clamor for them in a most undignified manner! This recipe doubles and quadruples with no problem (I make a batch with 32 cups of flour), so it’s a good recipe for a crowd”
Cheese Biscuits Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 4 ounces butter cold, cubed
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 6 ounces grated cheese we use Gruyere and Parmesan. Cheddar works very well also
- black pepper to taste
- Heavily flour a smooth work surface. Have your rolling pin, a bench scraper and grated cheese ready to go.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Rub in butter with your fingers until the butter pieces are about the size of large peas.
- Pour in the cream and buttermilk and toss lightly with your hand, using your hand to fold the ingredients together like you'd use a spatula. The dough will be a shaggy mess. Some will still just be plain flour and some will be kind of wet. Doesn't matter. Overcome your trepidation and dump it all out on the floured surface.
- Sprinkle a little flour on top of the shaggy mess of dough and pat it into a rectangle that's about ½ inch thick.
- Take 1 ounce of the grated cheese and sprinkle it on half of the rectangle. Use your bench scraper to help you fold the non-sprinkled half over onto the sprinkled half. Try and get the edges fairly even.
- Turn the dough a quarter-turn. You might need your bench scraper for this, too.
- Lightly roll this folded, still messy mass of dough and cheese until it is again about 1/2 inch thick. Keep it as rectangular as you can.
- Sprinkle another ounce of cheese on half, fold, turn and roll again. Repeat this process with the remaining 4 ounces of cheese. It will look like all the cheese won't fit, but carry on. I promise it will. If some falls out, just put it back in.
- With each fold, you are creating tons of layers of dough and cheese. In that sense, it's kind of like a puff pastry. Also, the dough will become much easier to manage. It might, in fact, become kind of hard to roll, making you have to push down pretty hard and grit your teeth. That's okay. Just keep going.
- Once all your cheese is in (it will sort of magically disappear into the dough), square up the sides of your rectangle again, then cut in squares of whatever size you prefer. With this size batch, you'll probably get about 7-8 larger biscuits or about 15 mini guys.
- Use your bench scraper for this part, too--it is a useful tool. (For the most beautiful baked biscuits, make sure all four sides of your biscuits are cut sides.
- Don't bake one with a fold on one side. It will still taste good, it just will rise all funny because the layers on one side are all still attached).
- You can bake the biscuits immediately, but they seem to like to be frozen for awhile first--they rise up nice and straight when the fat has had a chance to firm up again.
- At any rate, when you're ready to bake, brush the tops with buttermilk, grind on a bit of black pepper, and bake off at 375° F for 7 minutes. Turn the pan and bake for about 6-8 more minutes. (This baking time is for a commercial convection oven. Your baking time might be different).
- When they are done, they will be tall and golden brown and lovely. Resist eating for as long as possible (we can only go for about 14 seconds at the restaurant) and then eat.