Chef Leonard’s Famous Cheddar Chive Biscuits

We made these biscuits for a pop up brunch and people still rave about them. They are perfect for a Christmas morning treat. The dough can be made a night to 2 days in advance, cut out on a cookie sheet, refrigerated and baked that morning. You can also leave out the cheddar and/or chives if you want something more plain. They are brushed with melted butter which keeps them egg free!!


Makes 1 dozen biscuits
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening , cut into ½ inch chunks
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into ½ inch chunks
¾ cups plain whole milk yogurt
¾ cups whole milk
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese (good quality)
½ cup chopped chives
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add shortening to flour mixture; break up chunks with fingertips until only small, pea-sized pieces remain. Working in batches, drop butter slices into flour mixture and toss to coat; pick up each slice of butter and press between floured fingertips into flat, nickel-sized pieces. Repeat until all butter is incorporated; toss to combine. Freeze mixture (in bowl) until chilled, about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle flour on your work surface. Combine yogurt and milk and add all but 2 tablespoons to flour mixture; stir briskly with fork until ball forms and no dry bits of flour are visible, adding remaining yogurt-milk mixture as needed (dough will be sticky and shaggy but should clear sides of bowl).  Carefully fold grated cheese and chives into dough. Transfer dough onto center of prepared work surface, dust surface lightly with flour, and, with floured hands, bring dough together into cohesive ball. Add more flour to work surface and lightly roll the dough about a ½ inch thick. Dip a 3 inch round cutter in flour and cut out 12 biscuits, dipping cutter in flour every time.
Brush biscuit tops with melted butter. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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