Biscuits should be in every home cook’s repertoire. Almost everyone loves to eat them, and you can serve them at any meal. They can be fancy or plain, sweet or more savory. Flaky, buttery and quick to make, biscuits are what homemade comfort food is all about.
Biscuits generally follow a basic recipe that has pantry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, a little sugar, cold butter, and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar, if you don’t know, is not creamy. It’s a white, powdery, acidic byproduct of fermenting grapes into wine known scientifically as potassium bitartrate. You can find it in the spice/baking aisle at the market. Cream of tartar is used to stabilize whipped cream and meringue, to help boiled vegetables retain their color, to give snickerdoodles their distinctive taste and texture, and, when combined with baking powder or soda, to give your baked goods—like biscuits—extra loft.
The best biscuits also benefit from cold wet ingredients, especially the butter. Many experienced biscuit-makers keep their biscuit butter in the freezer and grate it into the flour mixture. Or, they chop it into small pieces before freezing. The colder the butter, the better the biscuit!
Another key to lofty, flaky biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible. First, hands are warm, and excessive patting and shaping will warm the butter in the dough (see cold butter, above). Second, whether you pat out the dough or make drop biscuits, like in our recipe, you want to work the dough—by patting or stirring—as little as possible to keep it tender. Overworking will make the biscuits tough, and no one likes to eat a tough biscuit.
Plain biscuits are delicious enough, and adding butter, jam, maple syrup, or gravy can make them even more scrumptious. But with the addition of cheese and some spices, plus whole wheat flour, our biscuits can stand alone with lots of savory flavor.Print
Easy Whole Wheat Cheese Biscuits
You’ll love these cheesy, slightly peppery biscuits—and not just for the taste. They’re easy to make in just one bowl, so no need for a special occasion to bake them. In fact, these biscuits make any occasion special!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 6 to 12 (12 biscuits) 1x
- Category: Bakery
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups white wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease a baking sheet or lay down a piece of parchment.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar.
- With two knives or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese, garlic, and pepper flakes.
- Add milk and stir just until moistened.
- Drop dough by heaping 1/4 cups, spacing 2 inches apart onto the greased or parchment covered baking sheet.
- Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Have you tried this recipe? It’s so delicious for breakfast or any time—please tell us how it turned out for you.