The Road to Scrumptious Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuits

Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

These scrumptious, buttery, cheesy biscuits were the goal, but it took a couple of tries and a bit of heartache to get there. It was humbling, making a bad biscuit. So far, I had managed to elude the problems that so many novice biscuit-makers complain about. I suppose I got a little cocky.

I blame it on “New Kitchen Syndrome.” You know that stage where everything has been unpacked and stowed away, the counters have been cleared, and you should easily, at least in theory, be able to get back to baking again. Except you can’t remember where you put the measuring spoons and the ingredients you need are all in the very back of the cabinet. It is harder to do just about anything you want to do and can make you quite grumpy.

Eventually, I got to this. We are still talking about these Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuits. Buttery, cheesy, and slightly tangy biscuits made with beer instead of buttermilk. They were incredibly delicious and I will tell you how to make them in a moment.

Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuit | Persnickety Biscuit

First, though, we had this. They look pretty good, don’t they? Tall, flaky with a crisp slightly browned exterior. These should be wonderful. I am going to be honest and tell you they were not! They were incredibly dense and heavy and dry. They were edible but only with vast quantities of butter or completely smothered in soup.

Bad Beer Biscuits

So what went wrong? Two things. I forgot the cheese, for one. I was so mad when I realized, then kind of relieved that good cheese had not been wasted on this sub par biscuit. Second, not enough beer. Seriously, I believe the liquid to dry ratio was off, not allowing the beer to connect with the leaveners and help them work their magic. I was so concerned about making the dough too sticky that I made it too dry.

Well, with this little lesson under my belt I set out to make it right. I started again using the same ingredients, just with a little more beer. Despite the fact that I had trouble with the recipe the first time around, it is only a slight variation on my favorite buttermilk yogurt biscuit recipe. Self-rising flour, a little sugar, part shortening and part butter (frozen and then grated). I added grated sharp cheddar cheese and dill, along with a bit of black pepper. Because I did not want to waste a bunch of fresh dill, I got a paste from the produce department. Have you seen this before? It worked really well.

Dill

I mixed it in with the beer before adding it to the dry ingredients. Don’t be afraid to be a little heavy-handed with dill. I have found that it is one herb that can get lost if you don’t use enough. It is also a terrific compliment to the cheddar cheese.

Dill and Beer

The dough was a little sticky but still held together pretty well. I put the cut out biscuits pretty close together.

Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

They rose nicely and joined together just enough to keep the sides moist. With a few minutes of baking time to go, I took them out of the oven, brushed them with butter, and sprinkled them with sea salt and a touch of fresh ground pepper. Then I put them back into the oven for a few more minutes.

Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuits | Persnickety Biscuit

Yes, that is a Yazoo beer – brewed in Nashville! Click on the photo for their site.

They broke apart perfectly and were thoroughly delicious with the slight amount of pepper and perfect melding of cheddar and dill. No additional butter was required and these definitely did not need to be smothered in soup! I felt completely vindicated. Here is the recipe. Don’t let my initial failure scare you off. These really are easy and so worth it when you get it right!

>>> Click here for printable biscuit recipe.

Cheddar Dill Beer Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, frozen and grated
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 T dill (fresh or paste)
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • Melted butter for brushing tops of biscuits

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the first three dry ingredients.
  3. Add Crisco to dry ingredients and rub with your fingers to break the Crisco up into small, pea sized pieces.
  4. Add grated, frozen butter to dry ingredients and stir to coat butter pieces with flour mixture.
  5. Add grated cheddar cheese to dry ingredients and stir to coat cheese pieces with flour mixture.
  6. If using fresh dill, then add it to the dry ingredients and stir. If using dill paste, mix with the beer in small bowl or measuring cup.
  7. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beer. Mix quickly with large spoon or hands, turning bowl and gently scooping the dry ingredients into the wet. Add more beer, if needed, to make dough moist but not too wet. It will be somewhat sticky.
  8. Sprinkle flour onto countertop or pastry board. Dump dough out of bowl onto flour. Sprinkle flour onto dough and rub onto hands. Knead a few times. Press dough together and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Fold dough in half. A pastry scraper can be really helpful here to lift up the dough.
  9. Transfer dough to parchment paper. Press out to about 1/2 inch. Make into a rough rectangular shape. Using a pastry scraper, knife, spatula or other edge, cut dough into squares about 1 1/2 inches across. You do not need to move the dough after cutting. Alternately, use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. Place them close together on the parchment. Press remaining dough together and repeat.
  10. Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until tops of biscuits are slightly browned. Take the biscuits out of the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with butter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper, then return them to the oven.
  11. Bake about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes.
  12. Share with someone you love!
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Pleasing Pesto Parmesan Biscuits

Pesto Parmesan Biscuit

I used to be a much pickier eater than I am now, especially when it came to vegetables. I remember the first time someone offered me pesto pasta. I thought it would be like eating a vegetable. Spinach or something. Was I wrong about that! One bite and I was hooked. I love pesto on pasta and chicken and pizza. So why not biscuits?

Where did this biscuit recipe come from?

This one is mine! I took the base from the Rich Cheesy Cheddar Herb Biscuits and tweaked it to allow the basil pesto flavor come through.

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Why choose this biscuit recipe?

Besides the fact that pesto just rocks, I had some leftover in my refrigerator and thought it would be fun to add it to biscuits.

What is Persnickety about this biscuit recipe?

You may have noticed that I’ve made a few biscuits that are this small rectangular shape. I’m sure I will vary it soon enough, but I just love how easy it is to cut up all of the dough at once, while it is on the parchment, and slide the whole thing into the oven. The opposite of persnickety, really.

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I do like to freeze the shortening. One thing about shortening compared to butter is that it is still workable when frozen. Just colder. You can’t grate it like butter, but you can easily work it into the dough. I tried to work really quickly and not worry about making the little shortening/butter bits too small. They were more flat than round, which I think helped to make the biscuits a little more flaky.

Pesto Parmesan Biscuit Dough

So how was the biscuit?

Incredibly flavorful. The basil and parmesan were perfectly incorporated into the flaky biscuit that was soft and moist inside.

How were the leftover biscuits prepared?

Leftovers? What leftovers?

Pesto Parmesan Biscuits

>>>Click here for printable recipe.

Pleasing Pesto Parmesan Biscuits

Ingredients:
2 cups White Lily self-rise flour
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter flavored Crisco shortening, frozen
¼ cup basil pesto
¾ – 1 cup buttermilk
Shredded parmesan to sprinkle on top

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients.
  3. Cut shortening into small pieces and add to dry ingredients. Rub between your fingers or cut in using pastry cutter or two knives. Work quickly so that shortening does not get warm.
  4. Add pesto, again using your fingers to incorporate but don’t worry about blending perfectly.
  5. Make a well in the center and add 3/4 cup buttermilk. Mix quickly with large spoon or hands. Add more buttermilk, if needed, to make dough moist but not too wet. It will be somewhat sticky.
  6. Sprinkle flour onto countertop or pastry board. Dump dough out of bowl onto flour. Sprinkle flour onto dough and rub onto hands. Press dough together quickly and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Fold dough in half. A pastry scraper can be really helpful here to lift up the dough. Flatten dough again to about 1/2-3/4 inch.
  7. Transfer dough to parchment paper. Press out again if needed. Make into a rough rectangular shape. Using a pastry scraper, knife, spatula or other edge, cut dough into squares about 1 1/2 inches across. You do not need to move the dough after cutting. Sprinkle tops of biscuits with shredded parmesan and a little more pepper if you like.
  8. Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until tops of biscuits are slightly browned.
  9. Remove from oven, let rest a few minutes, then break apart and eat!
  10. Share with someone you love.

Rich Cheesy Cheddar Herb Biscuits

Cheesy Cheddar Biscuits
This is when things start getting fun! I had learned some biscuit lessons along the way and was ready to really put them into practice with this new recipe.

Where did this biscuit recipe come from?

This one is mine! I was inspired by a few different recipes – the most influential was this one from Bon Appetit.

Why choose this biscuit recipe?

I had family in town and a friend was having a bad week and, well, I thought I should make them all some biscuits. Nothing says “I love you” like a rich, buttery, cheesy biscuit, right?

Cheesy Cheddar Herb Biscuits

What is Persnickety about this biscuit recipe?

In some ways, I think this recipe is easier than many. You have to remember to freeze the butter – that must be done ahead of time. And grating the butter is a little persnickety. It is hard to hold onto a stick of butter to grate it! But once that is done, putting everything together is really easy. You don’t have to cut the butter in or wonder if you are working fast enough or if your butter is starting to melt too much. It is already the perfect size, so you just toss it with the dry ingredients.

Cheesy Cheddar Dough

I have to admit, I got the butter freezing idea from that first biscuit recipe. The Tupeolo Honey one. Remember that? I decided that was an idea I could definitely salvage from that recipe.

The other thing to note is the way the whole piece of dough was put onto the parchment before it was cut out. How much easier is it to cut the biscuits out in place and then just slide the whole thing into the oven? I also really love making these little biscuits. They are almost bite-sized and I can have a couple of them without feeling like I’m going to gain a million pounds in a weekend.

Cheddar Dough Cut out

So how was the biscuit?

Is it too immodest if I say “wow”? Honestly, they were really good. Moist, cheesy, with just enough herb and garlic flavor to make them perfect all by themselves. No butter was required for these little gems.

Rich Cheesy Cheddar Biscuit

How were the leftover biscuits prepared?

I reheated them in the microwave and also toasted them. Very good, of course. I mean, how could buttery rich cheesy cheddar herb biscuits not be good when toasted?

Toasted Cheesy Cheddar Herb

I also was going to try a new freeze, thaw, rest, bake thing. I put a small piece of cut out dough into the freezer. The idea (from that Bon Appetit recipe) was to thaw them overnight in the fridge, let them rest for 20 minutes at room temp, then bake. But I got impatient and just pulled them out of the freezer and put them into the oven. They still baked up pretty well, just did not rise as much. Oh well. Another time I’ll follow those directions and let you know how they turn out.

Trio of Cheesy Cheddar Biscuits

>>>Click here for printable recipe.

Cheddar Cheesy Herb Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups White Lily self-rise flour
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Mrs Dash original (or any combo of herbs you like)
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, frozen
  • 3/4 – 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients.
  3. Grate cheddar if not using pre-shredded.
  4. Grate frozen butter.
  5. Add butter to dry ingredients and toss to coat butter pieces with flour. You do not need to “cut in” the butter at this point.
  6. Add cheese and toss to coat.
  7. Make a well in the center and add 3/4 cup buttermilk. Mix quickly with large spoon or hands. Add more buttermilk, if needed, to make dough moist but not too wet. It will be somewhat sticky.
  8. Sprinkle flour onto countertop or pastry board. Dump dough out of bowl onto flour. Sprinkle flour onto dough and rub onto hands. Press dough together quickly and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Fold dough in half. A pastry scraper can be really helpful here to lift up the dough. Sprinkle board, hands and top of dough with flour again. Flatten and fold again. Flatten to about 1/2-3/4 inch.
  9. Transfer dough to parchment paper. Press out again if needed. Make into a rough rectangular shape. Using a pastry scraper, knife, spatula or other edge, cut dough into squares about 1 1/2 inches across. You do not need to move the dough after cutting.
  10. Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until tops of biscuits are slightly browned. If you wish, take the biscuits out of the oven a couple of minutes before they are done and brush the tops of the biscuits with butter.
  11. Remove from oven, let rest a few minutes, then break apart and eat!
  12. Share with someone you love.