Not your average Cheese Biscuits! This recipe gets creative and re-thinks the Cheddar and chive biscuit. For starters, the dough is amped up in flavor thanks to rye flour, cumin seeds and onion flakes. And instead of Cheddar cheese, I’m using planks of salty, briny feta cheese. Talk about yum!
The buttery, cheesy layered biscuit dough then gets brushed with a cumin-onion butter that pools around the edges of the biscuits and slightly “frys” them as they bake. The biscuits come out with crisp, buttery bottoms and edges, a crunchy spiced topping, and tender, layered interiors.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- All-purpose flour: the majority of the flour in these biscuits is all-purpose flour. You’ll need 2 cups.
- Rye Flour: the 80/20 rule may have its roots in living a balanced life, but it’s also a great rule of thumb when adding alternative flours to biscuit dough. This recipe uses 20% rye flour and 80% all-purpose flour. Rye adds a slightly nutty flavor along with protein and fiber.
- Baking Powder: you’ll need a tablespoon of baking powder for this recipe. That may seem like a lot—because it is—but it’s needed to give lift to the butter-rich dough.
- Butter: use unsalted butter for this recipe and season the dough yourself—this gives you more control.
- Buttermilk: an important ingredient for adding flavor to the biscuits! Buttermilk is also key to creating a tender biscuit. I recommend using bottled buttermilk instead of making your own—it just has a better texture and creates better results. If you’ve got extra buttermilk, make Whole Wheat Muffins!
- Feta Cheese: use block-style feta cheese, not crumbled. And use feta that is packed and sold in brine instead of sold in plastic shrinkwrap. Use any extra feta in my Turkish Shepherd’s Salad.
- Cumin Seeds: these are a BIG flavor player in this recipe so don’t skip them. They’re worthy of a spot on your grocery list, and I have heaps of recipes that use cumin seeds. Try them in Sopa de Fideo or Lentil Salad.
- Dried Minced Onion Flakes: These melt into the dough during baking and give the biscuits lots of savory flavor. If you’re new to cooking with dried onion flakes, use them in Chicken Larb or Beef Larb.
- Salt: you’ll need kosher salt for this recipe. Morton or Diamond Crystal works, though the measurements will be slightly different so be sure to read the recipe notes. I also recommend topping the biscuits off with flaky sea salt before baking.
- Sugar: just a tiny bit is added to the dough to balance out the flavors.
How to Make Homemade Cheese Biscuits
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl—it needs to be large enough to mix the dough in.
- Grate some of the butter using a large-hole grater. The butter should be really cold for this step, so I recommend freezing the butter for a while before grating.
- Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and toss to combine. All of the butter should be evenly coated in flour and evenly distributed.
- Add the feta cheese to the flour and butter mixture and toss to combine. The feta chunks should fall apart a bit, but not be too small.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture using your hand or a spoon. Pour the buttermilk into the well and use a spoon to gently mix everything together into a shaggy dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a thick rectangle (it should be about 8✕5-inches).
- Fold the dough into thirds onto itself, like a letter, then pat back into a thick rectangle. Repeat the folding and shaping process twice more.
- Chill the biscuit dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- While the dough chills, toast additional cumin seeds and dried onion flakes in butter. This should take just a few minutes over medium heat. Keep an eye on it! The onion flakes should just start to turn golden.
- Cut the chilled biscuit dough into 8 equal squares then brush with the melted butter and spice mixture. Top each biscuit with flaky sea salt and bake until puffed and deeply golden brown.
Expert Baking Tips
- Prior to using the butter, pop it in the freezer. Using very cold butter will allow you to evenly disperse the butter into the dough without it melting (the enemy of flakiness!).
- Avoid working the dough too much. The dough should be fairly shaggy with pockets of dry flour prior to dumping it out onto the work surface and forming it.
As you form, fold and form it again, the dough will come together.
- Keep an eye on the spices as you toast them in the butter. They can go from toasted to burnt quick. The butter will foam, but what you’re looking for is the onion flakes to just start to take on a bit of color. At that moment, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the butter to cool.
How to Store Biscuits
- These biscuits will last up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- For longer storage, place the airtight container of biscuits in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- And for long-term storage, freeze the biscuits. To freeze biscuits, freeze the biscuits on a baking sheet. Once solid, transfer to a zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Yes they can be frozen. I would first freeze the biscuits on a baking sheet and then once solid, transfer to a zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw at room temperature for a couple hours before reheating in a 300-degree oven just to warm through and re-crisp the exterior.
I haven’t tested this, but I think so. Freeze the individual, unbaked biscuits on a baking sheet until solid then transfer to a zipper-lock bag and store for up to 3 months.
The day prior to baking, remove the biscuits from the freezer and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then bake as directed.
I recommend reheating the biscuits at 300ºF for about 5 minutes or until warmed through and the edges are re-crisped.
What to Serve with Cheese Biscuits
For a cozy Sunday Night dinner, pair these Cheese Biscuits with my Hungarian Goulash Soup. Comfort food at its finest!
These are also great with any kind of steak, but a Sous Vide Filet Mignon would be very bougie and delish.
Cheese Biscuits Recipe
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, divided *
- 6 ounces block feta cheese, packed in brine and drained
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (60g) rye flour
- 1 tablespoon (15g) baking powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds , divided
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes , divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (230g) buttermilk
- Grate 12 tablespoons butter on a large hole grater. Slice 6 ounces feta into ⅛-inch thick planks.
- In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, ½ cup (60g) rye flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- Add shredded butter to flour mixture and lightly mix with fingers until combined and butter pieces are completely coated in flour. Add feta to dough and toss to combine; feta should break apart into large shards.
- Form a well in center of flour butter-mixture; pour 1 cup (230g) buttermilk into well. Using a spoon, mix dough gently until a dough comes together.
- Transfer dough to a work surface and lightly press dough into a rough 8✕5-inch rectangle (about 1-inch thick)
- Fold rectangle into thirds (like a letter) and press down into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Repeat folding and pressing twice more.
- Shape rectangle into a rough 8✕5-inch rectangle (about 1¼-inches thick). Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and chill 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 450ºF (232ºC) with rack set in middle position.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 teaspoons onion flakes; cook just until fragrant, butter is lightly browned and spices are toasted, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Cut biscuit dough in half lengthwise then cut each half into 4 squares.
- Brush biscuits with spiced butter. Sprinkle biscuits with flaky sea salt and bake until risen and golden brown on tops and sides; 27–29 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- If you have leftover spice butter, serve it with biscuits.