2.5cupall purpose flourplus ½ cup for dusting and work surface
½tsp sugardon't skip this!
1tbspbaking powdernot a typo - you'll need 1 tbsp!
1cupcold buttermilkGet whole fat if possible - low fat doesn't rise as much
1.5cupshredded cheddar cheeseshred fresh if possible
Before you start, pop the butter into the freezer for a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 425F
Have a bowl with the excess flour set aside
Prep the biscuit dough
Add the sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and garlic powder to a a sieve and sift them together. Alternatively, whisk to combine nicely and aerate the flour.
Dust the side of a box grater (with the largest holes) with flour. Take your stick of butter from the freezer and drop it into a flour, and grate that stick of butter. Place in the fridge while you prep everything else. Add grated butter into flour mixture and use your fingers to mix it in - the flour and butter should NOT stick. Use your fingers to pinch butter with the flour if you can! Note: If you're using a food processor, make sure to chill the bowl and the blade (or disc) before you shred. Otherwise, the butter will melt on the steel (and that's not fun to clean out!)
Now, slowly add butter milk, and use a rubber spatula until a coarse mixture forms - take care not to add too much liquid at once! This can over saturate some parts of the dough and leave others totally dry.
Using the same side of the box grater, shred cheddar. Then add cheddar cheese and fold this into the dough until it's pliable using your hands (don't overwork it!)
Make the biscuits
Spray your counter with some cooking oil spray (optional) and dust it with some flour - this helps make sure that your dough doesn't absorb all the flour on the counter
Empty your dough on the work surface and roll it between your hands (almost rocking side to side) - do not knead the dough!
Then, pat the dough from side to side to flatten it (use one hand and don't apply any pressure). Once it's flat in the shape of a rectangle, fold either side towards the center. Now rotate the dough so it's perpendicular to what it was before and pat it down once more. Then, once more (so a total of three times)
Now, place the nice flat surface on your counter and pat the dough into a nice rectangle, about ½" thick (less than the distance upto the first joint of your index finger) - this will make biscuits that are 1-1.5" thick (they'll double when you bake) Dust a biscuit cutter (2 ¼") with flour and then punch into the dough. Take care not to twist it until your biscuit cutter has hit your work surface. Shake the biscuit out of the cutter.
Bring the scraps together and pat them into a rectangular dough (avoid the rolling pin). Punch out the biscuits. Add the rest of the biscuits close to each other, arranging them in a circle (take care not to punch them down while arranging them)
Make sure that the pinched edge (what used to be on the bottom) is at the top - this will ensure a higher rise!
Melt the butter for the topping, add minced garlic and mix well. Brush the tops of all your biscuits with this butter-garlic mixture
Then, pop them into the oven and bake them for about 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Or you can tap the biscuit with a fork to check the consistency. If it's not quite as brown, pop them back in for another 3 to 5 minutes (this will depend on your oven!)
Pull them out of the oven, brush with a bit more butter (and any cheddar cheese if you have extra) and pop them back in for 2-3 minutes.
Brush the baked biscuits with more butter. Enjoy the flakiest biscuit ever.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, just butter the bottom of a baking sheet and use that instead. Also, the oven rack you use will determine how "crispy" the top and bottom get. Using the bottom rack, where there's more direct heat will lead to crispier edges.
Use cold, cold butter and grate it into the flour - this ensures that the butter remains cold until it goes in the oven. The water in the butter steams and helps the biscuit become puffy and beautiful
Don't overwork the dough and there's no need to knead (see what I did there!) - you want to pat down the dough gently to get the biscuit to the right consistency
Don't twist the cutter until it's at the work surface and make sure you place the pinched side on the top so you can allow it to rise
Use full fat buttermilk - you need the fat in the buttermilk to make the biscuits
If you have biscuit dough in irregular shapes left over, just pop them back in the cast iron skillet once your proper biscuits are done - these biscuit drops make for great snacks in between the main snacks!