Sourdough Discard Cheese Biscuits
If you like warm, tangy biscuits oozing with melting cheese, these biscuits are for you. The biscuits are worth making the sourdough starter, just to get the discard so you can whip them up. Sourdough cheese biscuits get their tang from the sourdough process and also from a little buttermilk in the dough. Two types of cheese--shredded and sharp cheddar chunks--provide a hit of real cheese flavor. Don't skip the chunks, they're one of the best parts of the recipe. The chunks will form pockets of melted cheese as you bite into the biscuits. A little dried dill heightens the flavor of the biscuits but doesn't overwhelm the cheese flavor. You can bake the biscuits immediately after you mix them up or let them sit for a couple of hours to let the sourdough process work a bit on the dough. If you let the dough sit, you'll have slightly lighter biscuits--a mix between baking powder biscuits and yeast rolls, which is what the recipe is about. Think of "angel biscuits," which include commercial yeast as well as baking powder. Sourdough biscuits are similar but without the commercial yeast and with more taste. I use half all-purpose flour and half white whole-wheat flour in the biscuits, which yields a biscuit that is hearty and more nutritious but still light. The cheese biscuits are great with dinner. If you have any left, try them for breakfast with a slice of Canadian bacon sandwiched between two biscuit halves. Left over biscuits warm nicely if popped into the toaster, so don't make your biscuits too thick if you plan to toast them later.
Sourdough Discard Cheese Biscuits -- Makes 12+
1/2 cup of white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of dried dill
6 tablespoons of Smart Balance or butter
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of low-fat buttermilk, divided
3/4 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-4 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese cut into 1/4-1/2-inch cubes
When you're ready to bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the flours, baking powder, salt, and dill. Cut the Smart Balance or butter into small bits and add it to the flour. Using a pastry blender, cut the Smart Balance/butter into the flour mixture until small bits form. Some of the bits should be tiny, and others should be a little smaller than peas. Stir in the starter/discard and the buttermilk until the mixture begins to stick together (depending on how much moisture was in your starter/discard, you may need a little more or a little less than 1/4 cup of buttermilk). Stir in the shredded cheddar and then the chopped cheddar cheese. Dump the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and pat it out until it's 3/4-1-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of the dough and place them an inch or two apart on the prepared baking sheet (or just pat the dough into a rectangle and cut square biscuits, if you'd prefer). You can gently pat the remaining dough together and cut more rounds. Bake the biscuits immediately or let them sit for 1-2 hours before baking them. The biscuits will need about 20-23 minutes in the oven.