This recipe for easy cheese biscuits is great to keep in your back pocket in case company pops in, or you want a quick afternoon snack. This cheese tea biscuits recipe belongs to Elodie Gallien, the grandmother of our Halifax-based team member, Kelly Neil. Tea biscuits are a kitchen staple in the Maritimes, and are, for many East Coasters, a nostalgic reminder of family. Most Maritimers can picture themselves gathered with family at the table, a plate of fresh tea biscuits between them.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: substitute whole wheat if preferred, but note that the biscuits will likely need more milk. Sub up to 50% with whole wheat flour to keep a nice light biscuit.
- Cheese: an aged, sharp cheddar cheese is best, but any type of cheddar can be used. Other hard cheeses can be substituted or mixed with cheddar.
- Milk: buttermilk is a terrific substitution for milk.
How to Make Cheese Biscuits
Step 1: whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or fork to combine it with the flour until the mixture is coarse and sandy. Freeze for half an hour.
Step 2: remove the flour mixture from the freezer and add the grated cheese. Stir everything together with a fork to combine and make a well in the middle.
Step 3: pour in the milk. Stir everything together with the fork until no dry bits of flour remain on the bottom of the bowl.
Step 4: pat the dough out with your hands and cut into rounds, repeating until all of the dough has been used.
Step 5: place the biscuits onto a prepared baking sheet and brush the top of each with milk.
Step 6: bake the biscuits until golden. Remove them from the oven and let the pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
- Freeze the bowl: freezing room temperature butter mixed with flour is an easy method, and yields a tender flaky biscuit. If you don't have time, make this recipe the traditional way with cold or frozen grated butter.
- Use cold ingredients: keep the milk and grated cheese cold in the fridge until you need it. Cold ingredients will make for taller, flakier biscuits.
- Make squares instead: a good way to get 12 perfectly-sized biscuits is to pat or roll the dough into a rectangle shape and slice it with a knife into 12 even portions.
Do not use pre-shredded cheese. Bagged, shredded cheese generally has a light coating of cornstarch to prevent it clumping and sticking together in the bag. It doesn't melt as well as cheese you grate by hand yourself.
You can use a rolling pin for the dough if you don't want to pat it out with your hands.
How to Store
Storage: keep the biscuits in a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days.
Freezing: place cooled biscuits into an airtight container and freeze for up to a month. It's best to freeze them the day they're baked. To serve, remove from the bag and gently defrost in the microwave until warm, or let sit at room temperature until thawed.
What do you eat with cheese biscuits?
Serve your cheddar biscuits with any soup or stew, fish chowder, as a breakfast sandwich or alongside eggs, as a side with a roast and vegetables, or anywhere you might usually have biscuits.
Why do you put milk in biscuits?
Milk adds some much needed moisture and it's what brings the biscuit mixture together. It makes for nice light, fluffy biscuits. Whole milk or buttermilk is best.
What are cheese biscuits made of?
Cheese biscuits will usually be made with plain flour, butter, milk, cheese, and some additions like salt. You may also see cream and sometimes egg used.
If you make this Easy Cheese Biscuit recipe or any other biscuit and scone recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Easy Cheese Tea Biscuits
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Mixing bowl
- 2.5 inch (6-mm) round biscuit cutter
- baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Pastry blender or fork
- Wire rack
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter room temperature
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese grated
- 1 cup whole milk plus 1 tablespoon for brushing the biscuits
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Add the butter and use a pastry blender or fork to combine it with the flour until the mixture is coarse and sandy.
- Use your fingers to rub in any remaining larger lumps of butter. Place the bowl of flour in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and have a 2½ inch (6 mm) round biscuit cutter ready.
- Remove the flour mixture from the freezer and add the grated cheese.
- Stir everything together with a fork to combine.
- Use the fork to make a well in the middle of the flour-cheese mixture.
- Pour in the milk.
- Stir everything together with the fork until no dry bits of flour remain on the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
- Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough. Working quickly so the butter doesn't warm up, pat the dough out to a thickness of 1 inch (2½ mm) with your hands. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticking.
- Cut the dough into as many round biscuits as you can (probably about seven). Gather the leftover scraps and quickly pat the dough out again. Cut more biscuits. Repeat this process until all of the dough is gone. Depending on how thick you’ve patted the dough, you should end up with 10 to 12 biscuits.
- Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and brush the top of each with milk.
- Bake the biscuits for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden.
- Remove them from the oven and let the pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
- Do not use pre-shredded cheese. Bagged, shredded cheese generally has a light coating of cornstarch to prevent it clumping and sticking together in the bag. It doesn't melt as well as cheese you grate by hand yourself.