Greg DuPree
Active Time
10 MIN
Total Time
25 MIN
Yield
Serves : Makes 8 biscuits

Before John Becker knew Megan Scott's real name, he was already a little smitten with the "cheddar scallion biscuit girl." Everyone who worked at the Dripolator Coffeehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, were devotees of Greenlife Grocery's signature savory biscuits—and the lovely baker who made them. They'd been nudging John to ask Megan out on a date, and to his surprise, she came into the coffee shop looking for him, only she didn't know it.

Megan had spent the summer learning from The Joy of Cooking—a book she'd heard regarded as the bible. When she heard that the original author’s great-grandson worked at Dripolator, she marched over and asked the barista to confirm the rumor. John turned beet red. She asked him out, he made coq au vin for her soon after, and within a week, the two were living together.

The couple is now taking on the monumental task of updating the much-beloved cookbook for the first time since 2006, and they're well aware of the place it holds in people's hearts. Some sections and recipes will be lovingly relegated to past editions, others will remain unchanged, and still others will be refreshed. Under John and Megan’s careful stewardship, new recipe, ingredient, and technique additions will reflect the changing face of American cooking, but at least one recipe will be making its debut in Joy's pages for sentimental reasons: these cheddar scallion biscuits.

The buttermilk dough bakes atop a pile of grated cheddar, bringing not just a wonderfully caramelized flavor, but a clever textural element in the form of crisp, lacy "feet" that form around the bottom or each biscuit. Add a hefty amount of chopped scallion into the mix and it's a savory, joyous match for the ages. —Kat Kinsman

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work cold butter into flour mixture until butter is in small, flattened pieces and mixture is crumbly. Stir in scallions and 1/2 cup cheese. Add 3/4 cup buttermilk, and stir just until dough comes together, adding up to 1/4 cup additional buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary. (Dough should be neither sticky nor crumbly.)

Step 2    

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead 3 to 4 times just to bring dough together. Pat dough into an 8- x 6-inch rectangle; fold 1 short side a third of the way over toward center. Fold opposite short side over folded end (business letter fold). Rotate dough clockwise 90 degrees; pat out dough into a 8- x 6-inch rectangle, and repeat folding procedure. Pat dough out into an 8- x 6-inch rectangle (3/4 to 1 inch thick); cut dough into 8 rectangular biscuits.

Step 3    

Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese into 8 mounds about 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet, scattering cheese just a bit so some cheese will stick out from under biscuits. Place each biscuit rectangle on a mound of cheese on baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake biscuits in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

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