Friday, September 30, 2016


My husband and I celebrated our honeymoon in Virginia Beach, Jamestown, and Williamsburg, Virginia. Williamsburg was founded in 1699. Two of the most popular eighteenth-century cookbooks used in Virginia were, "The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy", by Mrs. Hannah Glasse and "The Compleat Housewife", by Mrs E Smith, published in London in 1727. The three eighteen-century taverns in Williamsburg that are still in operation are King's Arms, Christiana Campbell's, and Josiah Chowning's. I remember having an ale stew with cheddar cheese biscuits in one of the taverns. 

2 ½ cups all-purpose White Lily flour or Southern Biscuit flour
2 T aluminum-free baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t fine sea salt
7 T frozen unsalted butter, divided
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ t paprika

1 T melted butter, for brushing on biscuits

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place rack in center of oven.

Sift flour with baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.

Unwrap most of the butter, but keep the wrapper on the very end to hold on to.
Grate the butter, using a box grater, directly into the flour mixture.
Leave a tablespoon of butter for melting to brush on the tops of the biscuits.

Quickly mix with a spoon and then make a well in the center and mix in the buttermilk, cheese, and paprika.
With floured hands, place on a lightly floured surface.

Gently fold the dough in half and repeat four more times. This creates layers, but you don’t want to overwork your dough.
Sprinkle top with flour and gently pat down with your hands to about a 1-inch thick round.
Cut with a floured 2 to 2 ¾-inch biscuit cutter. Do no twist the biscuit cutter.

Place on a lightly greased baking sheet with biscuits lightly touching each other.
Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 12 to 15 biscuits