Brighten up your weekend with homemade breakfast sandwiches. These drop biscuits — no need to roll and cut — are easy to prepare, just be sure to work quickly and not overwork the dough. These are fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, thanks to some good old-fashioned melted butter. Cheddar and jalapeño work beautifully together, but make it your own by subbing in same amounts of other favorite cheese or add-ins, such as fontina, Comté, fresh garlic, leek or chives. If making fried egg sandwiches, top with a combo of honey and hot sauce, or try a favorite pesto, herbed mayo, garlic chile crunch or Alaska-made barrel-aged Bull Whip sauce.
Cheddar jalapeño biscuits
Makes 10-12 biscuits
For the cheddar jalapeño drop biscuits:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for shaping biscuits
3 cups / 395g all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine salt (or 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
1/2 cup / 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar or Comté cheese, divided
1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed; chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup buttermilk*
1 large egg
For the sandwiches: Fried eggs; hot sauce; sliced tomato; sliced onion
Note: *In a pinch, if you don’t have buttermilk, combine 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white vinegar, stir and let sit 5 minutes before using.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Add three tablespoons butter to a (10-inch) heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet such as a cast-iron skillet. Place skillet in oven while prepping biscuits. Set timer for 5 minutes to check that butter is melted but not browning; remove from oven once butter is melted and set aside while prepping biscuits.
In a medium bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper and paprika together. Cut 1/2 cup cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to the flour mixture and, using a pastry cutter or two forks, work into flour until mostly blended and a few small pea-sized pieces remain. Try to work quickly so butter doesn’t soften too much. If butter/mixture is too soft/warm, place bowl in fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill. Add 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) cheese and jalapeño and mix into the flour just to combine. In a small bowl, whisk to combine buttermilk and egg. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in buttermilk and egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir until mixture is well combined; if needed, use hands to gently and quickly fold mixture over on itself a few times, being careful not to press down or overwork the dough. If needed — i.e., kitchen is warm and mixture very soft — chill again about 10 minutes.
When ready to bake, have about 1/4 cup flour at the ready and very lightly dust hands, as needed, to portion out 10 to 12 balls of dough, roll each biscuit quickly between hands — they don’t have to be perfect — and place/drop in skillet of melted butter. When all biscuits are in skillet, turn biscuits over so buttered side is face-up. Brush with more of melted butter from the pan, as needed. Top biscuits with remaining 2 ounces cheese and some more freshly-ground black pepper. Bake 15 minutes. Rotate skillet for even baking, and bake another 5-10 minutes and until golden brown on top. Serve as-is or make biscuit sandwiches with fried eggs, hot sauce sliced tomato and onion.