North Carolina Cheese Biscuits
What makes a better biscuit? In some parts of the Tar Heel State, cheese.
Why This Recipe Works
The biscuits found in the region around Rocky Mount, North Carolina, are “big as a cat’s head” and stuffed with molten, gooey hoop cheese, a yellow cheese common in the area. The biscuits are fluffy rather than flaky. To achieve this texture in our version, we pulsed chilled butter and flour until the mixture resembled crumbly cornmeal and then added twice the usual amount of buttermilk to create a wetter dough that produced more steam when baked, leading to a higher rise and more fluffiness in the biscuits. We liked yellow sharp cheddar (in place of the hard-to-find hoop cheese) for its tangy flavor and meltability. To get the cheese into the center of each biscuit, we squeezed the shredded cheese into a ball, placed the ball in the center of a slightly flattened circle of dough, and gently pulled the circle’s edges up and around the cheese to seal it inside. Baking the biscuits in a round cake pan gave them structure and kept the cheese from escaping.
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