Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Chives

Savory buttermilk biscuits made with goat cheese and chives.

  • Yield: Makes 8 large biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of freshly chopped chives (can also use chopped green onions)
  • 1 5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup buttermilk (plus an extra tablespoon for finish)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

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2 Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms. Stir in the chives. Add cheese and buttermilk; stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms (bits of cheese will be visible in dough).

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3 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 times with floured hands. Do not over-knead! Form into a round, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Use a pastry brush to brush on some extra buttermilk over the surface of the wedges.

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4 Arrange wedges about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased large baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Best eaten just baked and warm, with a little butter.

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Comments

  1. Chrissy

    That looks wonderful! But now I’m thinking to myself, how do I make a european scone? My good friend who moved here from the UK has been trying to make scones and every time she gets a recipe to make she tries to convince me that somehow it’s not a real scone she just made… Can you give provide some information on how to make traditional scones?

  2. Susan from Food "Blogga"

    What a great post! Having lived in New England, the South, and now California, I’ve noticed that scones and biscuits vary by region even here is the U.S. Now that I think of it, I sure have eaten a lot of scones and biscuits in all three regions.

  3. Mel

    Wow! 30 minutes ago I first saw this post and now I’m eating one of these delicious biscuits. I didn’t have any chives or spring onions but they are lovely. Like Red Lobster cheese biscuits but not nearly as salty and way nicer. Thank you so much!

  4. sarah

    I had noticed the differences you describe (I’m a scot living in Virginia) but had never been set to musing on what american scones are most like in the uk (is it very bad to ask you to say that instead of ‘England’?). The answer I came up with was rock cakes, although I do wonder if this is just an unfortunate reflection on the scones I have tried here – never had a scone I liked here, never had a rock cake I liked back home! I’m looking forward to trying your rendition of British scones though :)

  5. jonathan

    I’ve gotta go with scone (v. biscuit) on this one; they’re triangular. My brain won’t allow me to call them bisc….bis….bi…see? I can’t even say the word.

    In any event, they look Über delicious. I could eat goat cheese on a roofing shingle.

  6. Elise

    Hi Chrissy – If you want to make a British style scone, I would do a search for scone recipe at Google UK. Use the Google Calculator to do the measurement conversions. Or experiment and take an American recipe for biscuits and remove the salt and savory elements and add some sugar.

  7. Karina

    First, your gorgeous soda bread, now – biscuits. Sigh. [Stomach rumble.] ;-)

    I love the addition of goat cheese. I might have to experiment with making this recipe gluten-free. It seems like it would translate very well. Thanks for this inspiring post.

  8. Piegirl

    Thank you, Elise, for this discussion on the difference between scones and biscuits. I was asking that same question just recently.

    I recently found this recipe for cream scones, which are the most perfect scones I’ve had thus far!

  9. Chip

    It’s been the cause of some shame that as an Alabaman (I grew up 15 minutes from the Irondale Cafe, Sandi) I’ve never liked biscuits. I do like scones, though. Maybe if I made my biscuits triangular, I could fool myself into thinking they’re just “light and fluffy scones.”

  10. Sheila

    I’m Enlgish and I love English scones, which are round, light and fluffy, etc. American scones are heavy and huge, more like our rock cakes. I’m going to try these because I love goat cheese and chives too, but should I make them triangular or round?

  11. Elise

    Hi Sheila,
    You can make these in any shape you want. Typically in the US, scones are in the shape of triangles, and biscuits are in the shape of rounds. It’s sort of cognitive dissonance for us to have a biscuit made into triangles, but since I had scones on my mind, I made them into triangles. It doesn’t really matter.

  12. Linda

    Hi Elise,

    Your scones or your herby biscuits look good enough to eat for me. I see in your photo
    you use silpads- where did you purchase them?
    I have a pair but I would like a better quality of silpads.

    Linda

  13. Maggie

    Oh, wow. My first comment, but not the first time I’ve been bowled over by one of your recipes! These were out of this world. I made them to go with asparagus soup, and thank goodness. The soup was bland, but that was forgotten as these made me and my fiance speechless! I can’t wait to make them with eggs to dress up brunch. Bravo.

  14. Judy

    I made these biscuits to accompany the Irish stew, the combo was delicious, they went surprisingly well together. We loved the stew – which became even tastier second day. I am very excited about the biscuits (scones) – it is the first time that a scone/biscuit recipe has worked out well for me, they were delicious – I would love to try a sweeter (or at least non-savoury) version – could this recipe be adapted with a bit more sugar and currants? Thanks….

  15. johanna

    I’ve been wanting to make scones (the English version) with sultanas for quite a while. I have a recipe with buttermilk, but am trying to use clotted cream for the dough, hoping for even more indulgence… I’ve been wrecking my brain over how to shape them as I don’t have the traditional pentagon cutters – and round is way too boring. So American is the way to go!!!

  16. Jim

    These were so easy to make and were quite delicious. I loved biting into small chunks of goat cheese. I have a scone pan that is divided into 8 compartments and they came out just perfect. Keep those great recipes coming!

  17. Judy

    I just wanted to tell you that I turned this recipe into sweet scones with currents – ommitted chives & cheese, and increased the sugar to 1/3 of a cup, and added 3/4 cup of currents. It worked out really well – they were given rave reviews by family.

  18. Rhonda

    These biscuits are moist and yummy! They are easy and perfect for a weeknight meal. Thanks for the step-by-step photos.

  19. Jess

    Elise I spent 10 minutes googling biscuit recipes before I found yours and I knew I could trust it. I used Abbeydale cheese with chives instead of goat cheeese and chives and it turned out well.

    One trick I figured out is if you don’t have a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour mixture, freeze the butter and shred it up with your microplane. Works like a charm!

  20. Danabee

    Made ‘em without chives and black pepper due to persnickety family preferences. Fabulous. This is a keeper. After a thousand batches yielding varying degrees of brickness in my lifetime I finally followed Alton Brown’s advice and turned the dough out onto the board when it was hardly mixed at all and did most of the blending of wet/dry ingredients in the 6-8 kneads. Perfect biscuits at last!

  21. Summer

    Elise~
    Do you think that it would be a feasible idea to make the dough the evening prior to an event, and bake the biscuits in the morning? My concern would be that the texture would become less airy if the dough was to rest over night in the fridge.
    Thanks for your help.

    The dough should be made right before cooking, not the evening before. Otherwise the acid in the buttermilk will react with the baking soda and you will lose a good portion of your leavening. ~Elise

  22. nicole

    Ok, I have a problem with Baking Soda. Last time I used some (and yes, it was fresh) I made some kind of cornbread and it was fine while hot but tasted really disgusting and bitter when cooled down. I made it without the baking soda and just used more baking powder and it was fine, so I’m pretty sure the Baking Soda was the problem.
    Can I substitute Baking powder for the Baking Soda? How much extra would I need to use, on top of what’s already in the recipe?

    Also, what’s the reason for using both Baking Soda and Baking Powder ins this recipe?

    Here’s the deal with baking soda and baking powder in any baking recipe. Baking soda is a pure base. Baking powder is comprised of baking soda plus a dry acid. A base reacts with an acid to form bubbles. Every try sprinkling vinegar on to baking soda? That’s an acid reacting with a base. For baking soda to work, you need an acid in the mixture. Buttermilk is acidic, so baking soda reacts with it to form bubbles, which helps with the leavening in the biscuits. Baking powder doesn’t need that extra acid, because all you have to do is get it wet in the mixture and it will begin to react with itself. Baking is all chemistry. Changing a leavening ingredient will change how the recipe works. Many recipes use a combination of baking soda and baking powder, so that the leavening process throughout the cooking is more even and controlled. If you want to omit the baking soda called for in this recipe, and substitute baking powder, you’ll have to do your own experimenting to see what works best for you. Because that is what it will take, experimenting. Good luck! ~Elise

  23. nicole

    Elise, you’re my Hero.
    Thank you so much for that explanation. Baking Soda isn’t commonly used for baking in germany, at least not to my knowledge. I usually have trouble finding it in the baking isle… Usually “Baking Soda” or “Natron” is found with cleaning supplies, though it says it’s suitable to cook/bake with on the back of the package. (It usually comes with some kind of instruction pamphlet with ratios to clean stuff and I think one recipe but I can’t remember what the recipe was).
    Again, thank you! And I’ll have a go with just baking powder and see what happens ;-)

  24. Becca

    Lordy, Lordy, Lordy! I just found your blog, and immediately had to try these out. Even though I’ve never attempted scones before, your recipe was clear enough, and easy enough for me to manage. It was so quick to whip up and made my kitchen smell deliriously good. AND, they tasted great! Brought them to work and they were crowd pleasers. Thanks for the explanations and sharing!

  25. Leigh

    This is a great recipe and versatile as well. I used this recipe to base another, which featured sundried tomatoes, smoked gouda and ground green peppercorns. Worked well. I turned my oven down to 375 so as not to burn the bottom of the biscuits and took them out after only 16 minutes. They were quite delicious according to the ladies in our soup club. I’ll have to write this on an index card – it was that good!

  26. Nicola

    Thank you for this recipe! Trying to explain to my friends out here in the US why their scones aren’t ‘real scones’ has been driving me nutty. I’m originally from Bristol, and I read a comment up the page by ‘sarah’ about Rock Cakes – my mother used to make those! I thought they were just an excuse for poorly made scones!

    Looking forward to making these this weekend. Your recipes are making me run out of flour so quickly! (The banana bread recipe was heaven!)

  27. zee

    What does “knead 8 times” mean? That is, what needs to be done to be considered as one knead?

    From the Wikipedia, “the dough is put on a floured surface, pressed and stretched with the heel of the hand, folded over, and rotated through 90º repeatedly.” The “repeatedly” part? Do that 8 times. ~Elise