Hotly debated on the interwebs and hyper-local, Eastern North Carolina-style (non Red Lobster-style) cheddar biscuits are a beauty to behold. Slightly dense and toothsome with ooey, gooey cheese, these beauties hit the spot. Check out the full post on my blog Gastography at: http://cpluscdesign.com/gastography/2011/03/18/eastern-north-carolina-cheese-biscuits/ —Gastography
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter a piece at a time to the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter until you have a mixture the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Although I'm sure the writer of the original recipe would cringe, I very rarely bake, don't own a pastry cutter and no one in my life trusts me to dual-wield knives without losing a finger or two like the recipe called for alternately. So, I beat the crap out of the butter with a metal potato masher and hands that I periodically chilled in the freezer until the right consistency was reached.
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add the buttermilk. Gently scrape the sides of the bowl and fold the mixture until barely combined. Don't over-mix, just incorporate all the dry wispy bits of flour from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be lumpy, sticky in places and shaggy around the edges. Pick the dough up and knead it carefully in the bowl, turning over with each pass, 3-5 times, until almost all the mixture forms a cohesive mass.
To form the biscuits, pinch off a ball of dough about 2 1/2 inches around and form into a thick free-form patty. This recipe should yield 6 large biscuits. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Slice and serve with sturdy cheddar-like cheese, heating in the microwave until just-melted.