These savory biscuits have a generous dose of Korean red pepper powder coupled with salty Parmesan. Gochugaru is commonly added to stir-fries, stews, and pickled banchan like kimchi, but its nuanced heat also works well in Biscuit Land. It cuts through the butter’s richness and adds a welcome note of spice, transforming the familiar buttermilk biscuit into a more interesting version of itself.
To achieve soft biscuits with some height, frozen butter is grated and tossed with the dry ingredients (a technique I picked up while working at Gramercy Tavern in New York City), then the dough is folded on top of itself three times before being punched into rounds. Abide by all the rules of the biscuit playbook for best results: Work quickly to keep the butter cold, use a light touch, and don’t overwork the dough. For seamless flow, I like to set up my work station before getting my hands dirty—there’s nothing more annoying than having to dig out your rolling pin and biscuit cutter with doughy, flour-covered fingers!
Though the recipe requires a little planning ahead—like freezing the butter and chilling the biscuit dough before baking—the first bite of a warm, hearty, golden-bottomed biscuit is worth it. You can even plan way ahead and fully freeze the assembled biscuits, baking them from frozen whenever you need a crowd-pleasing picnic side or a buttery treat to indulge in after a less-than-ideal day. Your future self will thank you. —Joy Cho
- Prep time 1 hour
- Cook time 15 minutes
- makes 6 biscuits
(about 2¼ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
plus 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
1 3/4 teaspoons
Freshly ground black pepper
(¾ cup) freshly grated Parmesan
(1½ sticks) unsalted butter, kept in stick form and fully frozen
buttermilk, cold, plus more as needed
- Whisk the flour, gochugaru, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, and a few cranks of ground pepper in a large bowl. Add the Parmesan and whisk to combine.
- Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the frozen butter over the dry ingredients, working quickly so the butter doesn’t melt. Lightly toss the mixture together with your hands to uniformly combine.
- Pour in the buttermilk, a little at a time, while gently stirring with a fork, until a shaggy dough forms. Using a light touch, gently knead the dough into a nearly cohesive mass in the bowl. A few dry patches are okay—it’s more important to not overwork the dough.
- Turn out the biscuit dough onto a floured surface and press into a rough rectangle, incorporating any large dry patches. Roll the dough out to an 8½x11-inch rectangle (the size of a sheet of paper), sprinkling the dough with flour if it begins to stick.
- Using a plastic bench scraper, fold the dough over itself in thirds lengthwise, like a letter. (Keeping the dough as angular and rectangular as possible when making your folds will help with even lamination.)
- Rotate the dough 90 degrees, line up the edges, and roll the dough out again to an 8½x11-inch rectangle. Keep your work surface dusted with flour to prevent sticking.
- Repeat the folding process two more times, for a total of three folds. After the third fold, roll the dough out to a rectangle about 1 inch thick.
- Cut out 6 biscuits (a 2½-inch cutter works well), pressing straight down with the cutter instead of twisting. Dust the biscuit cutter with flour as you work, if necessary. Place the biscuits on a quarter sheet pan or large plate lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. (You can also freeze the scraps and bake them as a snack.)
- Freeze the biscuits for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 month. (If you’re freezing them for more than a few hours, transfer them to an airtight container or bag after they’re completely firm.)
- When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk and finish with a few cranks of ground pepper. Line a half sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat and add the biscuits, evenly spaced out. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the biscuits are golden brown.
- Biscuits are best enjoyed the day they're baked. Otherwise, store them in an airtight container or bag for up to 2 days (they can be warmed for a few seconds in the microwave before consuming, if desired).