Kimchi Cheddar Biscuits

March  4, 2022
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 50 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Now that I can make biscuits whenever I want (a major perk of adulthood), I’ve discovered an entire world of styles and techniques—exciting, yes, but also a bit intimidating. After stumbling upon this biscuit recipe that provided helpful pointers on achieving tall, flaky biscuits—keep your ingredients cold, handle the dough with a light touch, stack the pieces of dough on top of each other to create layers, and crank up the oven—I set out to apply these life skills in the service of these buttery, savory kimchi cheddar biscuits.

I find it helpful to stick my cubed butter and buttermilk in the freezer for a few minutes while I get everything ready: mixing my dry ingredients, grating the cheddar, and chopping the kimchi. Speaking of kimchi, drain the liquid first and opt for the ripe stuff—this is a great way to use up that uber-fermented jar in your fridge. After combining the ingredients, don’t overthink it as you roll, cut, and stack the dough, working quickly so the butter doesn’t melt. A short rest in the freezer and trip to a hot oven, and you’ll end up with golden, flaky beauties. The slight bite of the kimchi, the richness of salty sharp cheddar—and the crispy bottoms, oh, they’re truly irresistible. To really take it over the top, split the biscuit, add a swipe of soft butter, and top it with more kimchi for a hearty, punchy, wholly satisfying snack. —Joy Cho

What You'll Need
  • 210 grams (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 113 grams (½ cup/1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 50 grams (½ cup, packed) freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 60 grams (scant ⅓ cup) finely chopped ripe kimchi, liquid reserved
  • 150 grams (⅔ cup) buttermilk, cold, plus more as needed
  • 1 large egg
  1. In a large bowl, using a fork, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Use your fingers to pinch and rub the cold butter cubes into the dry ingredients until the pieces are the size of peas (a few smaller or larger pieces are okay—just try to work quickly so the butter stays chilled).
  2. Still with a fork, mix in the cheddar and kimchi. Pour in the buttermilk, a little at a time, while stirring gently, just until a shaggy dough forms (you may not need all of the buttermilk, or you may need a splash more). Switch to your hands and, using a light touch, gently bring the dough into a nearly cohesive mass in the bowl—the dough should hold together for the most part but not be wet.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Press it into a rectangular disk (the dimensions don’t matter), incorporating any large dry patches if needed.
  4. Roll the dough into an 8½x11-inch rectangle (just eyeball the size of a sheet of paper), sprinkling the dough lightly with flour if it begins to stick. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise (parallel to the longer side). Stack one strip on top of the other, then cut the dough in half crosswise (parallel to the short end). Stack the two halves together (it should now be four pieces stacked together), then roll the dough into an 8½x11-inch rectangle again. Keep your work surface dusted with flour to prevent sticking, and try to work quickly so the butter doesn’t melt.
  5. Repeat the cutting and stacking process described above two more times; on the second time, when you’re rolling the dough into a rectangle, instead of 8½x11-inch, aim for about 5½x7½ inches, or whatever dimensions get you a 1-inch thickness.
  6. Trim the edges with a sharp knife and firmly cut into 6 rectangular biscuits. (You can discard the edges or bake them for a snack.)
  7. Transfer the biscuits to a quarter sheet pan or large plate lined with parchment. Freeze the biscuits for 30 minutes. While you’re waiting, position a rack in the middle of the oven—if you have a baking stone, place it on top of the rack (if not, no worries)—and heat the oven to 425°F. (If you want to freeze the biscuits for longer, up to 1 month, transfer them to an airtight container or bag after they’re completely firm.)
  8. When ready to bake, arrange the biscuits 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Whisk the egg with a splash of kimchi brine and lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (with the sheet pan placed on the baking stone if you’re using one), until the biscuits have risen and are deeply browned on the bottom. If you’d like the tops to be darker, you can move the sheet pan to the top of the oven and broil for 1 to 2 minutes—just remove the parchment first and keep a close eye.
  9. Biscuits are best enjoyed the day they're baked, ideally still warm from the oven. If you must, 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).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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6 Reviews

angelxchic April 27, 2024
These were easy to make and delicious. I was lazy and used pre-shredded habañero cheddar instead of grating it myself. In the future I would prefer maybe small diced cheddar to have bigger cheese pockets. I also topped it with shredded cheddar before baking. All in all, excellent recipe.
jpriddy December 20, 2022
We loved these biscuits! Ate them all right out of the oven, and I'll make them again.
Elizabeth December 12, 2022
Very good. Doubled them for a party and made them bite-size appetizers, and they were such a hit. I used a bit more kimchi than the recipe called for to use up my jar and think it was worth it. They’re definitely better warm, so I’d follow the direction of baking them close to serving them.
Rebecca F. March 24, 2022
These biscuits look incredible!! I can't wait to make them!
Parrish N. March 24, 2022
Leave buttermilk biscuits alone! :)
Emma L. March 24, 2022
As I raved to Joy after testing this recipe, these are actually my favorite buttermilk biscuits, ever. (And I used to make buttermilk biscuits for a living, so I've baked and eaten a lot of them.) If you gave them a try, I bet you'd love them too.