- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, plus more for the pan
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 fresno chili, thinly sliced
- Lightly grease a half-sheet pan with shortening and set aside.
- To make the dough, in a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, chili powder, and baking soda.
- Add the vegetable shortening and with your fingers, work the shortening into the flour mixture. Work until all of the shortening has disappeared into little bits. The fat will coat the flour and the whole mixture will feel more crumbly. Great job!
- Remove the butter from the freezer and quickly grate it (being careful of your fingers!) on the largest side of a box grater. Quickly add the butter shreds to the flour mixture and again using your fingers, work the butter into the flour. This time you won’t be working the fat as much, you want there to be visible butter shreds throughout the mixture.
- Create a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and pour in 1 1/4 cups buttermilk. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula and toss to combine. You may find that you need to add the remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. It just depends on the day. See that all bits of flour and butter are moistened and dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- (Carla uses a nonstick cooking spray to lightly spray the counter, before adding flour to the counter. She says that this help the counter flour stay in place. Cool trick, right?)
- Knead the dough twice or three times to incorporate it, but try not to over-work it. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees, pat out into a 1/2-inch thickness and this time sprinkle the dough with about 1/2 cup of grated cheese and repeat the letter fold.
- Press the dough out into a 3/4-inch thickness and lightly flour a 2-inch biscuit round. Press the biscuit cutter straight down into the dough and transfer the biscuit round to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with as many biscuits as you can, keeping them about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet so they bake up closely together.
- Stack and repress the scraps to create as many biscuits as you can and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Once oven is preheated, bake the biscuits until golden brown about 16 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with sliced chilis and a good sprinkle of cheese. Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes just to melt the cheese.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool until for a few minutes but serve warm! Enjoy!