Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits are life. Big words, I know, but when made correctly, biscuits have the power to not only quell hunger, but to calm souls and cheer hearts. I dare you to try eating a perfectly buttery, ultra-flaky biscuit and not feel your heart (and stomach) smile. These Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits use my classic flaky biscuit recipe as their base, and then shake things up with ham and Swiss cheese studded throughout the layers. That makes you a little happier, right? Then, as if that weren't enough, they're baked with a sticky honey butter glaze. Yeah. You're smiling now, aren't you?

Biscuit making need not be complicated. Once someone gives you the correct formula (I think it's this one), it's just a matter of following the directions. I mean, yes baking is a science, but biscuit making should be fun!

Some Tips for Biscuit Success:

    • Make sure your baking powder is fresh! That way, you'll get the light and fluffy biscuits of your dreams. Check the expiration date!
    • Use cold, cold 🥶 butter and buttermilk. The key to getting the flakiest biscuits is having the heat of the oven hit the cold liquids in the butter and the buttermilk, turning those liquids into steam that pops out all those layers. The science part 🤓
    • Don't handle the dough too much. Pat it out or roll it out gently to not only keep the butter cold, but to reduce gluten formation. That'll make a tough biscuit. 
    • If you have time, place the biscuits in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up the butter before baking.
    • When cutting out your biscuits, don't twist your biscuit cutter. Lift straight up. Just the simple act of twisting out the biscuits can seal the edges and keep you from reaching your layered potential!
    • As soon as your biscuits come out of the oven, give them one last brush of the honey butter glaze. An extra bit of joy!

Serve these Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits with butter, jam, gravy, or honey or enjoy them all on their own. Go on, bake yourself happy!

 

 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp baking powder
 ¼ tsp baking soda
 2 tsp granulated sugar
 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
 ½ cup (113g or 1 stick) cold 🥶unsalted butter, cut in cubes
 ¾ cup (180g) cold buttermilk
 4 oz Swiss cheese
 4 oz ham
 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
 2 tbsp honey
 Pinch of kosher or sea salt
 Flaky sea salt (optional)

1

Preheat oven to 425°. Put your butter cubes in the freezer to get 'em nice and chilly while you do these next couple steps.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or (my preference) lightly butter a cast iron pan and set aside.

Finely dice both the Swiss cheese and the ham and set aside.

2

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Toss the butter cubes into the dry ingredients and, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mix in the cold butter until you have a mixture of flat pieces and crumbly bits of butter mixed into the flour. Using a pastry cutter helps make sure you don't accidentally warm the butter too much with your hands.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Gently mix it together with a spatula or your hands until you have a fairly uniform loose dough. It won't look all mixed in and that's okay. It will come together. Have faith!

3

Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pile it up and push the dough together until you can pat it into a big square. With a bench scraper or knife, cut into four smaller squares. Sprinkle the ham and Swiss on three of the squares.

4

Stack the pieces of biscuit dough on top of each other, finishing with the plain one on top. Smush it all down into a square again (the ham and Swiss will be all snugged into the layers). Repeat this cutting and stacking procedure 3 more times. This is how you form your flaky layers!

5

Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter (or a round drinking glass) to cut into traditional round biscuits, or you can use a knife or the bench scraper to make square biscuits. If you use a biscuit cutter or drinking glass, dip it in flour first to make sure it doesn't stick too much. And remember: Do not twist as you cut the dough or you'll squash all the layers you created with the stacking technique!

If you have time, place the biscuits in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up the butter before baking. Remember, cold butter creates steam in the oven that also creates layers! (See where we're going here?)

Place the biscuits, sides touching lightly, on your parchment covered sheet tray or in your cast iron pan. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the 2 tbs melted butter mixed with 2 tbs honey and a pinch of salt. Honey butter!

6

Bake at 425° for 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Brush with more honey butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt for a nice salty sweet combo, if you like. Let cool a bit before eating. Just a bit.

We made beautiful Ham and Swiss Biscuits! We're amazing! Now, let's eat.

Ingredients

 2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp baking powder
 ¼ tsp baking soda
 2 tsp granulated sugar
 1 tsp fine grain kosher or sea salt
 ½ cup (113g or 1 stick) cold 🥶unsalted butter, cut in cubes
 ¾ cup (180g) cold buttermilk
 4 oz Swiss cheese
 4 oz ham
 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
 2 tbsp honey
 Pinch of kosher or sea salt
 Flaky sea salt (optional)

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 425°. Put your butter cubes in the freezer to get 'em nice and chilly while you do these next couple steps.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or (my preference) lightly butter a cast iron pan and set aside.

Finely dice both the Swiss cheese and the ham and set aside.

2

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.

Toss the butter cubes into the dry ingredients and, using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mix in the cold butter until you have a mixture of flat pieces and crumbly bits of butter mixed into the flour. Using a pastry cutter helps make sure you don't accidentally warm the butter too much with your hands.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Gently mix it together with a spatula or your hands until you have a fairly uniform loose dough. It won't look all mixed in and that's okay. It will come together. Have faith!

3

Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pile it up and push the dough together until you can pat it into a big square. With a bench scraper or knife, cut into four smaller squares. Sprinkle the ham and Swiss on three of the squares.

4

Stack the pieces of biscuit dough on top of each other, finishing with the plain one on top. Smush it all down into a square again (the ham and Swiss will be all snugged into the layers). Repeat this cutting and stacking procedure 3 more times. This is how you form your flaky layers!

5

Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter (or a round drinking glass) to cut into traditional round biscuits, or you can use a knife or the bench scraper to make square biscuits. If you use a biscuit cutter or drinking glass, dip it in flour first to make sure it doesn't stick too much. And remember: Do not twist as you cut the dough or you'll squash all the layers you created with the stacking technique!

If you have time, place the biscuits in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or the freezer for 5 minutes to firm up the butter before baking. Remember, cold butter creates steam in the oven that also creates layers! (See where we're going here?)

Place the biscuits, sides touching lightly, on your parchment covered sheet tray or in your cast iron pan. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the 2 tbs melted butter mixed with 2 tbs honey and a pinch of salt. Honey butter!

6

Bake at 425° for 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Brush with more honey butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt for a nice salty sweet combo, if you like. Let cool a bit before eating. Just a bit.

We made beautiful Ham and Swiss Biscuits! We're amazing! Now, let's eat.

Ham and Swiss Buttermilk Biscuits

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