Unfortunately, there is no such place as Cheddar Bay. "Cheddar" is the name of a real village in England, but there's no bay nearby, only Cheddar Reservoir, which doesn't have quite the same ring. Cheddar Bay biscuits were invented by Red Lobster executive chef Kurt Hankins, sometime in the late eighties or early nineties. The biscuits were created to be a complimentary item—like Olive Garden's endless breadsticks—that would make guests feel welcome.
Hankins says that he wanted to give the biscuits a savory flavor, so he substituted sugar for garlic powder in a typical biscuit recipe. Today, Red Lobster bakes about a million Cheddar Bay biscuits every day, and Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix is available at Walmart, Amazon, and other stores.
There are two major techniques for biscuits: drop biscuits and rolled biscuits. Cheddar bay biscuits are dropped, which means that to form the biscuits, you simply scoop some dough and drop it on the baking sheet, no rolling or cutting necessary. Some recipes call for refrigerating the dough, but if you work expeditiously, using cold butter and cold buttermilk, refrigeration is not necessary.
- For the Dough:
- 250 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
- 75 grams medium cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 180 grams buttermilk (cold)
- For the Garlic Butter:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this lobster dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Bake the Biscuits
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, stir to combine the flour, garlic powder, baking powder, and salt.
Add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
Fold in the shredded cheddar cheese, then add the buttermilk. Mix with a spoon until you have a loose dough. It is likely that there will still be a small amount of dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl. With lightly floured hands give the dough a brief gentle kneading, just to incorporate the last dry bits. The dough should still feel a bit rough. Do not overmix or the biscuits will be dense.
To portion out the dough you can use a spoon, your hands, or spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup or ice cream scoop with a little oil. Divide the dough into a dozen biscuits—about 1/4 cup of dough each. Place the balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits until fluffy and golden, 12 to 14 minutes.
Make the Garlic Butter
Meanwhile, gather the ingredients and make the garlic butter topping. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
Brush the hot biscuits generously with the seasoned garlic butter. Serve hot.
- You can make your own biscuit mix to have on hand for quicker, easier biscuit-making. Simply combine all the dry ingredients together and store the mix in a sealed container in the cupboard. The next time you make biscuits, a good chunk of the work will already be done, and your dough will come together in no time.
- Avoid overmixing, since the less you mix the fluffier the biscuits will be. The dough need not be smooth before scooping and dropping.