Irish Cheddar and Stout Biscuits

These buttery and flaky Irish Cheddar + Stout Biscuits are incredibly flavorful and so easy to prepare. They can be made from start to finish in under 45 minutes and are wonderful served with soups and stews or even for breakfast. They're tender, rich and perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

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basket of biscuits with green napkin

What makes this recipe great?

It uses high-quality, every-day ingredients and a few essential techniques to ensure the biscuits turn out tender and flaky rather than dense and tough. The Irish aren't exactly known for their cuisine, but there's no denying they produce some of the best beer, butter and cheese in the world. These biscuits incorporate all three ingredients to produce an incredibly rich and full flavor. They're made with Irish ingredients, but prepared in a southern style, celebrating the best of both worlds.

Frozen, grated butter is the key to getting these biscuits ultra flaky. The long strips of fat melt in the oven to create steam pockets, which result in layers upon layers of flaky biscuit goodness. Bold Irish stout, Dijon mustard and sharp Irish cheddar cheese provide a robust flavor that makes these fluffy, pillowy biscuits absolutely to die for! I make them every March for St. Patrick's Day, but they're a welcome addition to any menu, any time of year.

Ingredients

Biscuit Ingredients
  • Flour - Any brand of all purpose flour works, but you'll have especially great results with a soft winter wheat flour, such as White Lily, which is famous for making tender Southern style biscuits. You can also substitute a cup to cup gluten free flour blend such as Cup4Cup.
  • Salt - I always use Diamond Kosher. If using table salt, reduce to ¾ teaspoon.
  • Irish Stout - I recommend Guinness, but any dark beer will work.
  • Frozen Irish Butter - I recommend Kerrygold, but any butter will work. Working with frozen butter is essential for the flakiest biscuits.
  • Aged Irish Cheddar - I recommend Kerrygold, but any sharp cheddar will work. The sharper, the better!

Of course, you don't have to use Irish ingredients for this recipe. Any type of dark beer, butter or sharp cheddar cheese will work, but the Irish ingredients will give it a distinct richness.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl (dry ingredients).
2. Mix together the Irish stout and Dijon mustard (wet ingredients).  

3. Grate FROZEN butter on a box grater. Butter must be frozen for this to work.
4. Immediately add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix so that each strip is thoroughly coated in flour. 

5. Mix grated cheddar cheese into the dry ingredients, being sure to coat each piece in flour just like the butter.
6. Make a well in the center, then pour in the wet ingredients.

7. Mix until the dough just barely comes together. DO NOT OVER MIX. There should still be loose bits of flour, butter and cheese visible. If the dough has gotten warm at this step, place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before proceeding.
8. Turn the dough out on to a work surface. 

9. Roll out the dough into a long, rough slab. It will be shaggy with bits falling off the sides - that is ok.
10. Use a bench scraper to fold one side half way up, like a letter, adding in any loose bits.

11. Fold the other side over the first to complete the letter fold.
12. Roll out the dough and repeat the book fold 2 more times. After the third fold it should be a more cohesive dough, but will still be rough and have visible pieces of butter and cheese.

13. Roll the dough out to a 7" - 8" square (exact dimensions are not necessary). 
14. Use a sharp knife to cut 9 even squares. The colder the dough, the easier it is to cut, so place in the freezer for a few minutes before hand if necessary. 

15. Place biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (optional, but makes clean up easier), then place in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the oven reaches temperature, remove the pan from the freezer and brush with melted butter.
16. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, then bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

landscape picture of biscuits on sheet pan

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Keep everything cold during the mixing process – warmth is biscuit dough kryptonite! If your ingredients start to get warm, place everything in the freezer for a few minutes before proceeding.
  • Use a box grater to grate frozen butter into long, thin strips, then fold them into the dry ingredients so each piece is thoroughly coated with flour. This keeps the butter nice and cold while mixing and the thin strips help create flaky layers.
  • Do not use a mixer or food processor, you must mix these by hand. You can use a rubber spatula, or my preference, a Danish dough whisk.
  • Don’t over-mix the dough. It will be quite shaggy and chunky and not cohesive when you roll it out – this is what you want! Don’t let it scare you.
  • A few strategic folds help to incorporate the ingredients while creating flaky layers. Use a bench scraper to help scrape the dough off of your surface.
  • Keep raw biscuits in the freezer until just before baking. Placing cold biscuits into the oven ensures maximum rise and flakiness!
  • Brush the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt right before baking to give them a nice crunchy top and added flavor.
  • Don’t open the oven while they bake! It lowers the oven temperature and will result in biscuits that don’t rise as high.

Serve them with Irish beef stew and finish with Irish potato candy for dessert! 

FAQ's

  • How should I store them? Like all biscuits, these are best enjoyed fresh the same day. For longer storage, see the next question.
  • Can they be frozen? Yes! The cooked biscuits freeze beautifully and can be reheated in a 350 degree F oven or toaster oven for about 10-15 minutes. The dough can also be frozen. After cutting the dough into squares, place them in the freezer on a baking sheet, then once frozen transfer to a zip-top bag for up to 6 months. Lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (25-30 minutes total)
  • Can these be made gluten free? Yes! I have had great success with Cup4Cup gluten free all purpose flour blend. 
  • Serving suggestions: These biscuits pair beautifully with Irish Stew, soups and other hearty dishes such as Shepherd's Pie. They also make a wonderful mid-day snack or accompaniment to eggs and bacon or your favorite breakfast.

basket of biscuits with buttered biscuit on a plate

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Irish Cheddar and Stout Biscuits

These buttery and flaky Irish Cheddar + Stout Biscuits are incredibly flavorful and so easy to prepare. They can be made from start to finish in under 45 minutes and are wonderful served with soups and stews or even for breakfast. They're tender, rich and perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 9 large biscuits
Calories: 318kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup (8 oz) Irish stout (such as Guiness) or other dark beer, cold
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted Irish butter FROZEN, plus 2 tablespoons, melted
  • 7 oz aged Irish cheddar or extra sharp cheddar cheese grated

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the Dijon mustard and Irish stout. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
  3. Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter, then quickly transfer it to the flour mixture and toss to coat all the butter pieces with flour.
  4. Add the grated cheese and mix to combine, being sure to coat all pieces with flour.
  5. Make a well in the center and pour the beer mixture in the center.
  6. Carefully mix until it forms a shaggy mass. There should still be loose bits of butter, cheese and flour. 
  7. Dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface, then roll out into a long strip.
  8. Fold one side half way up, adding in any loose bits, then fold the other side over top, like a letter.
  9. Rotate 90 degrees, roll out and repeat the fold two more times.
  10. Roll the dough into 7" - 8" square, then cut into 9 even squares (or 16 for smaller biscuits).
  11. Place the biscuits on a sheet pan, then place them in the freezer. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  12. When the oven is preheated, remove the biscuits from the freezer, then brush with melted butter, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and put them immediately into the the oven.
  13. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they're puffed up and golden brown.
  14. Serve warm. 

Notes

  • It's crucial that the dough be kept cold at all times! If it starts to get warm at any point, place it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool down before proceeding. 
  • Don't over-mix the dough. It will look shaggy, chunky and unkempt, but that will result in the most tender, flaky biscuits. 
  • This recipe will work fine with non-Irish ingredients, but you risk disappointing St. Patrick himself.
  • These biscuits are best right out of the oven. If you'd like to make them ahead, cut the dough into squares, then freeze and bake right before serving for best results. 
  • If baking from frozen, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 680mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 533IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 231mg | Iron: 2mg

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Suzi WilliamsThanks for the repice Lindsey. I just tried this repice but did half of it with Taco TVP instead and omitted the garlic although I'm sure it would have been fine with it. My husband really liked them with a little bit of salsa thanks for giving me the basics and inspiring me to use what little creativity/courage I have in the kitchen. VA:F [1.9.17_1161]please wait...(1 vote cast)VA:F [1.9.17_1161](from 0 votes)

    1. Definitely ok to use and no need to change the measurements. Irish butter (and other European butters, like Plugra) have a lightly higher butter fat content, so they will produce a richer biscuit. But regular butter works just fine. Hope you make them and love them!

  2. 5 stars
    OMGoodness! WHY am I dieting right now? I'm not a 'biscuit' person either (Jersey Girl, too) but these look so incredibly... DEE-LISH! I think this might be the first thing I make and eat (in moderation, of course). Thanks for the great recipe, Coley!
    Num-nums!!

    1. Diet Schmiet! Shouldn't you of all people know that life's all abut enjoying everything in moderation?? 😉

      1. 5 stars
        Yes, yes, yes... but sometimes this old body needs a jump start for the warmer weather! I WILL be making these later on next month. Maybe I'll just celebrate St. Pat's Day on April 17th instead.... yeah.... that's the ticket! I saw a great recipe for colcannon that I think I might have to do to. Did you notice that I said "have to"? Unless you've got a recipe for that hiding up your sleeve.,,???

    1. Hey Rick!! Nice to hear form you. It's been a little warmer up here, still not Spring yet. Hope you're well 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        I made these on a whim as I was making another dish with stout and didn't want to waste the rest of the beer - Holy Cow these are good!! Ridiculous really - love the flavor combo - great recipe- I wouldn't change a thing.