Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits


Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits //

I often times imagine how I’ll be as a grandmother. And seeing as I’m not married, nor have kids of my own, I’ll admit it’s a lil’ weird of me to plan how I’ll be with my hypothetical children’s children. I understand this. But hear me out…

I’ve decided that I’m gonna be a super chill grandma. Like, my grandkids are gonna come to my house and know they can get away with murder. I don’t wanna just be “the good cop” I wanna be the burglar alongside them, you know?

Oh mom doesn’t want you sucking on that pacifier anymore because you’re three and it’s embarrassing? Here, go to town…do it while watching Elmo, too. I don’t care, no judgement from me, dude.

Oh dad thinks it’s time for you to give up the bottle and move up to a sipee cup? Listen, you’re only three once. I mean…it’s not like you can suck on a bottle when you’re 25 and not have people think you’re way crazy, you know, so get in on it now.

The only thing I’m absolutely going to insist on is teaching them how to make homemade biscuits. It’s an important life skill…I think.

Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits //

I grew up making biscuits, I just didn’t grow up making homemade biscuits.

My first experience with biscuits was visceral. It was one of those way 90s biscuit commercials, where there was like this close-up of the biscuits, as someone tore its layers apart and steam rose all crazy (and fake-like). Then the next shot was someone smothering the bottom half with butter and it instantly gots all melty and crazy.

I remember staring at that commercial in awe. Oooo…America.

Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits //

After that those biscuits sold in those canisters were permanently placed on my mother’s shopping list.

On Saturday mornings my brother and I were obsessed smacking the cylinder filled with biscuits on the edge of the kitchen counter so they’d make that loud pop! sound. We were so into it.

These biscuits, with their height and appearance, model after those. These are better, though; homemade always wins.

My biscuit obsession is well documented on this site (here, here, here and here), but I’ve never given them a whirl using cake flour…until now!

You can make these with all-purpose, for sure, but the cake flour gives these biscuits a more tender, smaller crumb.

If you have cake flour in your pantry, then do it. Would I encourage you to run out in the freezing rain to buy cake flour for this specific recipe…ehhh…maybe. no. being wet from the rain sucks, use all-purpose–it’ll work great.

Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits //

This past Fall I was asked to be a part of a super fun Appetites. If you have an iPad or iPhone, check it out. I share a few recipes, including these biscuits, as well as a Classic Herbed Stuffing (and there are other awesome recipes too!).

The app is simple, it’s step-by-step videos (just my hands! no face or annoying gabbing!) of the dish being made, allowing you to literally follow along as you cook, or in this case, bake. I’ve never met a person who wasn’t a visual learner (we all are, right) so it’s definitely helpful when you’re midway through and you’re wondering, is this supposed to look like this at step

This gives you an easy way to make sure you’re doing everything right so you end up with an awesome dinner, and in this scenario, super tall fluffy biscuits.

Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits //

Sage and Fontina Biscuits

Print this recipe!

2 cups cake flour (all-purpose flour will work too)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon fine grain sea salt (table salt works too!)
1 1/2 stick (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
1 cup fontina cheese, grated
3 tablespoons fresh sage (about 6-7 fresh sage leaves), minced
Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup buttermilk, cold and shaken
1 large egg, cold

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk (or 1 tablespoon water)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a box grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. Transfer the bowl to the freezer while you gather the wet ingredients, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Measure out the buttermilk and add the egg; whisk until combined. In a small bowl, make the egg wash, whisking together the egg and milk. Transfer both to the refrigerator.

4. Grab the bowl out of the freezer, and gently break up the butter and combine with the flour, using your hands, until it resembles small peas. Add the fontina cheese and minced sage and toss to combine thoroughly. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Mix until barely combined; lightly knead the dough until it forms into one solid mass. Sprinkle your kitchen counter with flour and dump the dough onto it. Press the dough into a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the biscuits using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, ending up with about 6 biscuits. If you like, you can recombine the scraps and get 2 more biscuits. Transfer them to the baking sheet. Brush each biscuit with the egg wash and top with a few turns of freshly ground pepper.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes and until lightly golden brown. I think biscuits should be served warm…with butter.

Yields 8 Biscuits

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Margherita November 19, 2012 at 12:25 am

    “Robbing banks and baking biscuits”, it sounds like the title of a rad cool novel.
    It could something like this: “She’s a sweet old lady who, during the day, bakes the most wonderful biscuits mankind has heard of; but an heroic outlaw at night at nighttime. Fighting for those in need and taking down evil with her rolling pin!”
    I can already see it: a #1 NYT bestseller!

  • Reply Jess November 19, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Love the combination of sage and fontina. These look so light and fluffy, and TALL – great step-by-step pictures!

  • Reply Ana November 19, 2012 at 3:24 am

    These look great. Am going to give them a try in the next day or so…
    I made your pumpkin hand pies the other day (have made them twice now, actually, and they were an amazing hit!) and LOVE them! The pastry is like a wonderful meat pie (what Africans here make, we have a lot of Africans here in northern Italy) pastry… but the memories of empanadas (we made them always with pumpkin. Empanadas being either sweet or savory, but usually sweet) was wonderful…
    Hope you enjoy meeting the parents. It’ll be insightful, that’s for sure…

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar November 19, 2012 at 3:26 am

    These are seriously the perfect biscuit! They’re so high!!

  • Reply little kitchie November 19, 2012 at 3:37 am

    these are gorgeous!!! and anything with fontina cheese is okay in my book. i’m definitely going to check that app out now! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan November 19, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Love the height happening on these biscuits!

  • Reply Jen November 19, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Those look amazing.

    I’ve been known to scarf down 6+ rolls/biscuits at family holiday dinners.

  • Reply Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 19, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Sage in biscuits?! That sounds deeelicious!

  • Reply Danijela November 19, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I love, love, love these. Just perfect for let’s say Sunday morning breakfast. And this fontina cheese…yummy. Thank you for this lovely recipe! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Mandie @ Oh So Decadent November 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Mmm I love homemade biscuits, especially ones with cheese and sage! Bring on the sage!

  • Reply tina November 19, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Holy bananas! I kid you not that I can smell these as i’m reading this post! total gorge~~

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition November 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Love the height on these. And I will never say no to cheese in my biscuits!

  • Reply Paola @ November 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I grew up with biscuits actually- every Tuesday they were made at my house. Tradition call it. The funny thing is that I had no idea how to make them until I got into cooking in my twenties (after I left home and realised that I loved food and didn’t know how to cook!).

    I love the sage and cheese in these, maybe I’ll make them one Tuesday!

  • Reply Sara November 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Those biscuits-in-a-can terrify me with their popping sound. I always cringe and then when I have to force them to pop, I get really squirmy and anxious waiting for the pop. I hate loud sudden noises, and am pretty much a baby πŸ™‚ I’d much rather make these – no loud noises, and super yummy.

  • Reply sandra November 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

    You may change your mind once you’ve had those arguments with your own kids… just saying. Biscuits look divine.

  • Reply Julia November 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I love biscuits but haven’t made my own in the past few years. I am definitely keeping this recipe to try out. I love the height on these too!

  • Reply Eileen November 19, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Biscuits! Oh man, I could really use a batch of these right about now. I’d eat them all for breakfast for a week running. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jayne November 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Oh this is beautiful! I like how I can almost see the individual layers of the biscuit.

  • Reply Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up | On a Pink Typewriter November 20, 2012 at 1:43 am

    […] 10. Sage and Fontina Buttermilk Biscuits […]

  • Reply Jules @ merci mama November 20, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Oh yes, these sound right up my flavour alley. Love love love fontina and that photo with the cheese oozing out, is just too much!! must make these immediately!

  • Reply Joelle (on a pink typewriter) November 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

    These! I’m all about these right now. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen November 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    These look so dreamy! Especially the shot with butter dripping down the sides…

  • Reply Alayna November 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I made these for Thanksgiving this year and they were a total hit! So delicious and fresh tasting. Didn’t even need butter πŸ™‚

  • Reply Giving Thanks « Alayna's Blog November 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    […] town from Nebraska, we had a full house. I made the cranberry sauce this year and also baked some sage fontina biscuits for an appetizer. Everything turned out fresh, vibrant, and delicious. I sure do love this […]

  • Reply Giving Thanks « Breezeway Mike November 23, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    […] town from Nebraska, we had a full house. I made the cranberry sauce this year and also baked some sage fontina biscuits for an appetizer. Everything turned out fresh, vibrant, and delicious. What’s not to love […]

  • Reply Lori @ RecipeGirl November 24, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I don’t need Thanksgiving to make these. Awesome flavors in there!

  • Reply Jessica December 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Made these tonight. They taste delicious but look very flat. What gives?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Hmm…I’m not exactly sure. How thick did you cut them? What’s the expiration on the baking soda and baking powder you used?

      • Reply Jessica December 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        My baking powder is old. That must be it! I didn’t realize that it could affect baked goods that much. I wonder how much it affects pie crusts too…Thanks so much for your help and quick response, very much appreciated. Love your blog! πŸ˜‰

        • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 9, 2013 at 5:08 pm

          Oooo…glad we got to the bottom of it! Most pie crust recipe don’t call for baking powder but all cookies and cakes do! Glad you caught it before you baked anything for the holidays. πŸ™‚ XOXO

  • Reply Kristy Thomas December 24, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Adrianna, do you think I can make this dough tonight and let it warm up a bit and roll it out to cut the biscuits out tomorrow? Trying to save as much time as possible for tomorrow but didn’t know if that would impact the rise or not….

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme December 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Oh! I’d recommend making the dough and then cutting them out tonight, transferring them to a baking sheet and then sticking them in the fridge. Before you put ’em in the oven (tomorrow morning), be sure to brush the tops with egg wash. You should be good to go!

      • Reply Kristy December 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm


  • Reply Lori Bedlion March 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Made these tonight and they rose beautifully! I just found the taste of fresh sage very medicinal and the biscuit a bit too fatty. I think I will try dried sage next time and 1 or 1 1/4 cups of butter. As looks go these are very pretty.