New Year's Ham Biscuits

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Yield: 2 dozen 2" biscuits

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Ham biscuits are a staple of Southern celebrations. Traditionally, biscuits (either tall, light, and tender; or thin, crisp, and flaky) are cut in half and layered with flavorful country ham. These days, some cooks have adopted an easy shortcut: adding chopped ham (and cheese, if you please) right to the soft biscuit dough, then simply dropping the dough onto a baking sheet, rather than rolling and cutting it. The result: a tasty, all-in-one breakfast or brunch treat.

Ham biscuits are suitable for any occasion, from elegant to down-home. For that reason they're often found on the sideboard or table on New Year's Eve, or New Year's Day. Our northern version of this Southern treat uses King Arthur Flour, Vermont cheese, and Original Bakewell Cream, the leavener Mainers love most for their biscuits.

New Year's Ham Biscuits

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 dozen 2" biscuits
Published: 11/17/2010

Ingredients

  • 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Perfect Pastry Blend
  • 4 teaspoons Bakewell Cream*
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder, optional
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
  • 1 cup finely diced ham
  • 1 cup grated or shredded cheddar cheese, with additional for topping, if desired
  • 1 cup to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cups cold milk**
  • *NOT Bakewell Cream Baking Powder; just plain Bakewell Cream.
  • **Use the greater amount of milk if you use all-purpose flour; the lesser amount if you use Perfect Pastry Blend.

Tips from our bakers

  • To make easy drop biscuits, drizzle in enough additional milk, as you're mixing the biscuit dough, to make the dough sticky: about 4 to 5 tablespoons milk should do it. Drop the dough by 1/4-cupfuls onto the prepared baking sheet; a level muffin scoop works well here. Bake as directed.
  • You'll find that you may need to use more milk in the winter, when the air is dry; and less in summer, when it's humid.

Directions

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1) Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment (for easy cleanup); if you don't use parchment, there's no need to grease the pan.

2) Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

3) Work in the butter until the mixture is crumbly; some larger, pea-sized pieces of butter may remain intact.

4) Add the ham and cheese, stirring until well distributed.

5) Add the milk, mixing until everything is moistened.

6) Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface (a silicone mat works well), and fold it over once or twice. Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a ¾"-thick circle, about 6" across.

7) Cut the biscuits with a 2" round cutter, or the cutter of your choice. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.

8) Brush the biscuit tops with milk or melted butter. Sprinkle with grated or shredded cheese, if desired.

9) Bake the biscuits for 6 minutes, then turn off the oven. Leave in the oven for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until they're golden brown.

10) Remove from the oven, and serve warm; as is, or with butter.

Yield: about 2 dozen big 2" biscuits.

Reviews

1
  • star rating 12/29/2014
  • Lynne from California
  • Haven't made this yet, but it looks delicious. Here's a suggestion if you think your ham may be a bit too mild flavored, like alldogz11: try frizzling your ham bits in a hot pan until the edges brown well, then blot well on paper towel before making the biscuits.
  • star rating 02/03/2014
  • AmberW from KAF Community
  • I live in the South, so I modified these biscuits to be more like Southern biscuits. I used self-rising flour (omitted the Bakewell cream, salt, and baking soda), shortening in place of butter, buttermilk for the regular milk, and used country ham. They turned out very good. Fluffy biscuits with a nice saltiness from the country ham. Would make again.
  • star rating 01/01/2014
  • Laura from Greenville, Maine
  • These biscuits were a huge hit! I came here to look for a recipe to make for a new years pot luck, and wanted to use up the leftover ham I had. The title won me over here....perfect! Even though I live in Maine now, I am born and raised a new Yorker, and so I had never heard of Bakewell Cream....but sure enough there it was on the shelf of my local grocery store, right next to the baking powder. The biscuits came together quickly and easily, and even though it makes a big batch I made an extra 1/2 a batch because I had a feeling they were going to be well received, which made a HUGE dough that was a little unwieldy to handle, but I managed. When the crowd at the party saw those biscuits, eyes lit up as they ooohed and ahhed over them. I caught friends who usually go for only the healthy stuff grab them, and I delighted as I watched the children split them open, slather them with butter(not necessary but hey....why not!), and chomp down! Feeding friends and family homemade treats like this makes it all worth while....such gratification! The mustard and onion powder was subtle but totally delicious, so do add it if you have it. I'm looking forward to using my Bakewell Cream as a substitute in future recipes. The only thing I may try next time(and I DO plan on making these again), would be to use buttermilk instead of regular milk because I love the buttermilk in my baked goods. Just not sure if I will need to adjust the baking soda or Bakewell?? I will check in with you on that when I do! Thanks King Arthur for another great recipe! Happy New Year!!
  • star rating 01/25/2011
  • alldogz11 from KAF Community
  • I didn't have regular milk, but used fat free buttermilk. I do believe the Bakewell Creme made a huge difference in the fluffiness in this recipe. I had a smoked ham that was a bit too mild really (even though i put 8 oz in the recipe) so i am using country ham on the next one. I like a good solid ham taste and while these were excellent i think my choice of ham was a bit mild. These were easy and quick to make...i used unsalted butter because of the amount of salt in the ham and the cheese...i wish i could have made it exactly as the recipe called for but the substitutions worked great! i am making more this evening!!!
  • star rating 01/08/2011
  • kpczp from KAF Community
  • This recipe is fabulous. I had never had success making "baking powder" biscuits, but I was intrigued by this recipe when I saw it. I purchased the King Arthur Pastry flour and the Bakewell Cream and made the biscuits. Absolutely fabulous.
  • star rating 01/02/2011
  • ttyson123 from KAF Community
  • Once you make the Cheddar, bacon scones......these won't taste that good at all.!!!! Sorry!
  • star rating 01/01/2011
  • homebird from KAF Community
  • First time I've ever made biscuits! Delectable, and awesome served today with black eyed peas. What a way to bring in the New Year.
  • star rating 12/31/2010
  • svanzutfen from KAF Community
  • We had leftover ham from the holiday and this was the perfect recipe for it. Thank you for writing it for your AP flour; we can't use the Perfect Pastry blend. And I love that you can make it with the muffin scoop! I'm new at making biscuits, so this was a great recipe for practice. My family loved them and anytime we have ham, I'll hope for leftovers so we can make these.
  • star rating 12/30/2010
  • nahiifa from KAF Community
  • I made these biscuits with some of my leftover ham from Christmas. Once again, I loved the results. The biscuits were tall and flakey and had a beautiful color. It was a two day project. On the first day I finely diced the ham and shredded the cheddar. The ham took some time trimming out the fat. But the next day everything was ready to just measure and mix. I would never worry about preparing one of your recipes for the first time for guests.
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