Cheddar, Chive and Mustard Spelt Biscuits

These light and cheesy savoury biscuits, with pops of bright mustard flavour, are wonderful when spread with lashings of butter. Serve alongside bowls of soup or stew for a comforting meal. If so inclined, do make a double batch as they freeze remarkably well. Vary the cheeses using shredded Swiss or Gruyère instead of the cheddar. You can use dill instead of chives. To make soured milk or cream, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice to 1 cup (250 mL) milk or half and half.

Preparation Time:15 minutes
Baking Time:17 minutes

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) plus 2 Tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) spelt flour
1 1/2 Tbsp (20 mL) baking powder
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) yellow mustard seed, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded aged cheddar, divided
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped chives
1 large egg
1 cup (250 mL) soured milk or half and half cream
1 large egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water, for brushing tops

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place a rack in the centre of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients (all-purpose our to pepper) in a large bowl.
Cut in the butter using a pastry blender, or use your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse meal, but be sure to leave some large pea-size bits of butter, too.
Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) of the cheddar and the chives.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and soured milk.
Pour over the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon just until a soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a circle about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick.
Cut out 12 biscuits using a 2-inch (6 cm) cutter, re-rolling the trimmings if necessary.
Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet.

Brush the tops lightly with the egg, sprinkle with remaining cheese and a few mustard seeds.

Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375°F (190°C) and bake another 10-12 minutes until the biscuits are golden and the cheese has melted.

Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 biscuits.

Recipe provided by the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission.

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