Sesame Buttermilk Biscuits with Chive Butter

SERVES: 8 Biscuits

You’ll notice this recipe calls for toasted sesame seeds, even though the seeds are getting baked right into the biscuits. Sesame seeds take quite a while to toast, and the biscuits cook faster than the seeds do, so starting with toasted seeds ensures that they’ll be deeply golden brown when they come out of the oven. If you can’t find roasted or toasted sesame seeds, you can toast raw sesame seeds yourself, by baking them in the oven at 325 until golden brown and fragrant. This recipe calls for one large bunch of chives cause I like my chive butter VERY chive-y.  If you can’t find chives, you can always substitute 4 finely chopped scallions.

Active Time: 35 Mins

Total Time: 45 MINS



  • 1 large bunch chives


  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more for surface


  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder


  • ½ teaspoon baking soda


  • ½ cup toasted sesame seeds


  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • Flaky sea salt


  • 2½ sticks butter (20 tablespoons)


  • ¾ cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cut and chill the butter:

  • Cut 1½ sticks cold butter into ½-inch cubes. Transfer them to a small bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Cut the remaining 1 stick of butter into ½-inch cubes as well, but leave it out in a bowl at room temperature to soften.

3. Prep the dry ingredients:

  • Place 5 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds in a small bowl.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together 2 ½ cups flour, the remaining 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder, and ½ teaspoon baking soda.
  • Add the chilled butter pieces to the dry ingredients and, using your fingers, pinch and smash the butter into the flour until there are no pieces of butter larger than a pea.

4. Combine, knead, and shape the dough:

  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Combine ¾ cup buttermilk and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil in a measuring cup with spout. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients in circular motions until the dough comes together in large clumps.
  • Using lightly floured hands, knead the dough a few times in the bowl to bring it together into a shaggy mass and incorporate any flour bits at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times to form it into a more uniform mass and incorporate any last floury bits. You will still see some shagginess.
  • Pat the dough into an 8 × 4-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 4 equal pieces. Stack the pieces on top of one another (creating a tower) and firmly press down with your hands to compress them together. This will force them to develop flaky layers.
  • Pat the dough back down into another 8 × 4-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, and then crosswise into 4 equal pieces to create 8 squares. *At this point you can chill the formed and cut biscuits overnight, so you’re ready to bake them the next morning.
  • Cover them lightly with plastic wrap and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • Lightly brush the tops and bottoms of the biscuits with some buttermilk  Dip both the tops and bottoms in the remaining toasted sesame seeds, and transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet as you do so. You will have some sesame seeds leftover--leave them in the bowl, we’ll get to those in a sec!

5. Bake the Biscuits:

  • Bake the biscuits, until golden brown on top, 18 to 22 minutes.

6. Make the chive butter and sesame salt:

  • Thinly slice 1 bunch of chives, and stir them into the remaining 1 stick of softened butter, using a spatula or spoon to work them together. That should be quite a lot of chives, and that’s kinda the point. Going for heavy onion flavor! If the butter isn’t quite soft yet, nuke it for a couple of seconds in the microwave, or set it on top of the stove to soften.
  • Combine the remaining sesame seeds and a few big pinches of flaky sea salt in a small bowl. Serve the biscuits hot with chive butter and sesame salt.

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