Special equipment: a pastry cutter and 3-inch biscuit cutter
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the butter into small dice and freeze until ready to use. Combine the flour, Cheddar, baking powder, pepper and salt in a bowl. Add the frozen butter and blend in using a pastry cutter until the butter is in pieces no larger than green peas. Add all of the buttermilk at once and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. (The mixture will look a little dry and uneven.) Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead for 3 to 4 minutes to make a smooth dough; add flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.
With well-floured hands and working on a well-floured surface, press the dough into a flat sheet, about 1 inch thick. Fold lengthwise into thirds (as you would fold a letter). Repeat this process 2 more times.
After folding the dough the third time, roll the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick sheet
using a rolling pin. Cut rounds out of the dough using a 3-inch cutter and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Gather the scraps and reroll until all the dough is used. (Cut biscuits can be refrigerated overnight.)
Bake until golden and risen, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with Spiced Honey Butter.
Combine the butter, honey, salt, garlic and cayenne in a mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to ramekins, then chill to firm slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Spiced Honey Butter keeps, tightly wrapped and refrigerated, up to 3 weeks.
If you don't have buttermilk, substitute 3/4 cup whole milk mixed with 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar.
This recipe has been updated and may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.
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