Biscuits by Sea Level Bakery and Coffee

Walking into Sea Level Bakery and Coffee is a feast for the senses. As soon as you open the door you are greeted by heavenly smells and delicious sights. Owners Jason and Liz Menke are passionate about every aspect of their business from thoughtfully sourced, good for you ingredients to carefully picked and roasted coffee beans.

If you can’t make it to Cannon Beach to visit their lovely little bakery, you can recreate one of their recipes in your own home. Liz was kind enough to share her recipe for biscuits and yes, this is the recipe they use in the bakery. These biscuits are outrageously good with their golden-brown, crispy exteriors and light, flaky interiors. With this very versatile recipe you can make sweet or savory biscuits and turn your home kitchen into the best bakery in town.

Visit Sea Level Bakery & Coffee at 3116 S. Hemlock St., Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Biscuit Recipe


  • 3 cups (400 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) of butter for melting and brushing over the biscuit dough
  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) buttermilk

Savory Biscuits

  • 1 cup total of shredded cheese—cheddar, gruyere, grana padano, parmesan, etc. Pick your favorite cheese or mixture of cheeses.
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion or onion of choice

Sweet Biscuits

  • Your favorite jam or curd
  • Cinnamon sugar for topping


  1. To make the biscuit dough: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or you can do this by hand. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the cold cubed butter to the bowl of dry ingredients. Work the butter into the flour mixture till the butter chunks are the size of small peas. You should be able to see little chunks of butter throughout. At this point your flour/butter mixture should look chunky.
  3. Next, add all the buttermilk in at once. Don’t add it a little at a time or you will overwork the dough. If using a stand mixer: pulse until the dough starts to come together. Do not overmix! If you are doing this by hand, use a large spatula to combine. If there are still some dry floury bits in the bowl just use the spatula to incorporate them gently into the dough.
  4. Divide the dough in half, then follow the savory or sweet instructions below.

To make savory biscuits

  1. Place half the dough back in the mixing bowl and add the cheese, black pepper and green onions.
  2. If using a stand mixer, pulse the mixture a couple of times to incorporate everything. If you are doing this by hand, use a large rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
  3. Scrape the dough out on a moderately floured work surface and sprinkle a little flour over the top as well. You will use plastic or metal bench scrapers to work with the dough. If you don’t have bench scrapers, you can use large flat metal spatulas. Do not use your hands or you will melt the butter in the dough and the biscuits won’t be as flaky.
  4. Using the bench scrapers, flatten the dough with a couple of presses. Then fold the dough in half like a taco. Turn the dough 90 degrees and flatten it again with the bench scrapers. Do these flattening and folding steps 4 times. It’s this step that creates the flaky layers in the biscuits.
  5. Press the dough down to a 1-inch thickness. Using a lightly floured biscuit cutter, start cutting your biscuits. While cutting the biscuits make sure to cut straight down. Don’t twist the cutter into the dough as this will compact the sides of the biscuits. You can take the scraps of dough and gently form them together and turn the dough on its side 90 degrees (this will give you a smoother surface) and cut more biscuits till all the dough is used.
  6. Place the biscuits on a parchment- or silicone-lined baking sheet, leaving about two inches between biscuits.
  7. Generously brush the biscuits with the melted butter. This will give them a golden crispy exterior when baking.
  8. Bake for 24 minutes making sure to rotate the pan halfway through the bake time. This will ensure even baking.

To make sweet biscuits

  1. Follow savory biscuit steps 3 through 6 above.
  2. Using floured fingers, press an indent in the center of each biscuit, making sure to leave the sides intact. You can press pretty deeply, just don’t press all the way through—you need the bottom of the biscuit to stay intact to hold the filling.
  3. Fill the indent with your favorite jam or curd. The amount you use will be determined by the size of your biscuits. If they are smaller, use about 1 tablespoon of filling. If they are larger biscuits, use about 2 tablespoons of filling.
  4. Generously brush the biscuits with the melted butter and then sprinkle heavily (the whole top, filling and all) with cinnamon sugar.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 24 minutes making sure to rotate the pan halfway through the bake time to ensure even baking.

Note: A yield can’t be given for this recipe as the size biscuit cutter you use will determine the amount of biscuits you get.

Thanks to Donna Riani and Sea Level Bakery and Coffee for providing this recipe.

Download Recipe (pdf)