- 2 c. flour (can use ½ whole wheat flour or even 100% whole wheat pastry flour)
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ c. butter or coconut oil or lard
- ¾-1 c. milk or buttermilk or yogurt
- Mix dry ingredients. Cut fat into mixture using a pastry blender or 2 knives. Fork in the milk. Only stir enough to get the dough uniform! Roll out and cut with a glass dipped in flour (or you can make rounds by hand), approximately 1 inch thick.
- Bake at 425 degrees on ungreased baking sheet or stone for 13-15 minutes (parchment paper works great).
Soaked: Cut fat into flour and mix with cultured buttermilk or yogurt. Leave on counter overnight, then sprinkle the baking powder and salt over the top and fold in as thoroughly as possible yet with as few strokes as possible. The key to flaky biscuits is less handling.
Tonight’s dinner experiment:
I’ve been fiddling with this recipe all winter, trying to find out what fats will work (that aren’t shortening) and if I can soak biscuits. I soaked them first just by making the dough with yogurt and leaving it overnight, but then I read that salt inhibits the breakdown of phytic acid. Since I didn’t want to inhibit the inhibitors being broken down…right…I had to try mixing the baking powder and salt after the soak. Tonight was the first try.
I made one batch of biscuits with yogurt, soaked overnight. The second batch used buttermilk (leftover from making butter, not cultured buttermilk), even though I should have just used yogurt again for a “real” test. Nonetheless, the soaked biscuits only turned out okay. They are much denser and smoother on top, less flaky and biscuit-y. Both batches were made with half whole wheat pastry flour and half white flour (I was almost out of pastry flour!) and lard.
Soaked on the left, standard recipe on the right:
It’s hard to see here, but the soaked dough is much more smooth and elastic, the standard dough more…for lack of a better word, puffy.
Here’s how they came out. The soaked biscuits (left) actually needed a few extra minutes to bake because they were so dense, but this was after just 12 minutes. The soaked biscuits didn’t get any darker after the extra minutes. (I don’t make very nice circles, do I?)
Now I need to make in-a-day biscuits with yogurt to effect a valid test. I’ve used yogurt before, though, with good results, just not with whole wheat pastry flour.
Final verdict: Both biscuits are good, and better than, say, Grands. But the unsoaked ones are delicious.