Thursday, May 29, 2008

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Over the holiday weekend I indulged in white flour goodies from buttermilk biscuits to bread pudding, and after squeezing into my work slacks on Tuesday I decided it was time to go back to the wholesome fibery goodness of whole grains. My resolve is so intense last night I made a vegan one-pot dish of brown rice, tofu, garbanzo beans, sweet onions and swiss chard in a light curry sauce. Yum.

Matt has also been on a fiber kick, and was in need of something to supplement his morning oatmeal when he doesn't have 5 minutes to spare to prepare it. Buttermilk biscuits, even with whole wheat, are not the healthiest breakfast treat* but they are an improvement over his old diet of gooey Lean Pockets, breaded Tyson Chicken or baked crab cakes (yes, I am still talking about breakfast). It's difficult to wake up with a man who will eat neither cold cereal nor fruit.

I found this recipe on Recipe Czar, and it needs a bit of adaptation. The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon. salt, way too much for 6 - 8 biscuits. I compromised at 3/4 teaspoon and still could taste the salt, 1/2 teaspoon is just right for one batch of biscuits.

The recipe also calls for baking at 450 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown. At 10 minutes it was not golden brown, so I waited until the full 12 only to discover it is golden brown on top but dark brown and crunchy on bottom. This left me with biscuits unworthy of a photograph for this blog entry, but I am fairly certain 400 degrees for 12 minutes would have solved the problem. Watch closely.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup buttermilk
Extra butter for brushing

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Mix your dry ingredients together, then cut in very cold butter. I use a KitchenAid stand mixer for cutting, but a food processor or a manual pastry cutter would work just fine. Once the butter is in tiny bits no larger than 1/4" inch, add buttermilk and gently stir until just combined.

Drop dough on heavily floured surface. With floured hands, gently pat it down to about 1/2". Fold dough over, pat down again until about 3/4". Tear off circularish biscuits, cut into square biscuits, or use a round cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet, melt a little bit of extra butter and brush it on (I actually gently rub in on to my dog ate my pastry brush). Bake at 400 degrees until the tops begin to golden, promptly move to a cooling rack or plate to prevent bottoms from browning. After they have cooled, they can be stored in a covered dish in the fridge for 3 - 4 days.

*I am trying to come up with a healthier, high fiber breakfast treat. I am putting together a recipe for a whole wheat cinnamon swirl bread that uses an azuki (red bean) paste for the cinnamon swirl and contains oats for extra fiber.

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