Sunday, March 17, 2013

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Biscuits and gravy is probably my favorite breakfast and I order it whenever I see it on a menu. But if I'm not in the mood to venture out for that indulgence, it's pretty easy to whip some up at home. Biscuits and gravy starts, of course, with delicious biscuits. As with almost all of my baking, I prefer a whole wheat/whole grain recipe to a white flour one, adding nutrition and flavor. Often regular whole wheat flour can be substituted for part or all of the all-purpose flour in a recipe, but in a recipe where delicate texture is of the utmost importance, whole wheat pastry flour is a far superior substitute. This recipe delivers all the rich, flakiness you expect from a buttermilk biscuit with the added nutty flavor of whole wheat flour. They are delicious dunked into a hearty soup or stew, as a base for sausage gravy, as the topping for a pot pie, made into strawberry shortcake, or simply slathered with butter and jam. If you make them double-sized, they also make a fantastic breakfast sandwich. They're best fresh from the oven as with any baked good, but the extras I froze held up surprisingly well for a quick workday breakfast. The perfect all-purpose biscuit recipe for sweet and savory applications alike, these homemade biscuits are a quick and easy way to make dinner just a little more special.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
from Eating Well
makes 12 biscuits

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk, for brushing

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Combine buttermilk and oil. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or 2 knives, cut butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Make a well in the center and gradually pour in the buttermilk mixture, stirring with a fork until just combined.

3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and sprinkle with a little flour. Lightly knead the dough 8 times, then pat or roll out to an even 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps of dough and cut more rounds. Brush the tops with milk. (Alternatively, you can make drop biscuits, as I did).

4. Bake the biscuits for 12 to 16 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

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