I love these whole wheat, tender, and flaky biscuits. Really. But you’d never know that looking at our menus because when I serve them my family -especially Brian- always manages to make a comment like, “they’re fine…they’re just not a real, yeast bread, you know?” Sigh.
Arrggg- silly family. These are amazing, I love them, and they’re SUPER easy.
So they’ll keep making appearances every now and then – oh yeah.
And with sausage gravy over them? My favorite “guilty pleasure” breakfast. Ever.
If you’ve never made biscuits before, they are quick and easy, but there are a few tricks to getting those flaky layers. Here are the steps I take to make Amazing Whole Wheat Flaky Biscuits:
1. Start in a food processor -it’s a lot easier to cut the butter into the dry ingredients than by hand (but of course, you can- use a pastry cutter in a medium bowl). The machine takes less than a minute.
2. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse until the the butter is incorporated, resembling coarse cornmeal but with a few larger pieces of butter (that’s what we want for the flakiness we’re after).
4. Mix together a cup of buttermilk and an egg in a glass measuring cup and add it all at once to the dry ingredients. Mix just until most of the flour is incorporated. There should still be dry bits.
This is important- I always used to mix until it looked like regular dough, but that was “overworking” the dough I came to find out (they always just throw these terms around like you automatically know what they mean…) and my biscuits were not tender or flaky.
5. Flour your hands well and start gently bringing all the pieces together into a sort of ball shape, then continue kneading a couple more times, adding more flour as the pieces of butter stick to the board, until it holds together. If you have a bench scraper, this is a good time to put it to use.
7. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin (or your hands) into a rectangular shape that’s about 1-inch to 1-1/4 inches thick and cut with a biscuit cutter or use a knife and cut into squares.
There’s no law that says biscuits have to be circles and in fact, sometimes I like squares if I’m going to be using them for sandwiches or breakfast sandwiches.
8. Brush the tops with buttermilk (or milk) to create a nice brown, shiny top, though this is purely optional. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan if needed, until evenly browned. Cool a little on a wire rack and serve warm.
Oh my. Look at those flaky layers. That’s what we’re talking about!
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose)
- 1 tsp. honey or sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. cold butter
- 1 egg
- 1 c. buttermilk (add 1 Tb. vinegar to 1 c. milk unless you have access to true buttermilk- what they sell in the stores as buttermilk is full of additives)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In the bowl of a food processor or regular bowl, combine the first six ingredients (if using honey, combine it with the liquid ingredients). Pulse (or mix) to combine.
- Cut up the butter into eight pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Pulse (or use a pastry blender) until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few pea-sized pieces of butter remaining. If using a processor, transfer to a medium bowl.
- Combine the egg and buttermilk (and honey, if using) in a glass measure; add to the dry ingredients all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon just until mixture starts to come together (it will not be completely mixed). Don’t over mix.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10 – 15 times until dough holds together, folding a couple of times at the end like a letter. Pat or roll into a 1 to 1-1/4 inch rectangle. Cut with a biscuit cutter or knife into about a dozen biscuits depending on the size.
- Place on a lined or greased cookie sheet, and brush the tops with milk, if desired, for a shiny, browned top.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.