Half Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Once upon a time, circa early 2009, John and I were in that magical early stage of dating. This new-relationship euphoria leads people to do silly things, for example spending way too much time trying to pick out the perfect birthday gift. After hours of thought and days of driving around purchasing supplies, I came up with a seemingly awesome gift – a home beer brewing kit! I even made adorable personalized labels for the beer bottles. It was slightly less adorable, however, when the gift was still sitting in boxes on John’s kitchen table 8 months later. As it turns out, beer making is a daunting process. As the months passed, and the gift still sat untouched I became progressively less euphoric and steadily angrier with John’s response to my efforts. But when we finally made it, even I had to admit that brewing beer at home is the ultimate pain in the ass. Ever since, whenever I receive a gift that I don’t put to use quickly, John never fails to bring up the beer incident. Enter the butter making kit.
This year for Christmas (aka 10.5 months ago) my mom gave me a Williams Sonoma butter making kit. About 6 months later, I removed finally it from it’s perch on the counter only to discover that making butter involves 15 minutes of nonstop shaking of a canister. Back into the package it went, up until this weekend. Sick of John’s nagging, I vowed to go old school and churn up some butter before the weekend was out. Much to my surprise, it only took 10 slightly obnoxious minutes of shaking, and before I knew it, I made butter! And, for those who didn’t realize (99% of humans, I imagine), when you put heavy cream in a jar and shake it for 10 minutes, it separates into solid butter and liquid buttermilk. I ended up with about 6 ounces of buttermilk, and it seemed just plain wrong not to whip up some biscuits with it. It also seemed wrong to waste the fruits of my labor on the whole wheat biscuit recipe I’ve been trying (and failing) to convince John tastes just like the real thing. So I compromised. And boy did I win. Maybe it was the fresh buttermilk, but ultimately I think this is just the best buttermilk biscuit recipe ever. I’m still pretty proud of my buttermilk, though (and completely thrilled to get it off the counter once and for all)!
- 1 1/8 cup whole wheat flour (140 grams)
- 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour (140 grams)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 9 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Whisk flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle butter pieces into the bowl. Use a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your fingers to mash the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Add buttermilk and use your hands to combine. Knead the dough in the bowl until it begins to come together.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board. Pat it into a square that’s about 1/2-inch thick. Fold it in half, and then in half again, so you have a smaller square with 4 layers. Press that square out so it’s as big as the original square. Repeat the folding and pressing process 2 or 3 more times. This is what creates the flaky layers.
- Once you’re done folding and have shaped it back into a 1/2-inch thick square for the last time, use a bench scraper or knife to cut the square into 9 mini squares.
- Place the mini squares on a parchment lined baking sheet about 2-inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Makes 9 biscuits.
Note: According to Smitten Kitchen, you can stop after step 6 and freeze the raw mini squares. Then when you want them, just bake a little longer than 12-15 minutes.