Biscuits are a pretty basic thing, so I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out a recipe for them. I think I was assuming that using all whole-grain flour in a biscuit wouldn’t taste good. Or something?
Well, boy was I wrong. Like, totally and utterly wrong. Because yesterday I didn’t have anything readily on hand for lunch, and it’s freezing here and smoothies just don’t cut it on these frigid days, so I decided to experiment with biscuits. And the results were absolutely out of this world.
These babies are light and airy, flaky and tender, and have a surprisingly mild flavor. With all the cream and butter, they’re kind of a cross between a biscuit and a cream scone – which really is no bad thing!! Top them with some pasture butter blended with raw honey and maple syrup and they’re absolutely delectable! We each scarfed down three of these, and today the kids asked if I could make them again for lunch.
Why, yes. Yes I can.
(A note on the spelt: I’ve said this before, but I thought I should reiterate that the fresher you can get your spelt the better. Whole grains go rancid quickly, and since that bag of Bob’s Red Mill spelt flour may have been sitting around for months you really risk a bitter flour. If that’s all you can find, then I guess you have to make due, though. The best is to grind your own flour fresh from the spelt berries, or find a source that does. That’s not always practicable, so the next best is to find a place that sells it in bulk and seems to replenish it often. This is what I do. My Whole Foods has affordable bulk bins, and their spelt is always selling out. I have no idea how fresh it really is, but I do know that it tastes worlds better than the bags of Bob’s Red Mill I’ve gotten, so I assume it’s fresher than that! And, of course, always store your whole-grain flours in the freezer!)
But anyway. The biscuits!
Get 2 cups of whole grain spelt flour, 4 tsp baking powder, and some salt in a bowl.
Cut 1/2 cup (1/4 pound) of cold butter into small pieces and add them to the bowl.
Use a pastry cutter to work the butter in until it’s all like coarse crumbs. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can probably use a food processor for this step (I just don’t like getting out an extra appliance just for that.) If you don’t have either of those things, you can just use your hands and work it in with your fingers!
Measure out 1 1/2 cups of cream or whole milk. Cream is best, but if you don’t have it whole milk will work in a pinch. I haven’t tried it with reduced fat milk and don’t recommend it – I’m positive it wouldn’t be as good. If you want the biscuits to be a bit sweeter – more like a scone – then you can add about 15 drops of stevia extract to the cream. Pour it into the dry ingredients and mix it up.
At first it will seem really liquidy. Keep mixing. Spelt absorbs a lot of liquid – a lot more than wheat does – so these biscuits call for a lot more milk than the same recipe using wheat flour does. As you keep mixing, it’ll get drier and more solid until it looks like this.
Lightly flour your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick to them, and then turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
Lightly knead it four or five times. Just turn it over and press the dough with your hands into the flour, folding it in on itself it as you go, until it’s not as sticky and holds together well. You don’t want to go to town on this like you would with bread – you just want to make it easier to work with.
Now pat the dough out with your hands to about an inch thick.
And cut it into rounds. I have this awesome biscuit cutter that my sister got for me and I love, but before I had this I just used a glass! Anything that’s the right size and can conceivably cut the dough will work.
As you cut them out, place them on a lightly buttered baking tray.
In case this isn’t obvious to you, once you’ve cut all you can out of the round of dough you patted out, you’ll have a bunch of scraps.
Just roll them together with your hands until they’re solid, and then press it out just like before and keep going!
Put all the biscuits on the tray, and then bake them at 400 for 20-23 minutes.
They’ll be all nicely browned when they’re done.
They’re really flaky and tender, practically falling apart!
Split them in half and top with butter, or to make them truly spectacular, with Maple Honey Butter!
To make Maple Honey Butter, simply take some softened butter and add in some raw honey and maple syrup. I’ve never really measured it out, but have just done it to taste. If I had to guess, I’d say I do about 1 tsp of raw honey and 1 Tbsp of maple syrup for 1/2 cup of butter.
Stir it all together until it’s smooth and creamy. Wow, how delicious does THAT look?!?
Smear some of this luscious stuff on your split biscuits and you’re in business!
Put it together with some fresh fruit and a tall glass of fresh raw farm milk, and call it a meal! (At least, we do!)
These are also great topped with Creamed Chicken for dinner!
- 2 cups whole grain spelt flour (whole wheat will not work with this recipe)
- 4 tsp baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup (1/4 lb) butter, cold
- 1½ cup cream or whole milk (cream is best but whole milk will do in a pinch)
- 15 drops liquid Stevia extract (optional)
- Maple Honey Butter:
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp raw honey (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or to taste)
- Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add them to the bowl. Use a pastry cutter or food processor to incorporate the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. You can also use your fingers to work the butter in.
- Pour in the cream or milk and mix it together. At first it will look very liquidy but keep stirring. It will firm up as you stir and the flour soaks in the milk.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly flour your hands. Knead gently four or five times until the dough is no longer sticky and it's come together in a nice ball.
- Pat the dough out flat into a round that's about 1 inch thick.
- Use a biscuit cutter or an appropriately sized glass to cut the dough into small rounds.
- Place the rounds onto a lightly buttered baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 for 20-23 minutes.
- Top with Maple Honey Butter.