Monday, March 9, 2015

Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

What is it about biscuits that makes them so irresistible? Well... good biscuits, that is. I have no problem resisting canned biscuits of any variety.
Seriously. Get those things away from me.

But no, good biscuits are so... just so.... Yum.

I think it's particularly difficult to find a whole wheat version that doesn't closely resemble a hockey puck in texture and a cardboard box in flavor. These are good wheat biscuits. I love them with a smear of butter and a dripping of honey, and they are the perfect complement to soup. I also suspect they would be delightful smothered in sausage gravy... My husband would probably approve.

While these include a mix of whole wheat and white flour, they are a great compromise between completely refined flour and completely whole grain, which gives them a great heartiness without compromising the fluffy texture one hopes for in a biscuit. But what really sets these apart from other wheat biscuits is the cream cheese. It brings a great flavor into the mix. I love, love, love these biscuits!

And my favorite thing is that I can whip up a big batch and freeze them after cutting into desired shapes to have fresh biscuits any time. Take THAT Pillsbury!

Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
from The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 oz. (3 Tbsp.) light cream cheese
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
4 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. cold buttermilk

Dice the butter and cream cheese into 1/2 inch pieces and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
Put both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a food processor. Pulse 3 times to combine. Drop cream cheese and butter into the flour mixture and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add buttermilk. Stir with a spatula until the dough comes together. Put dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Form dough into a 9 inch disk and roll out (or pat down as I generally do) to 3/4 inch thickness. Be careful not to overwork.
Cut out 12 biscuits and place on baking sheet. If freezing for later use, stop here and freeze on baking sheet one hour before removing to a zip-top freezer bag for storage up to 3 months. If baking immediately, place baking sheet on middle rack in oven and bake at 450 for 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and turn oven down to 400 degrees. Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. The bottom of the biscuits should be golden brown when done.
If baking from frozen, increase initial bake at 450 to 8 minutes, then proceed as above until biscuits are done.

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