About a year ago, Kev asked if I could come up with a “less buttery” biscuit. I know, I know. I can hear your gasps all the way over here. Why, WHY would you pull butter out of a biscuit? But in the name of compromise and making sure I could still make a tray of biscuits on Saturday morning for someone besides myself, I started hacking away at my old recipe. I didn’t delete all the butter. Please breathe already.
But I did delete a lot. Let me allay your fears. I replaced fat with fat by adding heavy cream and whole milk yogurt. These biscuits are jam-packed with flavor (did you catch that joke?), even with my always present dose of wheat flour. For awhile, I was using buttermilk in place of yogurt. But I didn’t like the way the wheat flour and buttermilk were playing together. Maybe it was too acidic?
I got the opportunity to test Tara’s biscuit recipe in her upcoming cookbook. You should buy it for the biscuit recipe alone. It’s completely magical. It’ll make you feel like the head baker from your favorite bakery—the one who’s young and hip with hundreds of years of experience under her belt, scratch that, apron. Tara uses yogurt in her recipe, and I absolutely loved her biscuits. But since we didn’t keep yogurt around the house, I continued to force the buttermilk card. It wasn’t until Hallie started believing that yogurt should be consumed with every meal that I finally ditched the buttermilk for yogurt. Now we stock whole milk yogurt permanently.
And that’s how our new favorite biscuit was born. I say “our” because I love it too. You can hardly call this a compromise, especially since I can add more buttah post bake. This biscuit also passes Kev’s other test—it must hold up as a breakfast sandwich. (I have a tendency for making biscuits that crumble upon impact.) I took a picture of said breakfast sandwich, but Kev said it looked too much like an ice cream sandwich. I may have cooked the egg in a biscuit cutter and then cut a slice of cheese with it as well. That’ll be next year’s April Fools joke.
But this recipe, even lacking in the butter department, is no joke. I’m actually thinking of calling it Kev’s father’s day present though it should count as mine. I love nothing more than to wake up on a weekend morning and make a tray of biscuits. To be shared of course. And if we lived in a world where calories didn’t exist, I’d make them every single day. Scouts honor.
These biscuits are light on butter, depending on your definition of light. They’re flaky yet substantial and incredibly full of flavor. They might be the most versatile biscuits I’ve made. Serve with jam, as a breakfast sandwich, under sausage gravy, you name it.
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. (half a stick) unsalted butter
1/2 c. heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1/2 c. whole milk yogurt, plain
Preheat oven to 425°. Line baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together cream and yogurt. Set aside.
Into the flour mixture, add in butter a tablespoon at a time. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Butter should be pea-sized.
Pour cream mixture into the flour mixture. Using a fork, gently yet quickly incorporate the two together until almost combined. Don’t overwork the dough as it will develop the gluten structure. Save that urge for yeasted bread.
Place biscuit dough onto the lined baking sheet. Cover your hands with a bit of flour to help keep the dough from sticking to you. Press the dough out into a thick rectangle. Sprinkle any stragglers on top of the dough and cut the dough in half using a pastry knife. Place one on top of the other. Press out into a thick rectangle again. Cut and stack. Repeat 2 more time, adding a bit more flour to your hands or the dough as necessary. A little bit of stickiness is a good thing here.
Press dough out until about 1.25″ thick. Using a sharp 2.5″ biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as possible. Stack the remaining dough on top of one another, being sure that the layers are parallel. Press out. Cut biscuits and place about 2″ apart on a baking sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
• As you’re pressing out the biscuits, don’t use too much flour on your hands. That will lead to a tough exterior.
• I may have overused “gently” in the recipe. However, the tougher you are with the dough, the more dense the biscuit.
• Use leftover biscuit dough to make waffle biscuit strawberry shortcake or something like that.
• Store lightly covered, not airtight. Reheat in the microwave for about 15 seconds. If you want to go the extra mile to crisp up the exterior, throw it under the broiler for a minute or two.