Posted in baking

Buttermilk biscuits without buttermilk

Flat but yummy whey biscuits
Flat but yummy whey biscuits

One of my life goals is to learn how to make really good biscuits – and by biscuits I mean the soft, buttery, flaky things you eat in the South.  They’re traditionally made with buttermilk, but you can also use other liquids in them, such as whey.  I recently made yogurt and had drained off some of the whey – I didn’t want it to be too liquidy – so biscuits were a good use for that.  I found this recipe on RecipeZaar and it sounded authentic enough that it might help me to finally get past my biscuit rut, because all my previous attempts have ended up yummy, but not at all resembling Southern biscuits – too flat and tough, not flaky at all.  It got me two out of three – the right taste (I think the whey helped give it that tang but the butter is definitely to thank here), and the right texture, but I didn’t get enough rise.  I think it’s because I rolled out my biscuits before reading the part of the directions that says not to roll with a rolling pin!  Whoops.  It’s kind of ironic, too, since I don’t even own a rolling pin.  I used an empty wine (or, limoncello-to-be) bottle, thinking the rolling was necessary.  Next time I will pat my biscuits by hand.  Promise.

So when I stocked my new apartment with staples, I bought bread flour and cake flour but not all-purpose flour.  The complement of most people’s flour holdings, I guess.  I figured bread and cake were better for well, bread and cake, and when I needed all-purpose I’d just mix the two.  So that’s what I did for these biscuits – half and half.  Seems to work ok.  Maybe someday I’ll do a taste test with different kinds of flour.


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