Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Whole Wheat Biscuits

I accomplished three things with this recipe.
1. I got to use my fancy whole wheat.
2. I got to use whey for the first time.
3. I got to use my biscuit cutter that I didn't know I had.

I'm pretty sure this was one of the first times I ever used whole wheat flour. I know I've bought it before. I know I've let it sit in my pantry until it went rancid. But I don't recall ever actually using it. This was the stuff I bought at Harry's (Whole Foods) a few weeks before and diligently kept in the frigerator. I know, I'm pretty proud of me too. Cool bag, huh? I still have some carefully sealed in the cool darkness that is my sometimes scary fridge. However, I made a ton of whole wheat recipes after this so I could use as much as possible while it was still fresh. I can feel everyone rolling their eyes, but it's TRUE and I'll prove you all WRONG.

As you read, once I realized that I was going to be getting bonus whey from my cheesmaking expedition (be cheese! need whey!), I went in search of a way to use it. This is actually the recipe that came with the wheat, because I couldn't find anything better. I had my heart set on using whey instead of milk and by god no one was going to stop me. I might make another batch with milk just to test out how much of a difference there is.

Whey is healthy? It smells and tastes like a light buttermilk. It's actually sort of cool and I was excited to play around with it. But I didn't. This is me after all. But hey! I got to use it at least once and this was definitely the way to go. Just barely reheated in the microwave and covered with a little jam, they make a great breakfast. It was so simple and the dough was so easy to work with. Just lightly patted out. Got to use my biscuit cutter for the first time, if biscuit cutters can have rippled edges. Win-win situation, I feel.

It was way late but a quick mix and 10 minute bake after hours of cheesemaking seemed like cake. They didn't rise much, possibly because I didn't let them chill out and rise, though the recipe didn't call for it. Still, they came out moist and surprisingly light. I like to think the whey had something to do with this.

The next day, these biscuits led to an interesting discussion with my boss again (remember peanut guy?) about wheat. He suggested one of the reasons they didn't rise much was because most wheat in the South is a soft ... something seed which lacks the larger amount of gluten the northern hard cultivars do. See what you can learn with science? And see how fast I can forget?

Bottom line: damn good biscuits.

Whole Wheat Biscuits
from Logan Turnpike Mill

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 T sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk (whey!)

1) Preheat oven to 350F.

2) Mix all dry ingredients in a med-large bowl.

3) Cut in butter until it has the texture of coarse crumbs. Add milk (whey!) to mixture and stir well.

4) Knead lightly on floured surface. Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness or pat if you're lazy. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Or cookie cutter. Or knife. Maybe one of those ruffly pastry cutters that look like medical instruments. Whatever.

5) Bake until light brown, about 12 minutes. Makes about 10-12 medium-sized biscuits.

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