Biscuits are the quintessential farmhouse food, next to maybe a loaf of fresh baked bread. They are the perfect quick food for a slower life style. Faster than baking bread, yet just as hearty.
Today we are sharing with you our basic sprouted wheat biscuit recipe. One we often throw together when we have been working out in the garden or when we have been busy in the tea studio. But this ain't any ole' biscuit recipe now.
These biscuits are made with sprouted whole wheat. Why sprout the wheat you ask?
Sprouted grains have MORE nutrients than mature grains.
We have blogged often here about the benefits of using whole wheat as well as the benefits of using that whole wheat in sourdough. How it often relieves gluten intolerance issues and allows many people to eat wheat again that couldn't once before. According to the Harvard Medical School Health Blog:
“This germinating process breaks down some of the starch, which makes the percentage of nutrients higher. It also breaks down phytate, a form of phytic acid that normally decreases absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. So sprouted grains have more available nutrients than mature grains..."
Sprouted Wheat is very similar to sourdough, as the wheat is soaked in water to rid of of any anti-nutrients. It also causes the wheat to sprout, just like it would have if you planted it outside. This turns the wheat into a different substance packed with more good nutrients. The wheat is then dried and ground into flour.
Now I'm probably as busy as most of ya and I don't have time for sprouting my own wheat. I don't always have time for sourdough either, so I buy our wheat pre-sprouted and ground here. This sprouted pastry flour is great also. (affiliate links) I keep a bag of this on hand for quick things like biscuits, scones and muffins. I save the sourdough making for bread, cinnamon rolls, pancakes and breakfast braids.
Pastry Fork meet Food processor
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So let's get baking shall we?! First add your flour to either a bowl or the food processor. (Recipe and measurements at end of the post).
Why a food processor you ask? Mostly because I'm making these because I'm in a hurry. The food processor speeds it up a bit. If you prefer to cut in your butter and use a bowl it will work just as well!
Add the flour, baking soda and salt and give it a nice whirl, just to get those dry ingredients incorporated well.
Butter Makes the Biscuit
Next I add my cold or frozen (depending on when I remembered to get the butter out) butter to the dry mix. Cold cuts in more evenly than frozen. I usually cut it in little chunks before throwing it in the food processor. Especially if it was frozen. This just makes it easier to get a good consistent mix.
I blend until I see coarse crumbs.
Next I dump it in a mixing bowl. I know - another dish to wash. I tried doing this ALL in the food processor but it was really inconsistent. the dough would be super wet at the bottom by the blade and then too dry on the top. This makes life easier. Even with one more dish to wash.
It's all about the Liquid
It's time for the milk! This is where the learning curve comes in with using sprouted whole wheat. Wheat flour likes to take a little while to soak up the liquid. As such you may find it was pretty wet and then later it seems to dry.
Or the bran in the wheat flour doesn't soak up the milk as well. There is one important tip to keep in mind.
Add a little at a time.
Let it soak and less is always more.
It's easier to add more than take out.
Don't put too much milk in or you will end up with more of a drop biscuit texture. Unless that is what you want, of course.
To roll them out though you don't want them too wet. I add enough to make them turn into a bunch of big crumbs rather than one big ball.
Once I"ve done that I sort of squish the dough into a roundish blob. I know very technical verbiage. Then I let the dough tumble out onto my pastry mat.
I love this pastry mat. You want to know how I know.... there is a piece of it torn off and missing. I actually bought a second to replace this one but, hey... it's still totally functional so why toss it. Now I have two.
But I digress. See those crumbly piles of dough, that big non-conformant blob? To some that might look too dry, but it's really just right. And the white flour in the corner? That is just to make life easier when rolling the dough out. Whole Wheat Sprouted flour is pretty course and adding a bunch to your pastry mat will dry out your biscuits. If you have a gluten intolerance I wouldn't use the white flour but maybe process your sprouted wheat in a high powdered blender to make it finer. I just haven't taken the time to make myself a stash of that fine sprouted flour yet.
Want more details on what that crumby dough should look like? We have a video up on Youtube where I make these lovelies and as a picture is worth 1000 words a video is even more. Plus! You get some insight into our day on the farm. Watch below.
Cutting Out the Biscuits
See, that video helped didn't it?
Next its time to pat that "crumby dough" into a round. The round should be about 1-2 inches thick depending on how tall you would like your biscuits and how many you need to get out of your batch. Like say if you have children who go by number of biscuits vs size of biscuit. Sometimes we need shorter ones that make more in number rather than height.
Try to eliminate too many cracks in the dough, but honestly it's pretty forgiving. A good biscuit cutter is going to seal the edges and that biscuit will stay together just fine while cooking.
Once they are cut, place them on a non-greased baking pan. I LOVE stoneware for this, it bakes evenly and there is little washing to do. The butter from the biscuits just continues to season the pan. It's like cast iron for baking.
The biscuits should be touching each other, that forces them to bake up rather than out. Bake the buttery goodness at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Time will depend on how high you cut those biscuits and how close they are together. 13 minutes seems to work great for us!
Serve with some hearty soup, a good cuppa tea and some cute company. Lunch is served!
So question, do you know the difference between a scone and a biscuit? Share your thoughts below in the comment section!
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