Whole Wheat Biscuit Recipe

| March 2, 2010 | 24 Comments

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One hundred years ago, making biscuits didn’t need the qualifier of “from scratch.” It’s just what people did. People cooked. They sifted and baked, rolled and cut. It wasn’t a big deal because it was just a part of daily eating life. But, as with everything, things eventually began to change when premade, ready-to-bake biscuits hit shelves in the 1930s. Although biscuit making is easy, the premades were even easier.

I would love to travel back in time and be a fly on the wall — or a distant cousin — to my family and see first hand how they lived, cooked, ate. It fascinates me. I leaf through pictures and journal entries and am awed by the intertwining lives of my cousins of the 20th Century. They shared wonderful experiences, like heading off for a picnic dinner on a whim.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. I read through our family’s cookbook, soaking in the words and emotions, and I feel like I am there at the homestead, though I never was. (Actually, truth be told, I was in our family’s home just once when I was in elementary school — but it was about 10 years after the home had been sold. Today, I live in the same town as that home, but I haven’t been there.) And I wonder, what is the homestead of my generation? What will my kids look back and remember of the family?

Each generation creates their own space, dynamic, memories … my generation surely has ours. There are so many things to look back on and smile. Maybe someday I will share them, but for now they belong to us: my family.

In the introduction to that family cookbook, my cousin Barb wrote, “During dinner you are apt to hear the loud laughter echoing from the pantry when a frozen sherbert (sic) dessert gets away and skitters across the painted floor. Failures are followed by giggles after the initial cursing of whipped cream turning to butter.”

Oh, to be a fly. My generation is a giggly bunch too. Accidents and mishaps are almost certain to dissolve the room to laughter … like when my mousse exploded all over the kitchen cabinets on Christmas Day last year. There is always a good reason to laugh.

What about your family? Do you have that strong family bond, binding generations and cousins? Do you look back and wonder what it was like to be part of past generations? I would love to hear …

biscuit3Now, onto the biscuits. I really love biscuits, but finding a recipe that I loved proved to be challenging. I wanted an easy recipe made with pantry items that produced a fluffy inside and a crisp outside. I ended up experimenting a bit to get the right mix (more whole wheat, less ap flour; more fluffy, less chewy). These biscuits are the result.

Have you made biscuits from scratch before? If you haven’t, you should. I swear, they aren’t difficult to make. Served hot from the oven, these only take about 20 minutes total. Maybe 30 minutes, if you are a first timer. They’re wonderful and go so well with so many meals.

The trick is to roll out the dough and fold it in a few times (see photo below) before you cut the biscuits. It gives them that lovely layered texture that is just so awesome.

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Whole Wheat Biscuit Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8-10 biscuits
Ingredients
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1½ tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Sift together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Using two knives, cut in the butter until it's finely chopped and the mixture resembles crumbles. Add the milk and stir until just combined. The dough should be moist, but not in one cohesive ball yet.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead the dough 10-15 times (it's going to be sticky). Then lift it, reflour the board and set it back down. (This is a good time to wash your hands). Sprinkle the top of the dough with additional flour as well as the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to a thin sheet and fold in two ends. Roll out again and repeat the process 2-3 times. Then, roll it to a ¾-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter (2½-3 inches) to cut biscuits. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake the biscuits for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

 

Category: Bread, Recipes

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

Comments (24)

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  1. Our minds are on the same track. I am posting a biscuit recipe today. I’ve never used whole wheat flour. I am trying these.

  2. Wow whole wheat biscuits! I’ve never tried them but they sure look great!
    .-= Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes´s last blog ..Dak Bulgogi ???? =-.

  3. Oh yes please! I want one right now!
    .-= Kalynskitchen´s last blog ..South Beach Diet Phase One Recipes Round-up for February 2010 =-.

  4. The method of folding the dough is not something I’ve used for biscuits before. Usually I pat the dough out in the traditional way. I’m intrigued, though, and definitely going to try this. There’s nothing like a hot biscuit with some butter (or even some butter substitute!).
    .-= Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)´s last blog ..Introducing Soup Chick =-.

  5. Tonia says:

    Great post Sarah. The biscuits look great. In my family, we’ve always made biscuits from scratch. I think some people are surprised at how simple it actually is. I just posted a tribute to my grandma’s biscuits & gravy. She passed away on February 20th & her biscuits & gravy was simply amazing, just like she was.

  6. Nathan says:

    Your accompanying editorial was intriguing…the biscuits look good (I don’t really think there’s too much to biscuit ingredients). However, I didn’t realize that the trick to making layered biscuits was to roll them flat and fold them. Thanks so much for the advice. I have converted most of my recipes to using whole-wheat with outstanding results—even better than the original—but I’ve never been extremely pleased with my biscuits. I’ll try these next weekend with my two sons…
    Thanks, again!

  7. SHannon Harris says:

    Tried these today – the kids and I had a tea party. They are outstanding!

  8. Mimi says:

    I made these tonight and my boyfriend said they’re the best wheat biscuits he’s ever had. So, thanks for that. (:

  9. Bunnie Girl says:

    Just wanted to thank you for the prompt or encouragement to roll out thin and fold. I had always thought the more I worked the dough the tougher they would be. Especially when working with whole wheat. The gluten binds faster. But I am so pleased with the results. There were layers…like that fabutabulous layery kind in a can. My second attempt will be MORE layers, as I plan to roll out with no apprehensions on toughness. You created a lite layered technique to a normally heavy clump of biscuit. You have also created a biscuit making monster. Thank you THANK YOU for your instruction and for revealing such a brilliant secret to achieve layers! Live long and prosper!

  10. Tessa says:

    I was hesitant to try these because I’ve always been told to handle biscuit dough as little as possible. However, this recipe turned out amazing biscuits- light, fluffy, and delicious! This is the recipe I will use from now on! Tips: keep your ingredients very cold and your oven very hot. Let the biscuits touch on the sheet pan- it helps them rise. Also, I’m glad I used a little less salt than called for. Delicious with jam, honey, gravy!
    Thanks for the great recipe.

  11. Fezdak says:

    I accipurposely doubled the butter, and they were fabulous. I did actually measure everything else. Also, I use ‘white wheat’ flour (aka golden wheat or golden 86).The layering technique is great, and I didn’t know you could do that with biscuit dough.

  12. Anita says:

    Thanks for this great recipe and the layering technique. I adapted the recipe slightly (1 tsp. less sugar, 1/4 cup less milk, added 2 tbsp. flaxseed meal). Also, I used my favorite trick for incorporating butter: I took a frozen stick of butter and grated it into the dry ingredients, using a box grater. This creates perfect small morsels of butter, without pesky cutting! As I was rolling out and folding the dough, I nudged it into a rectangular shape, and then for the final step, cut it with a knife into 12 rectangular biscuits. No need to reroll the scraps! I appreciate that this recipe can be made from standard pantry ingredients, as I never seem to have buttermilk around. The texture and flavor of these biscuits was great, my whole family devoured them with gusto, and it was very easy! Thanks again!

  13. Jenny says:

    Great recipe! do you know if you can freeze the dough and bake later?

  14. Marissa says:

    Since we have been changing to more whole grains, I had been searching for a not so heavy biscuit recipe. I made these tonight to have with our soup. Of all the biscuits we’ve ever made (and my husband is the biscuit maker, most of the time) these were hands down the best. I used white whole wheat with a quarter tsp. baking soda, and buttermilk. Looks like we have a new favorite recipe! I must admit that the dough seemed tough after the rolling, but they baked up into fluffy tender layers of tastiness.

    • Sarah W. Caron says:

      Marissa, I am so, so, so glad you liked it! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me (and everyone) know.

      • Marissa says:

        Sarah, Today I experimented and used all white whole wheat and added about 2 tbsp. of vital wheat gluten and a smidgen more milk. They were just as flaky good.

        • Marissa says:

          This even worked tonight just with the white whole wheat and buttermilk, without adding the baking soda and gluten. I even forgot to knead it before rolling it, so I just rolled it a few more times. Happy eating :-)

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