The key to a healthier biscuit is to replace some (no more than half) of the enriched flour with whole wheat flour. The biscuits will be too heavy if you use all whole wheat flour. Such is the nature of whole grains! In addition to the leavening agents in this recipe, folding the dough over into layers also helps inject air into these biscuits. Hence their airy name.
Serve them warm with a little dab of butter and a spoonful of all-fruit preserves or drizzled with honey. They will also work well in your vegetarian version of biscuits and gravy – stay tuned!
¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (white whole wheat is recommended)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the active dry yeast and a ½ teaspoon of sugar on top of the water. Let it stand 5 minutes or until it becomes foamy.
While the yeast is activating, in a large mixing bowl, stir together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, the remaining sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a fork, two knives, or a pastry blender, cut the butter in. The mixture should be crumbly. Scoop out a well in the center of the bowl.
Stir the yeast mixture into the buttermilk and pour it into the well. Stir until just blended; do not overmix! Cover and set aside somewhere warm for about 20 minutes. The dough will not rise.
Use some all-purpose flour to lightly flour a large cutting or bread board. Uncover the biscuit dough and place on the floured surface. Roll it out to form a large rectangle. Fold the dough in half twice to make 4 layers, then roll the rectangle out some more until it is approximately a ½ inch thick. Using a 2½-inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as you can. Combine any scraps and reroll and refold to the same thickness, continuing to cut as many biscuits as you can until there isn’t enough dough left to make any more.
Place the biscuits on the baking sheet with ½ an inch between them. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown in color.
Yield: approximately 18 biscuits
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