Southern-style Biscuits [Daring Bakers]

This month was a real treat. First, I’m swearing off sugar for 2012. I’ve got pounds to lose, and sugar’s ability to drive me into a fervent hunt for food does not help. Second, the recipe was simple, extensible, and reproducible enough that I could try it 3 times over the course of the month…which Audax suggested and I did.

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

To be clear, these are what Americans call biscuits, and what are called scones in most of the British Commonwealth.

Here were my three variations.

The first used a blend of whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour. I also went relatively easy on the salt, and used equal parts butter and (natural, palm oil-based) shortening. I didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I curdled some whole milk with vinegar instead.

The biscuits turned out nice, although a tiny bit heavy (probably the whole-wheat thing going on) and a bit insipid-tasting (I really needed to add more salt). They were still flavorful and my DH and I gobbled all 6 of them fairly quickly. We ate them with poached eggs (here’s how to make them) and veggie bacon strips. A nice twist on a traditional Southern breakfast!



My second variation turned to a bit more a traditional formulation: I used pastry flour, and a bit more salt (actually a blend of sea salt and no-salt potassium salt, since I’ve recently become more aware of the dangers of high sodium). The result: gorgeous, fluffy biscuits. They were a lot saltier, just a touch too salty for my taste, but otherwise, they were great.

My third variation used a mixture of 50% rye flour, and 50% einkorn flour. I also used half the fat (butter & shortening) as before, and went just a touch easier on the salt blend. The result: much more dense but still fluffy, but not flaky, biscuits. My DH said they were too dense but conceded that they left a really nice taste in your mouth. I think going low-fat was a mistake; the fats really do add some flakiness and irregular texture to the crumb that was missing from the last batch.

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  1. […] photos weren’t enticing enough, I have all these examples by my daring compadres to spur me on!  These are definitely on the to-do […]

    Pingback by Daring Bakers January 2012|Scones (aka Biscuits) — January 27, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  2. Low fat baking can be hard, but I think your last scones look just as delicious as their full fat relatives! Lovely idea to mix the flours, too – I’ve never heard of einkorn flour, I’ll loo out for it in future 🙂

    Comment by Carol Anne — January 30, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  3. I love that you went ‘healthy style’ with your scones. I also went down the healthy route with mine, but I always love to bake with a healthy twist. have you ever tried using coconut oil/butter in baking?

    Comment by Jo@includingcake — February 2, 2012 @ 8:29 am

  4. Hi Jo! Thank you for your comment. I think all natural fats, including butter and coconut oil, are healthy in the amounts that we normally eat them. The all-natural shortening I use is made from fractionated palm oil. While I do have coconut oil at home, I’ve only fried with it, never baked. How does it turn out?

    Comment by JM — February 2, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  5. I use coconut oil or coconut butter for pretty much al my baking these days. I find it works really well, but then again in previous years when i used regular ingredients i wasn’t so much into baking so its hard to make comparisons. I like the fact coconut oil can be liquid or solid so offers the same versatility.

    Comment by Jo@includingcake — February 4, 2012 @ 1:00 am

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