Homemade Whole Wheat Biscuits

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour.

I’ve been on a quest.

A quest to return to the age of my great-grandmother.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am the first to admit I love my modern day conveniences. I am so thankful for my washer, dryer, refrigerator, the hot water that instantly rushes out of the tap, my beloved computer that allows me to connect with you, AC (thank you, Lord), and even my iPhone.

I am thankful I live in such a day and age.

But there is a part of me that longs for the age of my great-grandmother. Returning to days of yes, hard work, but also simplicity.  An age of growing your own food, herbs lined outside the kitchen window, lard in homemade pie crusts, raising backyard chickens, leftover flour sprinkled across the kitchen counter, and the smell of  fresh baked bread coming from a warm oven. There were hard times back then, but life, in my mind, seems as though it was simplified, valued, and the home-life cherished and real food praised and celebrated.  I realize I probably wouldn’t last more than a week without my washing machine, but a girl can dream.

When I think of great-grandma’s day, my mind is always drawn to biscuits. I’m not talking about those tubes filled with a white doughy substance that last months to years on the store shelves.

What? Real dough actually lasts that long?

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour.

I am talking about the simplicity of real homemade biscuits from scratch. Something about the simplicity and realness of buttery wheat biscuits paints a picture in my mind of a homemaker in the kitchen.  A floral apron around her waist, children playing at her feet, chickens at the back door, and fresh veggies and herbs growing in the backyard ready to be picked and enjoyed.

I want to go there!

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour.

These biscuits are a representation of simpler times. A buttery, flaky from scratch biscuit.  A biscuit great-grandma would be proud of make and serve to nourish her family. The very word simplicity can be summarized in these biscuits. The simple ingredients combine together to create a biscuit that melts-in-your-mouth. Literally!

I know you may be leery of homemade biscuits. I understand. I have made countless biscuits over the years all resulting in perfect hockey pucks, far from the flaky buttery goodness I desired. A lot of wasted flour, milk, and butter.

Just for the record, I hate wasting good butter!

It really seems like a crime!

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour.

These biscuits, are a far cry from hockey pucks. They literally flake and melt-in-your-mouth! The deliciousness of a biscuit great grandma would be proud to serve that takes only minutes to create and leaves your family satisfied with buttery, flaky goodness.

Yes, please!

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour.

Simplicity at its finest.

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour.

Homemade Whole Wheat Biscuits
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice also work well
  • 8 Tablespoons cold good quality butter, cubed
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1½ TB Baking Powder
  • ¼ fresh herbs (optional)--I like to add herbs if I am serving these with a brunch or dinner. I usually use a mixture of dill, parsley, basil, oregano, and rosemary.
Instructions
  1. Measure out the flour into a large bowl. Add in all the cubed butter.
  2. With your hands or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour. You want the butter to look like coarse crumbs mixed in the flour.
  3. Pour 1 cup whole milk over the butter/flour mixture.
  4. Add in the acidic medium. I choose to use Apple Cider Vinegar. You can also use lemon juice or whey.
  5. Mix together the butter/flour mixture, milk, and Apple Cider Vinegar. Do NOT over mix. Mix just enough to get the flour/butter mixture nice and wet.
  6. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 12 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  8. Add in the salt and baking powder. If you are using herbs, mix in the ¼ of chopped fresh herbs.
  9. Mix just enough to incorporate the dry ingredients in the wet flour mixture. You do NOT want to over mix!
  10. Scoop the dough out of the bowl and drop on a floured surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour.
  11. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. You want a long rectangular shape. Fold the dough in half, lengthwise and gently press together.
  12. Using a biscuit cutter cut out individual biscuits. Place on a baking sheet or stone.
  13. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  14. Remove the warm biscuits from the oven and serve warm with butter, yes, more butter and honey and whatever your heart desires.
To Freeze: Place the uncooked, cut-out biscuit dough on a cookie sheet. Freeze the raw biscuits until frozen (about 30 minutes-1 hour). Once frozen, place the biscuits in a freezer-safe bag or container. When you’re ready to cook a biscuit, follow the cooking directions in the recipe above. Allow for 2-4 extra minutes of baking time.

2015 Flour Update: I use einkorn flour almost exclusively these days. For an einkorn version, use 2 2/3 cup einkorn flour with the remaining ingredients. No soaking is necessary for einkorn, so simply combine the dry ingredients and butter (this may also be done in the food processor), then the wet ingredients. Mix just until the dough is wet. Einkorn is the flour pictured in this recipe (the photos have been updated since the original recipe posting in 2013).

Einkorn is known as the oldest variety of wheat making it an “ancient” grain. The ancient grain is believed to have originated in the Tigris-Euphrates region and is possibly the main grain referenced in the earliest accounts of the Bible.  To put it simply, einkorn is the wheat men were eating in the earliest days before modern-day wheat varieties. While modern wheat has undergone hybridization, einkorn still holds true to its original properties. Einkorn is slowly gaining popularity, but is still grown in only a few regions in Europe.

The sweet, ancient grain has a lighter texture and taste than modern-day wheat, and contains a more favorable gluten ratio. People with minor gluten sensitives may be able to consume einkorn without the issues associated with whole wheat due the lack of D-genome, however, einkorn is not gluten-free. Einkorn is packed with nutrition, containing high levels of protein along with the antioxidant beta-carotene lutein and minerals.

Einkorn looks and tastes similar to white flour, so it’s the perfect healthy flour to use when making pizza dough. Einkorn is sold in some health food stores and online.

Einkorn doesn’t like to be kneaded or overworked, so you’ll want to stop kneading einkorn pizza dough once the flour is combined into the dough. If you continue to knead the dough, it will “deconstruct” and turn into a mushy dough that’s impossible to handle.

Homemade whole wheat biscuits. Best biscuits I've ever made. So buttery and made with whole wheat flour. 



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36 Comments

  • New to your blog – loving it! I’d love to try these biscuits, but would it work with coconut milk? Thanks for sharing all your homemade goodies!

  • Amanda says:

    Overnight, you just let the dough on the counter? Not the fridge, right? I’m making these right now! haha

  • Jessica says:

    How many biscuits does this usually make?!

  • Carolyn says:

    Hi morning saver! Can I use white whole wheat flour?

    • Kristin says:

      Hi :). You can try it. The pastry flour is lighter and creates a flaky biscuit. I think the white whole wheat would work. They may just be a bit more dense.

  • SusanB says:

    Whenever I make biscuits, I shape the dough into a rectangle and use a pizza cutter to cut it lengthwise once, then cut them into small rectangles crosswise. Saves time and still are attractive.

  • SusanB says:

    You will get a fluffier biscuit if you fold it 10-12 times before cutting it. I did so with this recipe and I got good results. This technique is best used with recipes that use baking powder.

  • Cassidy says:

    I made these yesterday, and I just had to tell you how much I *adore* these biscuits. I’m from the south, so I’m pretty picky about my biscuits, too. 😛

    I just used regular whole wheat flour and had to double the amount of liquid to get the dough just right. That made me worry about how the biscuits would bake, but that was silly, since they came out perfectly. My parents and I are gobbling them all up! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • mary says:

    Do you use unsalted or salted butter? Can’t wait to try these!

  • BARBARA PIXLEY says:

    Try cutting them into squares with a pizza wheel/cutter. No scraps.

  • Linda says:

    When you bake these from the freezer, do you defrost them first or put them in the oven frozen? I’ve never cooked frozen biscuits before and I don’t see it in the post. (or I somehow missed it, that is always possible)

  • Danielle says:

    Do you think these could work as the topping for a chicken pot pie, in lieu of pie crust?

  • I love all your recipes and am excited about introducing more whole foods in our diet. My sons and I can’t handle dairy, do you think almond milk or coconut milk would be a good replacement in this recipe?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hi Sarah, Thank you so much, glad you like all the recipes :). I’ve never tried almond or coconut milk in this recipe, but I think they would be great. You could also use water, although they will not be as “rich”. Enjoy! I’d love to hear how the milk alternative works.

  • Bethany says:

    I’m right there with you, Kristen. We are so blessed to have washing machines and computers, but those were simpler times and I too long for those things! These biscuits look wonderful, it took me a long time to master biscuit-making, I think the problem was mostly over-complicating the process/over-handling the dough. I used them all the time for Chicken n Dumplings and cinnamon rolls besides. So excited to try your soaked recipe now that I’m making the switch to “real food.”

  • Bethany says:

    Thank you again for this awesome soaked wheat recipe. I made cinnamon rolls this morning with the dough and had lots of compliments from my guests. I also love your soaked whole wheat bread recipe! I tried a recipe from another blog for comparison and I found your recipe was superior in taste and texture and much simpler to make!
    I can really tell a difference in my digestion and how I feel throughout the day when I eat soaked grain products, so I really appreciate your efforts to develop these recipes. 🙂

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Thank you so much for sharing, Bethany! I’m so glad the cinnamon rolls came out so great–I need to be a guest in your home ;). I stopped soaking our grains due to time restraints this past year, but I look forward to returning to this wonderful practice in the future!

  • Jennifer says:

    When you use the einkorn flour do you still need to leave the batter out for 12 hours? I am a little confused by the update.

    Btw the original recipe worked great!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Jennifer, I don’t soak the einkorn, which is why I’ve made the switch for this recipe. I don’t have a ton of time these days for soaking, so einkorn is a perfect solution. Einkorn doesn’t perform very well when it’s been soaked, from my experience.

  • Jackie says:

    I’m making these and my mixture for soaking is quite wet, like a brownie batter! Should it be more like a biscuit dough before the soak?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Jackie, Once all the ingredients are added the dough should be like biscuit dough–just a bit stickier than store-bought dough. Are you using the whole wheat flour, or einkorn? You may need to add more flour if the dough is still very wet before pressing the dough out and cutting.

  • Allie says:

    I have a question about these steps. I doubled my recipe and followed your directions up to the step of letting the dough rest for 12 hours. The dough was really thick at that time, and then after resting, your steps say to then add in the salt and baking powder? Needless to say it was difficult to stir in salt and baking powder to a dough mixture already thickened that had been resting for 12 hours as well. So my biscuits did turn our hard and more puck like. Can you clarify this part of the instructions/process for me? Thank you.

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Allie, I’m sorry to hear the biscuits were really hard. There is always the possibility that too much flour was added. When it comes to volume measurements versus weight (which I haven’t calculated the weight measurements for these yet), that’s always a possibility. Biscuit dough should be slightly wet and a bit “sticky,” but it does take a bit of muscle to add the salt and baking powder–they can’t be added to the soaking process. Did you use whole wheat pastry flour? If not, the flour may also have been the issue. Pastry flour is the lightest form of wheat flour available, which helps with the soft and flaky texture.

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