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White Whole Wheat Biscuits

White Whole Wheat Biscuits

A simple biscuit is such a great addition to any breakfast or dinner. Most biscuits I come across are made with white flour, either an all purpose flour or a cake flour (or other low-protein flour) in the hopes of producing the most tender biscuit. While I would never turn down a perfectly made biscuit, it is nice to know that you can still make delicious biscuits using whole grain flour without sacrificing taste or texture.

I used white whole wheat flour for these biscuits. It is much closer to all purpose flour than regular whole wheat flour, which tends to produce heavy and somewhat crumbly biscuits. I used plenty of butter and buttermilk, and came out with a biscuit that had a great buttery flavor and lots of flaky layers. It was still a little bit heartier than a plain biscuit might be, but the fact that it is made up of whole grains makes up for it.

The best way to make biscuits is to rub in the butter by hand, using your fingertips. This gives you lots of control over the size of the chunks of butter. Aim to have most of them around the size of large peas. Larger butter pieces (not huge, of course, but quite a bit larger than “wet sand”) result in a flakier biscuit. After you stir in the buttermilk, knead the dough on a floured surface a few times to allow some gluten to develop. This helps the biscuit to rise up nicely. And finally, don’t forget to add a bit of sugar into the mix. All whole wheat flour, including white whole wheat, can have a very slightly bitter taste that makes the biscuits taste a little bit too healthy, even with all that butter. Brush the biscuits with a little milk or melted butter before baking to give them a nice golden brown color.

White Whole Wheat Biscuits
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking power
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into 6-8 pieces
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
melted butter, for brushing

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add in butter chunks and toss to coat. Using your fingers, rub butter into flour mixture, breaking the butter up into chunks the size of peas. Add in 3/4 cup buttermilk and stir until a slightly sticky dough forms. If dough is dry, add additional tablespoon or two of buttermilk.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Press into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch biscuit(round) cutter, cut biscuits and transfer to baking sheet. You should get 10-12 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutter. Brush tops with a little melted butter before baking.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.
Cool on a wire rack and serve while still hot.

Makes 10-12 biscuits.

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  • Elyse
    March 27, 2009

    Mmm, Nicole, these biscuits look fabulous. I wish I could have one right now. Such great comfort food!

  • Liska
    March 27, 2009

    These look good… But I’ve had some horrible results with White Whole Wheat flour. What brand did you use?
    I picked up King Arthur White Whole Wheat last year and it gave all my baked goods this bizarre beerlike flavor – not a nice wheaty flavor and certainly not something akin to the taste of white flour (and it wasn’t the recipes, because I’d used them many times before). They also ended up having a very dense texture, even when the flour was sifted. After several attempts to make it work, I ended up throwing away the entire bag.

  • Elyse
    March 28, 2009

    Mmm, Nicole, these biscuits look fabulous. I wish I could have one right now. Such great comfort food!
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

  • Fat Fudge
    March 30, 2009

    Maybe whole wheat pastry flour would produce an even lighter biscuit.

  • Tom Carpal Nicholson
    May 14, 2009

    Looks delicious. My wife loves baking but i think she haven’t tried White Whole Wheat Flour for biscuits. I’ll share this post to her. Our son would love it for sure.

  • House of Lot
    May 14, 2009

    “Larger butter pieces (not huge, of course, but quite a bit larger than “wet sand”) result in a flakier biscuit.”

    Thanks for sharing this tip. You really have good experiences when it comes to baking. It’s really a learning experience reading this recipe.

  • thomas nicholson
    September 17, 2009

    I was amazed at the recipe of wheat biscuit. I STRONGLY recommend wheat biscuit to EVERYONE interested in running a successful business! I am sure the kids loves it..

  • Denise-Language Infusion
    April 22, 2010

    I tried these, they are yummy. I hadn’t ever tried baking biscuits with white whole wheat flour. Thanks!

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