Having been taught how to make baking powder biscuits by my sister Patsy, I soon started thinking about the wonderful whole wheat baking powder biscuits that our friend Toni made. Toni had a little hand-powered mill that she used to grind her own whole wheat flour. The freshly ground wheat berries gave a wonderful nutty flavor to the biscuits.
I don’t have a flour mill or Toni’s recipe, but these biscuits have that nutty flavor anyway. The whole wheat, butter, sugar and buttermilk work together to produce biscuits that are light, fluffy and tasty.
They are great with sausage gravy or eggs for breakfast or with soup for lunch or dinner, and they are just sweet enough to make you want to pop one in the microwave for a few seconds, spread it with butter and gobble the little morsel before you go to bed.
Here’s how to make them.
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 T sugar
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup butter
3/4 – 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thoroughly mix the flour with the baking powder, soda, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into half inch pieces and blend it with a fork or pastry blender into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.
Stir the buttermilk with a fork into the dry ingredients, adding more buttermilk if necessary to moisten the flour. The dough should be moist but not wet.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and turn it with a spatula to coat the outside lightly with flour. Flour your hands and knead the dough 12 to 15 times, then pat it out until it is about ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into rounds with a biscuit cutter or a floured drinking glass. Knead and pat the trimmings lightly and cut more rounds.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes.
NOTE: As with regular baking powder biscuits, do not knead the dough more than just enough to get it to pat out on the counter or breadboard. Kneading too much makes for tough heavy biscuits.