Fluffy, cheesy, whole wheat biscuits
These cheesy, fluffy whole wheat biscuits are tender and moist. Bake them plain or add the optional ingredients for a colorful, fun, spicy take on an old favorite.
Make ahead on the weekend, store them in an airtight Fido jar, and on weekday mornings, re-heat in the toaster oven while your coffee brews. They are practically a meal in your hand.
Or slide a couple into a baggie, grab an apple or orange and you have breakfast on the go.
Whole wheat makes them healthy. Cheese and colorful bell peppers and red onion, if you have them on hand, make them absolutely scrumptious. Butter makes them decadent. Add a little ground chipotle to the dry mix when you make the pepper version, and you get a spicy bun that fairly makes your taste buds zing, in a good way.
Between the whole wheat, yogurt or milk, and cheese, you hold in your hand a meal-in-one breakfast-on-the-run or delightful addition to your weekend brunch.
My sweetheart sometimes takes half a batch to the office. Coworkers watch for them and snatch them up. If you're new to whole wheat baking, these biscuits are an excellent place to start.
Fluffy, cheesy whole wheat biscuit recipe
A favorite household variation is to omit the peppers and add half a cup of chopped, pitted olives. We like organic, whole black olives best. Yes, I have to pit them, but it takes only a couple of minutes to pit a handful before chopping.
Another oft-requested variation here, add one-half to a cup of one or more of the following:
- Diced apples
- Chopped dates
- Chopped peaches or apricots
The cheese in this recipe goes well with apples and cranberries, but I omit it when I add any of the other fruits. Most of the fruity versions are enhanced with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon or, in the case of dates, half a teaspoon of fresh-ground nutmeg or a quarter teaspoon ground cloves.
Also with the fruity versions, try sprinkling a little turbinado sugar over the tops after brushing them with liquid, just before popping them in the oven.
Prep time includes 30 minutes chill time in the refrigerator. You spend just 10 minutes mixing the dough, patting into a round, and cutting the biscuits.
- 2 C Stone ground whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
- 1/2 t Sea salt
- 1 T Turbinado (raw) sugar
- 1/8 t Organic ground chipotle (optional)
- 1/2 C butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 1 C Grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 C Green bell pepper, chopped (Optional)
- 1/2 C Red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped (Optional)
- 1/4 C Red onion, chopped (Optional)
- 1 C minus 1T whole milk or yogurt
- 1 T whole milk or yogurt combined with dash sugar
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- Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and if you're making the pepper-onion version, whisk in the ground chipotle.
- Cut in butter until largest pieces are the size of small peas.
- Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Stir in cheese and thoroughly coat with butter mixture.
- Add vegetables, if using them.
- Make a well in the center, add milk or yogurt and mix quickly, just until all of the flour is incorporated and moistened.
- Turn onto floured parchment paper, knead three or four times, shape into ball, and carefully flatten to about one-inch thickness. Cut rounds with a small, sharp biscuit cutter.
- Place biscuits on small parchment-lined baking sheet, so they touch one another and brush tops with combined tablespoon milk or yogurt. Optionally: Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top.
- Bake at 450F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and allow to rest five minutes before removing biscuits from pan.
- Serve immediately with fruit and coffee or tea. Also delicious with a fruit and yogurt smoothie, or scrambled eggs (bacon or ham optional).
- Store leftovers in air-tight glass jars. To reheat, toast briefly in toaster oven.
Baker's tools that make these biscuits easy
For years, I did not care to bake. The mess! What I did not realize back then, was that I did not have the right tools to make the job--and cleanup--easier.
Back then, like my mother before me, and probably hers before that, I cut my biscuits with a glass. Little did I know that a sharper-edged biscuit cutter would save time and keep the biscuits a little higher and fluffier. You want your biscuits to have a nice, clean edge.
Another useful baker's trick I never heard of until just a few years ago: Baker's parchment. Oh my goodness, if you haven't found it yet, you're in for a treat. This handy roll of special paper will save you long minutes at the sink scrubbing out your baking sheets.
Plus, there are dozens of other ways it comes in handy. Do you freeze fresh berries on a tray? Put it under your washed and drained berries before you set the tray in the freezer. You won't have to wash the tray afterward, because the baking parchment catches any moisture. It also lifts easily from the berries. No frozen bits stuck to the tray.
Best of all, if you buy the brand shown here, you get a certified compostable paper you can drop right into your compost bucket when you're finished. No waste!
Good starter recipe
If you've never baked with whole wheat, give this biscuit recipe a try. It is easy and makes delicious biscuits.
Why choose whole wheat?
Despite all the bad press lately about carbohydrates and whole wheat, if you use stone ground whole wheat flour, you are in for a slew of health benefits, according to The World's Healthiest Foods.
On their page, titled simply, Whole Wheat, you will find links to numerous studies in support of the advantages of whole wheat over white flour. Just a few of these are:
- Lower risk of Type II diabetes
- Lower weight in women
- Improved upper and lower gastrointestinal well-being
- Protection against breast cancer when combined with fruit
- Protection against childhood asthma when combined with fish
The list goes on and on, but don't take my word for it. Follow the link and check out the claims and studies.
Do let me know if you try this recipe
I'd love to know how it works for you, and ways you change it up.
If this is your first whole wheat recipe, please feel free to ask questions. I've been baking with whole wheat since 1972, made lots of mistakes over the years, and learned from them. If I don't have an answer, I'll do my best to help you find it.
If you are a fan of whole wheat, feel free to share your tips for successful baking. You never know who might need just that answer.
© 2014 Kathryn Grace