Can you imagine light whole wheat biscuits with edges crisped by butter?
Tender biscuits so delicious, your family would never guess they’re healthy 100% whole wheat.
We walk you through every ingredient, step-by-step so you can make the best whole wheat buttermilk biscuits possible.
Sprouted White Whole Wheat Flour
Have you struggled to get your family to eat healthier baked goods? I’ve got good news. Healthy, whole wheat breads don’t have to be dry and heavy.
Sprouted wheat is a game-changer for families trying to get their kids to eat whole grains. The sprouting process eliminates the bitterness so often present in whole wheat products (unless they’re doused in sugar).
In short, it tastes better.
Sprouted wheat is also easier to digest, and with the right technique, sprouted wheat flour produces light, fluffy biscuits the whole family will love.
Great tasting, good for you food is our goal, right?!
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Why We Use Organic Sprouted White Whole Wheat Flour
Throughout our clean eating journey, I’ve tried every sprouted flour out there and even sprouted and ground fresh grain, so let me be your guide.
Hard white wheat is the best whole wheat to use, sprouted or otherwise.
White wheat was developed by eliminating the genes for bran color through cross-breeding (not GMO), which reduced the phenolic compounds and tannins.
Reducing these bitter compounds gives white wheat a milder ﬂavor. Less bitterness means baked goods made with white wheat require less added sweetener than red wheat to achieve optimal flavor.
When sprouted, the flavor of white wheat is mellowed even more producing muffins, cookies, bread, and biscuits with the taste and texture we long for, as well as superior nutritional value.
In this case, you’ll make amazing buttermilk biscuits you can feel good about serving.
Suitable Substitute for Sprouted Flour:
White whole wheat flour will work for this sprouted wheat recipe, though it can absorb liquid differently.
TIP: Hold back a tablespoon or two of white whole wheat flour until you see how the dough comes together. See recipe photos.
We go into more detail about our favorite brands, buying advice, and using sprouted wheat flour in our Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Rolls Recipe post.
Buttermilk Makes the Best Whole Wheat Biscuits
Buttermilk’s acidity, in tandem with baking soda and baking powder, helps dough rise. Baking powder is activated by the liquid and heat of the oven while the acid from the buttermilk reacts to the baking soda, giving off carbon dioxide to produce a little extra lift.
This extra lift is especially helpful when baking with whole wheat flour.
Buttermilk also produces golden-brown tops with rich, tender crumb balancing the crisp edges produced by the butter we fold into the dough. This combination gives us a light whole wheat biscuit with a delicate crust that tastes like it’s been fried in butter. Everybody say, “Mmm!”
Low-Fat or Whole (Full-Fat) Buttermilk?
Commercially produced buttermilk is not really buttermilk at all but is cultured low-fat or regular, whole (full-fat) milk.
The one brand I know still uses actual sweet cream buttermilk from their butter production in their buttermilk product is Kalona Super Natural. If you’re apt to pour a glass of buttermilk to drink, you’ll taste the difference.
Real buttermilk, the liquid left over from churning butter, is naturally low in fat, so most of the time low-fat buttermilk is the right choice for recipes unless otherwise indicated.
Either low-fat or whole buttermilk works fine in this recipe.
I do recommend looking for organic to avoid growth hormones and antibiotics common in commercial dairy products.
Suitable Substitute for Buttermilk:
Add 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice per cup of whole milk and allow to sit for a few minutes. The lemon will bring the acid you need for the recipe.
TIP: Fresh lemon juice is important here. Bottled lemon juice is so strong the taste of lemon can overpower the tang you’re looking for in the recipe. Take a look at this post from Joy the Baker for more buttermilk substitutes.
Coconut Palm Sugar
This dehydrated sap of the coconut palm is my healthier, unrefined sweetener of choice for baked goods. It has the flavor of brown sugar, though a little less sweet, and is the best 1:1 swap for dry sweeteners like refined white sugar. (Not to be confused with palm sugar often used in Thai dishes.)
Suitable Substitute for Coconut Palm Sugar:
Honey and maple syrup are also good choices for baking sweeteners, however, they add moisture you may not want. I have not proofed this recipe with either of these.
TIP: Add honey or maple syrup to the cup before measuring the buttermilk, therefore reducing the buttermilk slightly to allow for the extra liquid.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda
Baking powder (a mix of baking soda and cream of tartar or cornstarch) can lose quality over time, so fresh baking powder makes a big difference.
TIP: Look for aluminum-free baking soda, which is widely available, to avoid any bitter or metallic “tinny” taste.
Test baking powder by pouring 1/4 cup of boiling water over 1/2 teaspoon in a bowl. It should bubble up rapidly with enthusiasm.
If it doesn’t, it’s time for a fresh can.
Baking soda lasts for years in the cupboard without diminishing effect.
Yes to Butter, Not Shortening
We got rid of hydrogenated oil years ago and never looked back. Organic butter is a regular part of our clean eating lifestyle and so are these sprouted whole wheat biscuits.
Start with very cold butter — frozen is even better.
Freezing the butter helps keep the pieces from softening too much in a warm room or under the warmth of your hands while working with the dough. Frozen butter is also easier to grate if you don’t have a pastry knife or food processor.
The butter pieces should be covered in flour, but not incorporated into the flour. These pockets of butter create the layers we want in flaky biscuits.
How to Make Light and Buttery Sprouted Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits
Pop a stick of butter in the freezer 20-30 minutes before you start — cold butter is your goal throughout this process.
STEP 1: Whisk the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
STEP 2: Cut butter into the dry ingredients.
It’s important that the butter is in small pieces when mixed into the flour and not fully incorporated. You can do this in different ways depending on the tools you have available. I have used all three of these methods with equal results.
• Cut the butter into cubes and transfer to a food processor with the mixed dry ingredients. Pulse 8 or 10 times to chop up the butter into small pieces about the size of green peas. I don’t use this method because now I have to clean the processor and transfer this flour and butter mixture back to the bowl.
• Cut the butter into cubes and toss into the bowl of mixed dry ingredients. Use a pastry knife to cut and mix the butter into the flour to create small pieces about the size of green peas.
• Grate the butter into the bowl of mixed dry ingredients. Stir the butter and flour together with a spoon to coat the butter pieces. You must freeze the butter to do this so you don’t have a mess and waste butter smeared on the grater.
STEP 3: Add cold buttermilk and stir about 15 strokes.
STEP 4: Transfer dough onto a floured work surface.
Sprinkle with more flour and with floured hands press the dough out into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick.
STEP 5: Lift and fold the dough.
Using an offset spatula or bench scraper, fold 1/3 of dough from each side creating a stack of three layers. Turn it so the long edge faces you and press the dough out again (add a little flour if too sticky). Repeat the lift and fold method 2 more times. This folding method creates many layers of buttery pieces throughout.
STEP 6: Chill dough 10-15 minutes to firm up the butter.
STEP 7: Stamp out the biscuits.
Transfer the dough back to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out to 1-inch thick. Dip a round 2 1/2 inch dough cutter into flour between each cut and stamp out the biscuits. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet closely together so they touch.
TIP: Don’t twist, just push down. Dip cutter in flour between each cut.
STEP 8: Chill again for 5-10 minutes so the butter is firm when they go in the oven.
STEP 9: Brush tops with buttermilk and Bake at 475°F for 14 minutes.
Brushing the tops with buttermilk will create a chewier crust and golden brown color. If you prefer soft tops, leave alone and brush with melted butter when they come out of the oven.
Sprouted Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups sprouted white whole wheat flour , plus more for counter
- 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar , or honey
- 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 0.25 teaspoon baking soda
- 0.5 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons butter , very cold or frozen, cut into small cubes
- 7 ounces cold buttermilk , plus more for brushing tops
- Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, 2 tablespoon sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl; whisk together.
- Add 6 tablespoons cubed butter to the bowl and work into flour with a pastry knife or grate butter over flour and stir in to coat butter pieces with the flour.
- Add 7 ounces cold buttermilk to the butter and flour; stir just until flour is moistened, about 15 strokes. If the flour is not all moistened, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time over the drier parts and gently stir in. The dough will be shaggy.
- Generously dust a work surface with flour. Transfer dough to the work surface and sprinkle with a little more flour. With floured hands, gently press the dough into a rectangle about ¾ inch thick, with the long edge facing you.
- Using an offset spatula or bench scraper, fold 1/3 of dough from each side creating a stack of three layers. Turn it so the long edge faces you and press the dough out again (add a little flour if too sticky). Repeat the lift and fold method 2 more times, adding more flour if needed. This folding method creates many layers of buttery pieces throughout.
- Chill dough in fridge 10-15 minutes to firm up butter. Heat oven to 475°F.
- Transfer the dough back to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out to about 1-inch thick. Dip a round dough cutter into flour and stamp out the biscuits. Don't twist, just push down. Dip cutter in flour between each cut. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet closely together so they touch (baked goods will rise higher when touching sides).
- Chill again in fridge for 5-10 minutes so the butter is firm when they go in the oven.
- Brushing the tops with buttermilk will create a chewier crust and golden brown color. If you prefer soft crust, leave alone and brush with melted butter when they come out of the oven. Otherwise, brush tops with buttermilk and Bake at 475°F for 12-14 minutes.
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Sprouted wheat buttermilk biscuits taste like such a treat! When fresh from the oven, there’s nothing better than a pat of butter with a dot of jam.
Second only to butter and jam when warm, they’re awesome with sausage gravy, stacked BLT’s, or our Inside Out Turkey Pot Pie too.