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Impossibly Light and Flaky Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits

Fresh buttermilk biscuits are a simple luxury in life. Hearkening back to simpler times when the butter was fresh, the milk came in bottles, and everybody had buttermilk on hand. Even though biscuits are an old-fashioned recipe with a big dose of comfort, there are a couple of drawbacks. The first is rolling them out. The second is, that’s a lot of white flour. Well, lucky for you, we’ve got an easy, no-roll recipe, for impossibly light and airy whole-wheat biscuits.

Yesterday we posted a recipe for cheddar and chive biscuits, and this recipe is the paired down version. Just right for butter and jam, strawberry shortcake, or a country ham sandwich.

Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook)
makes eight 3″ biscuits

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flours together and combine with the baking powder, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your food processor. Cut in the cold butter with 4 or 5 pulses. Put the flour and butter mixture into a large mixing bowl, pour in the buttermilk, and gently fold in until the dough holds together.

Place the dough on a large floured board. Gather it into a 6 x 10″ rectangle that’s about 1″ thick. Using your hands, pat and press the dough into the desired shape. For flakier, layered biscuits, fold the dough into thirds by folding one third into the center, and then the other third, so it is the shape of an envelope. Then press the dough back down into a broad rectangle. Repeat three times. Using a 2 or 3″ biscuit cutter or a glass, cut your biscuits, arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for  12 15 minutes, until the pale biscuits just begin to turn golden.

Remove from oven and serve immediately. To store, allow the biscuits to cool completely and seal in a bag.

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