Whole Grain Buttermilk Biscuits
There is a wonderful source of whole grains in Chico at Rancho Llano Seco. They sell bags of whole Spelt and Emmer flour at the Saturday Farmers’ Market, flours that make for a flaky and tender, wholesome and nutritious batch of biscuits. If you prefer a more familiar light and fluffy variety of biscuit, feel free to substitute the Spelt flour for unbleached white flour.
Servings: 10 biscuits
- 1 cup whole spelt flour
- 1 cup whole emmer flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
- heaping ½ cup cold sourdough culture
- ¼-⅓ cup cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450°F and place a baking stone on the middle rack. Allow the stone to heat up for at least 20 minutes before baking your biscuits.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the cold butter into cubes and, using your hands, quickly press it into the flour mixture until there is a good distribution of butter—shoot for some small pea-sized flecks as well as some larger, nickel- or quarter-sized flakes. Move quickly so that the butter doesn’t warm up too much.
Again using your hands, gently fold and press in the sourdough culture until it is evenly distributed. Add cold buttermilk a little at a time until the dough just comes together. Lightly flour your countertop and turn the dough out onto the counter, kneading a couple times to keep the dough mass together. Place dough in refrigerator. Once your pan in the oven has been thoroughly heated, remove the dough from the refrigerator and use your hands to flatten the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into squares and place directly onto the preheated stone. Bake for 12 minutes until the biscuits have puffed up, revealed layers, and browned nicely on the tops.
My Gram would serve each biscuit open-faced with a hearty scoop of gravy and apples on the side. I’ve always added the apples to the open-faced biscuit before piling on the gravy, which makes for a remarkable flavor compliment with the robust spicy sausage and sweet apples. I take each plate in with my eyes, so also like to add some leftover roasted orange vegetables and sauteed greens before serving.