Ahhh biscuits. Pretty much one of those things I had written off many years ago when we went dairy free. I mean what is a biscuit if it isn’t made with butter and buttermilk? If you had asked me that about a month ago I would’ve told you….. not a very good one.
But around Mother’s Day I started pondering my ideal breakfast, if someone were to say make it for me and bring it to me in bed, on a tray, with a tulip in a juice glass. It would be freshly fried cider doughnuts, cheesy grits with a soft poached egg, crispy bacon, and fluffy biscuits with butter and honey.
Aside from being coma-inducing, this meal (if you can call it that) includes practically nothing my husband can eat (aside from the bacon). I wanted to teach my kids how to make at least one of my favorites…ahem….ulterior motives…..and began to consider giving biscuits another try.
How to Make Vegan Biscuits
I’ve had great success in the past substituting extra virgin coconut oil for butter so I was pretty confident it could be a catalyst for fluffy (albeit vegan) biscuits. I can’t tell you how pleased I was when the baking sheet of little biscuits emerged from the oven all golden, the crumb stacked up in fine, lacy layers.
First step: Use Coconut Oil Instead of Butter
Upon further inspection (because who can stare at a tray of freshly baked biscuits and not try one….err…four) they were crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside with a subtle, subtle, subtle taste of coconut (I could probably only taste it because I knew it was there).
Only 4 Ingredients!
So here’s how you make them. I used the classic self-rising flour method, which I’ve always had the most success with in the past. The original buttermilk recipe is on the back of the bag, I’ve simply adjusted it to make it vegan.
The first step is to grate the cold, hard coconut oil into the flour mixture. If you are not already doing this when you make biscuits or scones you must start now. The box grater produces thin little strings of fat which get distributed throughout the dough and melt in the oven creating a million tiny air pockets in the baked biscuit.
Next you add the cold milk. I used rice milk but you could use soy milk, almond milk, any milk really. Drizzle it over the flour mixture then use your fingers to combine the dough. Scoop the dough up from the bottom of the bowl, give it a gentle squeeze and then let it fall through your fingers, rubbing it gently as it falls. This will combine the dough without mashing the threads of fat into the flour. When you are done you should have a scraggly mass of dough that holds together when you squeeze it.
Gather this up into a ball and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. You can cut the biscuits into any size you want. I like to make small biscuits that the kids can easily handle. Size, in this case, doesn’t matter, what matters is when you cut them plunge the cutter straight down into the dough and then lift it straight up. Don’t twist it when you get to the bottom, this will seal the edges and prevent them from obtaining the maximum rise.
When you line them up on the baking sheet you can space them an inch apart if you like crunchy edges or set them right next to each other if you like them really soft in the middle. Then brush a little more milk over the top for a shiny finish – careful not to spill too much over the edge or the biscuits will stick to the tray.
Then all you have to do is pop those puppies in the top of the hot oven and wait….with a big vat of honey.
One More Thing
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