Stop in the name of biscuits

I’m not sure why I make biscuits so often. (Once here and once before the blog, but I can’t remember much about that experience.) I’m not really a biscuit person (insofar as that’s possible while you’re still a human). I’m not from the South or anything. I love bread products, though, and hate kneading and long wait times. I also have a fear of white flour, possibly pathological, instilled in me by a psychopathic nutritionist I once consulted about my hypoglycemia. All of this led to whole-wheat biscuits.

I did extensive research and settled on this recipe, because you could use yogurt and I didn’t have any milk. It used a full cup more flour than the other recipes I found, relative to the baking powder and butter, but I decided to risk it; it sounds like she’s tested a lot of recipes, and her biscuits were very fluffy.

This is where things went south. While I was making these biscuits I was thinking, “This will either be a post about how my experimentation and idiocy make me a terrible cook… or how they make me a GREAT COOK.”

Ew why do they look so pink

So, first I noticed that my whole-wheat pastry flour—purchased an extremely long time ago—smelled like it had gone rancid. (See: Irish soda bread.) I tasted it and confirmed that it tasted like that ill-fated bread; then I tried some of my fresh, refrigerated, regular whole-wheat flour, and that tasted better. So of course I decided to bake with the rancid flour. I think I was like, “Well, these biscuits might come out bad anyway, and butter is cheap, and I’m just going to throw out the flour if I don’t use it, so…”

I measured it out—about 128 g per cup, though I don’t know if that’s totally accurate—and added the baking powder and salt, and mixed it together with my fingers, because it seemed fun. I cut the butter, which had been defrosting for about three minutes, not into eight pieces but like thirty-two or something. (I wasn’t using my food processor because it hasn’t been up to the task of mixing flour.) I smushed it through the flour with my fingers, deciding it was OK if I was left with a lot of flour and some buttery chunks.

Then I added the sugar. THEN I began to measure my yogurt… and only had one cup. Of course. So I was like, OK, well, I should just remove one-third of the flour mixture and save it for another batch of biscuits later. So I weighed the flour mixture and began removing flour. I removed quite a lot of flour. I finally realized that I had not taken into account the vast weight of the Pyrex measuring bowl. So I emptied out all the flour, measured the bowl, tared, put the flour back in, and re-took-out a third of the flour mixture. (It’s now in the fridge. I wonder if it will ever get baked.)

I added the yogurt, mixed, and kneaded a bit so it would all stay together—there was a lot of stray flour. You’re not really supposed to knead much because it will toughen the biscuit, so eventually I just swept off the extra flour. I patted it into an approximate circle and cut out biscuits with a cup. Instead of re-rolling the scraps to form more biscuits, I just sort of patted the dough bits together, to avoid toughening them any further.

Not bad, not bad

And it worked!! These are definitely better than my last batch—more fluffy. The taste is a bit off, but just because of the flour; I think the whole-wheat-iness is fine. And because the butter was incorporated so unevenly, there were some butter pockets inside, which was delightful. They’re not super flaky, but I think that might come with skill??

Woot woot! Thank you, Gina the Mennonite!

Oh and here’s Fitzpatrick, since you haven’t seen him lately. Background: My smoke detector had been beeping (probably all day—I’d been at work), approximately once a minute, in this horrible, high-pitched sound. When I got home he more or less flung himself out the door to escape (this may or may not be a dramatization). So I was standing on my coffee table, which was standing on my dining room table, and I was messing with the fire alarm trying to figure out how to get it to stop (a new battery didn’t work; I had to unplug it and remove it) and also trying to supervise him outside. Then he just lay down on the steps and it was cute, so I took this horrible picture from all the way down the hall, on my tables, at imminent risk of falling and dying. Awwwwwww.

He came back on his own shortly afterward.

This picture is actually worse than I remembered.

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