i love biscuits.
i always have. so you might be surprised to know that it all my 5 years of eating and cooking exclusively plant-based foods i could never make a satisfying biscuit. they were always too alkaline, too salty, and always too flat.
i think, however, that i have finally overcome this buttermilked blockade, thanks to two very wonderful bloggers:
from smitten kitchen‘s beautiful photos i found the ideal formula for creating tall, flaky biscuits that looked perfectly browned on top. and from Vegan Dad came the technique of leaving some big lumps when working in the fat, kneading the dough a little longer than tradition teaches, and doing a few laminating turns when pressing it out. the idea was to create some gluten and longer, flat pockets of fat to aid flaking and rising and the result was, in a word, magnificent. tall, layered, flaky biscuits that are wholesome enough to make on special mornings and classic enough to conquer those “grand” nostalgias.
and square because i don’t have a set of biscuit cutters. but that made them all the better suited for making a breakfast casserole of biscuits, scrambled tofu, gravy, cashew cheese, spinach and tater tots!
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sugar
1 tbl baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
8 tbl vegan butter, cold and cubed
3/4 c soymilk*
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
– preheat the oven to 400F
– drop the apple cider vinegar into the soymilk, stir and set aside to let curdle
– whisk together all dry ingredients
– crumb the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry whisk, fork, or your hands like your mother taught you, working the fat into the flour until pea-sized bits of butter are left
– add the curdled soymilk, stirring until the dough comes together in a shaggy lump
– turn out onto the counter and knead about 4 times
– flour your counter and roll the dough out in a rectangular shape about 1/2 inch thick
– with the rectangle laying long-ways away from you, fold the top third down and the bottom third up, like a letter
– turn the dough clockwise and roll out again
– fold up and roll out once more
– cut the biscuits into rounds with a cutter, pushing straight down without twisting, or with a knife into squares, first trimming the edges of the rectangle so the edge biscuits will rise tall
– smush the trimmings into biscuit shapes, either with your hands or by rolling and cutting again. i prefer hands, but these biscuits will not stand as pretty as the others, so don’t worry about it too much
– arrange on a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat and bake on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden
*soymilk that is made of nothing but soybeans and water is highly preferable here, as vanilla, sugars and stabilizers prevent the curdled soymilk from tasting and acting right.