I’ve had biscuits on the brain lately. A recurrent daydream of sinking my teeth into a light, flaky, melt-in-the-mouth biscuit has been completely hounding me. But since refined flour and shortening aren’t mainstays in my cupboards, I pulled out some spelt flour and got busy. After 14 minutes, start to finish, I had myself a plate of flavorful and healthy spelt biscuits. Yum!
Spelt is lovely, although my introduction to it was at a bakery where the women were making not-so-delicious, odd-looking morsels. It took a long time for me to shake that association, but now I can see it for what it is: An ancient grain that is high in fiber, more protein-rich than typical wheat, higher in important B vitamins, and just wonderful in its unique, subtly nutty taste. It can be (but isn’t always) a great alternative for gluten-sensitive people.
The taste and texture of these biscuits aren’t the same as what you’d get if you used heaps of shortening and highly processed flour. What you do get is a low-fat, nutrient-rich biscuit that is almost like a scone in texture. Tenderly crisp on the outside, and almost cakey on the inside. A friend with a taste for all things refined and processed described them as tasting “healthy,” and they do, but in a good way.
The base recipe for these biscuits is exceedingly simple, so there is plenty of room to embellish if you like. Play around with herbs or spices. I think I might toss in a handful of grated aged cheese and sliced apple in my next batch.
2 cups spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and liberally grease a baking sheet.
2. Mix dry ingredients, then gently stir in buttermilk until just blended.
3. Drop by the spoonful onto greased baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 10 to 13 minutes, or until golden.
If you would like a gluten-free version, replace the spelt flour with quinoa flour. For a knockout vegan spelt biscuit recipe, try <a href=”http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/recipe.jsp?recipe_id=R844
” target=”_blank”> this recipe at King Arthur Flour. If you are not familiar with King Arthur, they are a wonderful flour company and a fantastic online source for interesting grains and unusual baking needs—like spelt flour, for instance!