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Speedy Spelt Biscuits

Speedy Spelt Biscuits

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.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups spelt flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
˝ 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!

Read more: All recipes, Desserts, Food, Side Dishes, ,

By Melissa Breyer, Producer, Care2 Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

20 comments

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3:09PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

ty

9:17AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Thanks Melissa.

5:49AM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Thanks for the info.

9:59PM PST on Mar 13, 2010

I made these up using fromage frais instead of buttermilk. The mixture makes up into a bearly handleable dough. Flour well andI roll out into a large sausage and cut it into aobut 14 pieces. They need about 15 mins to cook Not quite the melt-in-your-mouth outcome I was expecting but we now have the tastiest 'bread' buns/rolls ever! I am on my fourth lot and even the kids love them.

11:33PM PDT on Jul 31, 2009

I make these all the time, but with half the buttermilk! Also, if I don't have any buttermilk, I add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of skim milk.

11:42PM PDT on Sep 2, 2008

Is buttermilk casein free? Some members of my family can't eat it without painfull results.

I've seen that some readers use soy milk instead with good results, so I'll suggest it.

3:50PM PST on Feb 27, 2008

i made these and i ended up with pancakes. I feel i mixed them just until mixed, but did i overmix them? did i need more flour in my batch? thanks.

7:41PM PST on Jan 17, 2008

I use Silk Soymilk in most of my cooking and baking to replace milk. My family has loved the results. I am going to try the recipe with soymilk as I am serving dairy allergic people.

2:04PM PST on Jan 14, 2008

What can I use instead of buttermilk? It's not available here in Italy. Can I perhaps use Yochee? and how long I have te drain it? Reina Folkers, Milan

4:50PM PST on Jan 11, 2008

I was able to find spelt flour at Giant, although only in a small quantity.

I added a quarter cup of honey (and just a dash of salt), which turned out well - you can use molasses, too. I think oatmeal might also jazz these up a little.

Baking them in greased muffin tins worked better than on a flat baking sheet for me, too.

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