You may not believe me, but you can make very respectable biscuits without butter or shortening.
I got my favorite biscuit recipe via Ellen, one of my college roommates, who in turn got it from her mother as a wedding present. The recipe had been handed down through several generations. There's no butter, no shortening - only vegetable oil and either yogurt or buttermilk.
Ellen's mom is from Texas, so in my romantic fantasies I see poor Dust Bowl farmers with dried-up cows, forced to find a new way to make biscuits. I have no idea whether that's anywhere close to reality, but I don't really care. I like my fantasy and I like the biscuits.
That red stuff below, by the way, is prickly pear cactus jelly my 12-year-old son brought me from Arizona. Loved the color, loved the concept, loved that he brought me a present. The flavor - nothing special. But it worked fine on a steaming hot biscuit.
I've made many variations on this basic biscuit recipe, including cheese biscuits, biscuits with Jarlsberg and bacon, and biscuits with mushroom beef gravy. It's a blank canvas. What would you put in your biscuits?
Easy biscuits with yogurt
A basic biscuit recipe with no butter and no shortening. Does it still taste good? I think so, but you be the judge.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
- 2/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt (lowfat or full-fat)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I always sift my baking powder and baking soda into the bowl through a small strainer because once I made muffins that contained large lumps of baking soda, and I will never forget that awful taste. You may take whatever chances you like.In a measuring cup, gently whisk together the oil and buttermilk or yogurt. You don't want them completely combined. Pour the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and use a fork to bring the ingredients together into a shaggy dough. Using one hand, knead the dough in the bowl about 8 times, folding it over on itself, until it is rough but holding together.Pat the dough into a circle or a square or whatever. Feel free to use a biscuit cutter to make nice shapes, but personally I hate wasting the scraps, and you can only reshape them once before they start getting tough. I cut the dough into squares or triangles, myself. Put the biscuits on the baking sheet, leaving room for air to circulate in between. Bake the biscuits about 20 minutes, until they're golden brown and the smell brings people running from across the street. Serve immediately with the condiments of your choice. If you have leftovers, always reheat them in the oven or toaster oven - the microwave will leave you in soggy city.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approximately 1 dozen 2-inch-square biscuits