I love biscuits. I love them warm or cold, light or dense. I like them savory with melted cheese on top and bacon bits inside, or sweet with a slather of clotted cream and a dollop of strawberry preserves. I like them moist and in general feel that the more buttery they are the better!
I especially love breakfast biscuit sandwiches. Jonathan and I have recently been going on long morning bike rides when the weather is nice on the weekends, and one of our favorite routes is going down the pan handle into Golden Gate Park and out to the ocean so we can stop for some coffee and breakfast biscuit sandwiches at the Devil’s Teeth Baking Company in the Outer Sunset. Their biscuit sandwiches are to die for and happen to be the perfect fuel source at the halfway point of our morning ride.
Though the breakfast biscuit sandwiches at Devil’s Teeth are delicious (and cheap!), they’re less than perfect in my opinion. My issue is with the flavor but the texture. The fact is their biscuits are too crumbly for breakfast sandwiches. Every time I take a bite, either a piece of the biscuit is falling to the ground or some of the scrambled eggs are spilling onto my lap. The flavor is totally there, but they’re just too flaky to be the ideal vessel for a mound of scrambled eggs, cheese, and anything else you like your breakfast biscuit sandwiches.
So I set out to develop a buttery biscuit recipe that I could make quickly at home and that can stand up to being filled and eaten like an English muffin sandwich.
I started with whole-wheat flour because I love the taste and feel like it offers a little more texture than regular flour biscuits. There’s also a little more fiber in whole-wheat flour, which my cardiologist can rally behind, and using it somehow justifies the unhealthy reputation biscuits have in general. Doesn’t whole-wheat pasta or pizza sounding better for you?
To ensure they stay moist and have another layer of flavor, I settled on buttermilk biscuits, but could have easily used some sour cream or crème fraiche instead of buttermilk if I wanted. I figured the sour notes would mellow during the baking process and leave the interior soft and moist.
If I was going to successfully create a better buttermilk biscuit for holding eggs, avocado, and bacon; I had to figure out a way to develop a little more gluten in the dough without using yeast, because I didn’t want to wait for the dough to proof and rise. Who wants to wake up at 5am to start making breakfast? I figured adding some cheese inside the dough would not only add flavor and moisture, but when it melts during the baking process it could hold some of the biscuits together as long as it’s the kind of cheese that gets stringy when melted.
We love the goat and cow’s milk cheese curds at the farmers market and the herby flavored curds seemed perfect for the play on cheddar and chive biscuits I was going for. Curds do melt and yet they don’t release too much moisture in the process, which I wanted to avoid or I feared the buttermilk biscuits we turn out steamed and soggy instead of moist and baked.
I remembered learning from America’s Test Kitchen that when they used whole-wheat flour to make traditional French baguettes they sifted out the bran husks, because too much of that fibrous material prevents lengthier gluten strands from forming. I also figured I could knead the dough a little more than most recipes recommended to help the gluten development a long, but I didn’t want to knead the dough too much and end up with buttermilk biscuits that could be used as skipping stones.
With some chives and a few more ingredients added to the mix, I’d developed a delicious recipe for whole-wheat buttermilk biscuits with cheese curds, chives, and a stroke of truffle oil
Say hello to the perfect buttermilk biscuit recipe!
Whole-wheat Buttermilk Biscuits with chives, cheese curds and truffle oil
- 1 cup whole wheat flour sifted
- ¾ cups plus 1 tbslp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 cup cultured buttermilk
- 1/3 cup chopped herb cheese curd
- 4 tbslp chilled unsalted butter
- 2 tblsp minced fresh chives
- 2 tsp truffle oil (can use melted butter or milk instead)
Preheat oven to 400° F
Sift the whole-wheat flour to catch and remove all the pieces of bran husk in a large mixing bowl. Discard the bran because they add a grit to the biscuits that you don’t want, and the fibrous material also prevents some of the gluten development we want for consistency.
Add the ¾ cups and 1 tblsp all-purpose flour and the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk until combined. Set the bowl aside.
Roughly chop the 1/3 cup cheese curds into smaller 1/8 inch pieces.
Mince a bunch of chives until you have 2 tblsp.
Cube the 4 tblsp chilled butter into ½ inch pieces and with a hand pastry cutter mix the butter into the dry ingredients until there are no pieces of butter larger than small peas.
With a large fork stir in the 1/3 cup cheese curds, 2 tblsp minced fresh chives, and 1 cup of buttermilk just until the mixture comes together into a giant mass and there are no large pockets of dry ingredients. You don’t want to over mix the batter and it WILL be very wet and sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured surface for kneading and shaping. Make sure you have flour on your hands and sprinkle some more flour on top of the wet buttermilk biscuit batter.
With your hands floured you want to work quickly and knead the dough 10-20 times until it comes together and you can work with it. Roll it out with a floured rolling pin into square or rectangle that’s ½-¾ inch thick. You definitely want to knead the biscuit dough because that’s how you’re going to develop some gluten which will prevent the biscuits from being too crumbly. But you don’t want to over work the dough or you’ll end up with dense hockey pucks.
Cut our your biscuits using either a lightly floured knife or biscuit cutter and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush the tops lightly with truffle oil and bake until light golden brown, about 22 minutes.
Let them rest for a few minutes on a wire rack before eating them while they’re hot.
Inspired by some breakfast egg biscuit sandwiches we’ve had at Devil’s Teeth Baking Company in the Outer Sunset, we sliced them open, stuffed them with avocado, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon and a few dashes of Crystal hot sauce for delicious breakfast biscuit sandwiches!