This is one of the first recipes I tried when I began to bake my own bread a decade ago. It’s so easy and satisfying. When we went vegan, it took a few tries to get these biscuits right, but, oh man am I glad I persevered after the first batch was subpar. I make these quite regularly, like almost once a week. They are so good!
One of the key steps is the cold coconut oil. I measure out what I need, put it in a small bowl, and set it in the fridge or freezer while I mix the dry ingredients. I usually use the freezer in summer when the coconut oil is liquid and has no chance remaining solid at room temperature. On the flip of that, if you leave it in the freezer too long, it will be difficult to cut into the flour, so it’s a trick you have to get used to.
Why do you need solid oil? Well, traditionally you would cut in cold butter, which is solid. The solid oil/butter begins to melt in the oven leaving behind air pockets which are responsible for the light, fluffy biscuit. I first tried using liquid oil, but that’s just no. The dry mixture begins to absorb the oil before the dough is even in the oven and that results in sandy, grainy textured biscuits. Ew. Though I’ve never done it, I’m sure you can also use a vegan butter replacement like Earth balance, just be sure it’s nice and cold.
Shocking news, I am always changing up and adding to this recipe. I doubled my recipe today. I also experimented with making mini biscuits (I’m pretty excited about them). I used one cup of whole wheat pastry flour and one cup of spelt flour, plus two cups unbleached all purpose flour. If you have whole wheat pastry flour, I recommend subbing in one cup of that for the all purpose flour. In the past, I’ve added some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor, oregano, garlic, paprika, really, whatever spices and seasonings I’ve felt like adding in. I also prefer to use Himalayan pink salt.
I always try to bake mindfully, but some days there’s just so much in my brain that I am not as focused on the task at hand. Like the time I made this recipe and realized when the first batch was in the oven that one of the screws from the pastry blender and fallen out into the dough. A moment of alarm at the thought of having baked a screw into my biscuits (which one??!!) before I checked the remaining dough and found it. Phew, biscuit crisis averted.
In case you don’t know what a pastry blender is, I’ve pictured it below along with a shot to show how easily those screws work themselves loose. To be fair, I’ve had this pastry blender quite some time and this is a fairly recent occurrence.
Today, I made a special effort to bake mindfully. I even put on some soothing meditation music to assist my brain in staying in a more peaceful, loving, relaxed state. After all my ingredients were set out, I paused, took a deep mindful breath and said, “I am baking with loving intention,” and then began to measure and mix. I smiled to my biscuits as I placed them in the oven. I took great pleasure in the adorable diminutive size of the mini biscuits. I was fully present and I enjoyed the process, even the washing up!
Enjoy and happy baking!
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1/4 cup chilled coconut oil
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or nondairy milk of choice)
Gather together all of your ingredients. Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and turmeric.
Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the cold coconut oil. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal.
Create a well in the center of your flour mixture. Add the almond milk and stir until batter is just moist.
Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Spoon batter into muffin cups; about two-thirds full.
Bake 12 minutes or until golden.
Remove biscuits from the pan immediately and place on a wire rack.
Best served fresh, but also reheat nicely in the oven.
Yield: 12 biscuits
A quick shout out to an amazing friend whose been waiting on this recipe: Happy birthday, Gretchen!!