In India, and in many other parts of the world, a biscuit is the name for a cookie. Or a cookie's called a biscuit. You get my drift? So when I first moved here, I was surprised to find out that a biscuit wasn't a cookie at all but a flaky, sublime experience of layered deliciousness. As you can tell, I fell in love with the American biscuit. Especially buttermilk biscuits which have a really tender crumb. To recreate buttermilk in my kitchen without animal ingredients, I used soy milk and vinegar. It was perfect. I cook these up every chance I get. They are an unsweet scone, really, and therefore perfect for any kind of topping from jelly to a dab of vegan spread to even a dollop of peanut butter. Or you can, of course, serve them up with any spicy gravy and a side of mashed potatoes. Yum.
Buttermilk Biscuits [Vegan]
Mix and set aside to curdle:
- 1 cup very cold soymilk or almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder'
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Add to this:
- 5 tablespoon trans fat-free vegetable shortening (like Crisco) or very cold vegan "butter" like Earth Balance, chopped into small cubes.
- With a fork or a pastry cutter, mix the fat into the flour until you have a coarse mixture with no large pieces of fat. If using "butter," work quickly because you don't want the fat to melt.
- Now add the curdled soymilk-vinegar mixture and mix quickly until the dough comes together.
- Make a ball of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
- Now take the dough and roll it into about 1/2-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter to cut the biscuits.
- Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Reroll any leftover scraps of dough to cut more biscuits from it.
- Brush the tops of the biscuits with a mixture of 1 tablespoon soy milk and 1 tablespoon canola or other vegetable oil for a nice, golden-brown glaze. Leave about 1-inch space between each: don't overcrowd.
- Bake the biscuits in a preheated 450 F oven 10-12 minutes.
- Cool on a baking rack.