For me baking is a very soothing activity. I derive a lot of comfort out of the measuring and weighing, rolling and mixing. The smells of butter and flour and vanilla are heavenly. Some of the time I don’t even have to eat what I’m making, I just enjoy the task itself. Aside from an increased proclivity for consuming sweets during pregnancy, I’ve used baking as a way to manage my pregnancy related discomfort and anxiety. Plus I like to have a rule for myself that if I want something sweet, I have to make it rather than buy it. This allows me to control the ingredients and portion.
Since losing our Cohen pup, my desire to bake is in overdrive. I often feel saddest waking up in the morning because the realization that he’s gone hits me hard. I know what John Mayer means when he laments “When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part.” Maybe it’s dramatic, but right now it’s how I feel. I woke up last Saturday morning and decided to make biscuits to help myself feel better. After assessing my stock of ingredients, I had plenty of whole wheat flour, some leftover buttermilk, and just half a stick of butter. I didn’t crave anything particularly sweet, just a little something to go with my morning coffee. Biscuits seemed the perfect choice.
I cried as I made the biscuit dough remembering how just the Saturday before Cohen had laid in the kitchen keeping me company while I made scones. I missed his comforting presence immensely.
The recipe turned out wonderfully. Tender, warming, and wholesome. Justin loved it too. I ate half a biscuit with warm melty butter and honey and then made a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese. Because the biscuits aren’t sweet, they are perfect in either preparation.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour (I used Trader Joe's White Whole wheat flour, King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or Bob's Red Mill Ivory Wheat Flour are also good)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (half a stick) cold unsalted butter
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with whisk or fork.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture.
- Using a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers, mash the butter pieces with the flour until the mixture resembles pea sized coarse crumbles.
- Then pour in the buttermilk and mix until the dough just comes together. Pour the dough onto a floured cutting board. Gently knead and combine the dough with your hands then pat the dough out flat to about ¾-inch thickness.
- Use a round cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass to cut out biscuit rounds. Put the rounds on an ungreased cookie sheet (I like to line mine with parchment or a silicone mat) and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.