Whole Grain Biscuits + Strawberry Shortcakes (Refined Sugar-free)

May 10, 2015

Happy mother's day! I hope you were so nice to a mama today. It's funny, because the founder of mother's day (in the US, at least) didn't really like what the holiday became. We tend to buy a lot of things for our mothers on this day, and we don't have to. I bet your mom would rather have a hug n kiss than a hallmark card or knickknack. Buy less, make more! Time is the most valuable thing you can give. Even Graham called his mom today! I don't know how, since he doesn't have a phone on tour (do payphones still exist?). Anyway, call your mom. She likes you. I like you too.

My mom and sister came over earlier for brunch, and strawberry shortcakes are one of mama's favourites. These little guys use a pretty big hit of dairy, but they're still whole grain. I haven't figured out biscuits without butter yet, but not for lack of trying. There have been many vegan biscuit failures over the past few months. Still, the butter has been cut down a lot in this recipe. You can use dairy milk instead of nut milk if you wanna. Or go crazy and use cream! Ooh, baby. These are healthy enough that you can eat them for breakfast, but they make a pretty killer dessert too.

Don't be intimidated by biscuits/scones/other pastries. They're really not hard to make if you keep the following rules in mind:
1. Keep everything as cold as possible. Cold flour, cold fat, cold liquid. You can even chill your bowl and utensils.
2. Don't use your hands, because they're warm. You're a human, not a lizard, damn it!
3. Try not to overwork it. The whole point of pastry is the little pockets of butter that make it flaky and gorgeous. If you overwork it, they will disappear and you will have a very dense dessert.
Three rules to perfect pastries.

Strawberries are not yet in season here yet, but I got some lovely organic berries at the supermarket. I know they're available locally in other places, so if you can get some, do it! My grandmother has been chowing down on German strawberries. My rhubarb is just peeking out of the ground now, and we had frost last night. Manitoba! I did see this cute little mallard a couple days ago though.

Feel free to change up the types of flour you use. White whole wheat, kamut, sprouted spelt, and light spelt have all worked very well in this recipe.

Makes ~6-8 biscuits

2 1/4 cups light spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup nut milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
White of one egg, lightly beaten

If you have a food processor, blitz all the dry ingredients in it until fully combined. Cut the butter into small pieces, add to the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is incorporated and about the size of peas. Add the ACV to the milk, then pour it into the food processor while on low. Blend until just combined. It will start to come together quickly.

If you do not have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture in a large bowl. Try to work quickly to keep it from warming up to much. Again, you're looking for pea sized pieces of butter. Add the milk and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Gently press the dough together with your hands and form a disk. Flour a work surface and a rolling pin, and roll the dough out to about 1.5 inches/4 cm thick. Using a round cookie cutter, a jar lid, or a glass, cut the dough into rounds. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Stick the biscuits in the fridge for a few minutes while your oven heats up.

Heat the oven to 425F/220C. When it's ready, take the biscuits out of the fridge and brush them with the egg white. Bake for 8-11 minutes, depending on the size you make them. They're ready when the tops are golden. Cool fully on a rack if you're making shortcakes, but otherwise eat them warm.

For the shortcakes:
2 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon honey (raw if you can get it)
500 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the lemon juice and honey with a fork. Add the strawberries to the bowl and gently mix. This will macerate the berries. They only need to sit for a few minutes for this recipe, but if your berries suck the big one, let them macerate for a little longer. Whip the cream with the syrup until soft peaks form. Serve whipped cream and berries together on the biscuits for kick-ass whole grain and refined sugar free (& low sugar in general) strawberry shortcakes.

P.S. I love seeing your creations! Show me on instagram by using the tag #occasionallyeggs :)
2 comments on "Whole Grain Biscuits + Strawberry Shortcakes (Refined Sugar-free)"
  1. So excited to see spelt in your recipe, Alexandra! I've got a bag of it in my pantry, and I've only used about 1/2 a cup - being a newby to spelt, I'm not sure how it works in baked goods. These biscuits look fabulous! I'm still waiting too, for strawberries to ripen here. I finally bought a flat of organic from my grocery.. they're not as fresh as local, but hey, I'll take em! Thank you for this!

    1. I love spelt! It's replaced whole wheat pastry flour in just about all of my recipes. Sprouted whole spelt flour will replace white whole wheat pretty seamlessly, and it tastes awesome. Organic berries are definitely second best to local :) Thanks, Traci!