Monday, August 18, 2014

Buttery, Flaky Biscuits Made with Greek Yogurt

We hosted a friend for brunch yesterday morning. This was a very last minute decision, and required some creative cooking since we didn't have that much food on hand! Thankfully our brunch guest brought eggs, queso fresco and spinach to help out with omelet ingredients.

When we were running through our ideas, we realized that we didn't have anything for toast. We were out of sandwich bread, and the idea of frozen english muffins didn't sound very appealing. Running to the store seemed like unnecessary effort, especially since we would have to go back later that day for real grocery shopping. Joey had a flash of genius, and asked me how hard it would be to make biscuits. I checked, and we had almost all of the ingredients we needed. The only thing we were missing was buttermilk, and as before, it seemed silly to go to the store for just the one thing. I looked online, and found a buttermilk substitute using greek yogurt and milk - perfect! I know you can also make it with milk and lemon juice, but since we only had almond milk, I wasn't sure if that would work very well.

The greek yogurt + milk combination was perfect. It got to the exact consistency of buttermilk, and kept the tangy flavor. We always have greek yogurt and almond milk on hand, but rarely have buttermilk. I'm definitely using this substitution again! If you want to make something extra rich, you could use full fat yogurt and/or half and half for part of the liquid. You could also make it less rich, by using fat-free yogurt and water instead of the milk.

I slightly adapted a recipe I've made before, Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. Like I said, I used greek yogurt and almond milk instead of the buttermilk, and then I omitted the cheddar since Joey wanted a plain biscuit. They were absolute perfection - they got really tall, with flaky layers of buttery goodness. Since we didn't use cheese, we could top them with anything.

Recipe: Greek Yogurt Biscuits
Adapted from Shutterbean
Yield: 10-12 biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour + extra for rolling
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (1 tsp if you are using table salt)
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced and kept cold
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/4 cup almond milk
1 egg
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter, and cut in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the butter pieces are no larger than a pea.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the yogurt and milk until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add to the flour/butter mixture, and gently fold everything together. Once it is mostly combined, dump out onto a lightly floured surface. Turn over a few times to incorporate the flour, and then pat it into a rough rectangle. Cut in half (long way) and then in 5-6 rows (short way), for a total of 10 or 12 pieces. The end pieces might not be perfect rectangles.

Carefully transfer to your lined pan. Lightly brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine always take exactly 22 minutes). Enjoy while hot! They are delicious with butter or jam. If you make them larger, you can even use them for mini egg sandwiches.