Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits (dairy free, soaked, vegan)

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These biscuits have a wonderful light texture from the soaking period and are nice and rich even though they are whole wheat. We enjoy them with eggs, or with hearty soups and stews and baked beans. I love how easy these are to make too! One morning, I was able to finish these up in 15 minutes (and that’s with cooking time).

I have always loved biscuits, but I thought my biscuit days were over when I learned about the soaking method that Sally Fallon outlines in Nourishing Traditions-at least biscuits like I was used too.  Then when I took dairy out of my diet, it seemed like the final nail was being hammered into my biscuit coffin.

Not so!

I am very excited to say that these biscuits are both dairy free and soaked and are absolutely delicious. We should know because have eaten ourselves through many batches the last few weeks. My husband complains if I make them during the day because baby and I eat too many of them and he doesn’t get his fair share!

But you wouldn’t have to make these dairy free, you could definitely use buttermilk and butter for a more traditional and yummy biscuit goodness. Since buttermilk is thicker, you will need to use more then the liquid specified below.

You will notice Elena, my two year old’s arms and fingers in the following photos. She likes to help with this project, as it’s fun to make!

Fluffy, Whole Wheat Biscuits
Makes 20 small biscuits
I have used both palm oil and coconut oil with great results. The coconut oil gives a sweetness to the biscuits that is very nice, the palm oil is more neutral. But beware, coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature, so keep this dough “soaking” under 76 degrees (at which point it will melt). Otherwise, you should use palm oil which melts at 85 degrees. My house was between 65 to 70 degrees when I was testing this recipe.

    2 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour (you could substitute other flours for part of the flour amount too).
    6 tablespoons palm oil or coconut oil
    3/4 cup of coconut milk tonic, other dairy free milk or water (last time I made it with just water and it was very good! Just make it a scant 3/4 of a cup when using water.)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon salt

1-The night before, measure the flour into a medium size bowl. Using a pastry cutter, or a fork and knife with a cutting motion, cut in the palm oil or coconut oil into the flour. When the oil is the size of peas or smaller, you are done. Add the coconut milk tonic/water and lemon juice/vinegar, and mix in until just combined. Leave overnight at room temperature, well covered. This mixture will be wetter then your average biscuit recipe. This is so we can more easily mix in the salt and rising agents the next day.

2-The next morning, place the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 450. Press down the dough a bit right in the bowl.ng_biscuit1 Sprinkle the baking soda, baking power and salt on top of the dough,

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then fold it in half, top to bottom

ng_biscuit31 and press down firmly

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Fold in half again from the side, and press down firmly again.

ng_biscuit6 Starting at the top, repeat this process until you have folded the dough about 10-15 times (do so until you feel assured that the rising agents and salt have been well mixed in).

3-Now it’s ready to roll it out!

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I found that because the folding process develops the gluten a bit, I didn’t need to use any flour. But if you need to, feel free to use some white flour or arrowroot flour when you roll this out. Place on a clean surface, and roll out into a rectangle.ng_biscuit8 It should be about 1/2 an inch thick.

4-You can use biscuit cutters to get nice round biscuits, but I like to simply cut it into squares as there is no waste this way. A pizza cutter works great here. ng_biscuit9 I cut them into small pieces, so I get 20 pieces. If you wanted to make bigger biscuits I recommend that you lower the temperature to 425 degrees and cook for a bit longer .

5-Place on an un-greased cookie sheet or jellyroll pan and pop it in your preheated oven.ng_biscuit10 Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the top and bottom is lightly browned and the middle is cooked all the way through. Remove to cooling racks when done.

Biscuits are best warm, but we certainly enjoy them cold too!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. SYMPHONY says

    I’m in live with these biscuits kimi, there great for the sugar free challenge, because most packaged whole grain breads have sugar so thnx sooooooooo much!
    xoxo

  2. Rachel says

    Great, will have to make these! We call these scones in New Zealand, and what we call biscuits are what you call cookies.

  3. Judy @ Judys Traditional Cooking says

    Just got these out of the oven and they are fabulous. I’ve made these about 10 times now and they work out very well. I’ve learned to chill the dough after the soak which helps make a laminated dough. I use a rolling pin and the cold butter layers nicely. I do use dairy when I make these. What a great recipe.

  4. mom23 says

    Have you tried making them with sprouted flour?
    I have some Shiloh Farms sprouted spelt… was going to try…
    Thanks,
    Tina

  5. says

    Hi Kimi,
    I finally made these last night – with raw milk (didn’t have any buttermilk) and vinegar. They were AWESOME!! :)
    I’ve the Nourishing Traditions book but the soaking thing has always seemed like too much work. It wasn’t bad at all.
    Thanks for sharing.
    OM

  6. Michele says

    This was my first attempt at soaking grains and it worked out great. I love the pictures added with the recipe, they really helped a lot. The biscuits didn’t rise as much as I thought they would, maybe I rolled the dough out to thin, or maybe it’s because I didn’t use fresh milled flour. I will make these again.

  7. Amy says

    Made these today, and WOW! Thank you, thank you! They are the best whole wheat biscuits I’ve ever made – light & moist. I made mine with coconut milk/oil (until I get some more lard made up), and made them in my Cuisinart food processor. The dough was pretty moist this morning & I had to add more flour, but next time I won’t leave the dough next to the pot of simmering water (that we use to humidify the house). Thanks again! :D

  8. callmegrace says

    These were great! What a lovely breakfast.

    I used ghee, and next time I make them I’m going to try using kefir and palm oil.

    Thanks!
    gracie

  9. Mel says

    Hi, I tried this recipe last night/this morning, and the biscuits did not rise. They also were still raw in the center after 10 minutes, despite being quite thin. I used bread flour instead of pastry flour–could that be the problem? I used rice milk and cider vinegar for the soak. And I used one cup unbleached white bread flour and the rest was wheat bread flour.

  10. Mel says

    I don’t think so…I live in the eastern half of NC. I read that bread flour contains a lot more protein, so I wondered whether that might just not be good for biscuits… The dough was also pretty dry…I did forget to cut the butter in before pouring in the liquid, so maybe that caused a problem too. But the dough seemed okay when I rolled it out…a bit tough maybe. I dunno. I’ll give it another try…maybe I worked the dough too much or something…

  11. levi egwu says

    hi dear,
    please i am diabetic, and i do eat MCVITIES diagestive wheat biscuites.
    please am i safe eating the biscuites ? please urgent reply

    Regards,
    levi

  12. Lori says

    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I am extremely new to soaking grains, but I made these, and they are wonderful!! I used Spelt, and organic yogurt as my acid add in, and I was so pleasantly surprised. Even my picky, picky, “won’t eat anything” daughter said they were good!! Thank you again! This is a keeper!!! (they turned out better than any “regular” white flour biscuits I’ve ever made!)

  13. Amy says

    Wow – I was really skeptical that all whole-wheat biscuits would be good. What a surprise when they are absolutely awesome! Even my white bread husband loves them! Here’s a question, though. After soaking my flour, it has dark patches on it that almost look like they are moldy/mildewy or something. I’ve had this happen with my muffins (using different types of flour), as well. I don’t want to be cultivating aflatoxin or anything! Any ideas?

    • KimiHarris says

      Hey Amy,

      I wouldn’t eat anything that looks like it’s moldy, however it’s probably just discolored. I often find that happens when soaking overnight. Any dough that you leave moist for a length of time can start to discolor a bit. :-)

  14. says

    Hi Kimi,
    Made these a few days ago and they are really good; I am at high altitude as well and they didn’t get quite as high as your picture but they still rose…still figuring out this whole baking-at-high-altitude thing. Anyways, just had two questions for you; is it okay to soak these longer than overnight? With my work schedule it’s easier to make this if they can soak for about 24 hours. My second question is, if you make these with dairy is it still okay to leave them out at room temperature while soaking? I’m assuming you are not supposed to put soaking stuff in the fridge for some reason.

    Thank you!
    -Katie

  15. says

    This was my first time soaking-it was so easy :)

    So I made these with buttermilk….is that okay to let them sit out overnight? They tasted good. I want to convert my favorite muffin recipe to a soaked grain recipe-any tips for me?

    BTW-I used 1 3/4 cup buttermilk in the recipe above and it worked perfect. It took that much to get the flour moist.

    Jana

  16. Linda says

    Hi

    I would like to try these, but I was wondering if you can use any other type of oil? My daughter is peanut and tree nut allergic and since coconut is questionable for her I don’t want to use it.

    Thanks
    Linda

    • Doug says

      I tried them using water for liquid and about 2 tablespoons of butter for oil and raw apple cider vinegar. I also doubled the baking soda and did not use baking powder. I rolled them out a little thick so I cooked at 425F for about 10-12 minutes. They were great!

      Thanks,
      Doug

  17. Colleen says

    I want to make these for taking on a trip but want to make them ahead of time. Can I make them and then freeze them??

  18. Karen says

    I thought these would be good, but they were even better than expected. I did use buttermilk! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Whitney says

    Hey! I’m new to all of this, but so far, I’m very interested and loving it. I want to try soaking my flour like you do. What kind of coconut oil do you use?
    Thanks!

  20. A says

    Kimi, I so often read of using sprouted flour. To make my own, would I sprout whole grains, dehydrate, then grind them? Thanks, A

  21. says

    I’m new to soaking grains but have been making my whole wheat biscuits with coconut milk and coconut oil. They turn out really well. Can I soak the grain in the plain coconut milk? I’ve also recently discoverd cultured coconut milk, could I soak the grain in that? Thank you! Maury

  22. says

    Thank you, Kimi, this helps me a lot! I have recently gone to a dairy-free & soy-free way of eating and I am relearning how to make all my favorites. I made my first Pumpkin Pie w/o a crust this past weekend and it was delicious! :)

  23. Cristy says

    Made these last night/this morning with 6oz butter, about a cup and a half of water (i needed more!) and a dollop of yogurt (in place of buttermilk’s cultures). OMG DELICIOUS!!! They were soft and fluffy and perfect. Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  24. Jude says

    I will say first that I adore these biscuits. Simply fabulous; I inhale them!

    Another poster’s comment that these are also known as “scones” inspired me. I tried making them more like the sweet scones you get at Starbucks. I tried adding some cinnamon and stevia. Results: mediocre.

    Has anyone else tried making them sweet? Anyone tried adding currants or cranberries?

  25. Rachel Wisdom says

    Has anyone ever tried freezing these unbaked to bake later? Can they be baked from the frozen state? We love them, but I make them far less often than I would because I can’t seem to plan ahead!

  26. Christine says

    These are fabulous! I can’t believe how fluffy and flakey they are – you can keep peeling and eating the layers. Wish I could post a photo!

    I used water for the liquid and chose the raw apple cider vinegar. Next time I will shoot for 9 minutes, instead of 10.

  27. Lisa says

    I did it! So encouraging! I have to confess I’ve been learning about soaking grains for a while – but it seems intimidating. This is the first recipe I’ve tried and it WORKED!!! Thanks so much. I think they will make great snacks for my little ones too – with hummus or nut butter!

  28. Ruth says

    cook these biscuits twice and they are really good. I substituted 1/4 cup flax seed meal,
    1/4 cup wheat bran meal and 2 cups whole wheat flour. I did not soak overnight because my coconut oil is liquidfy. We like biscuits , so this was a great recipe for a healthy biscuit.
    Thanks so much, will be making quite often.
    Ruth

  29. Shara says

    Hey! I just made these today for the first time. The flavor is great, and they fluffed up very nicely and look beautiful. Golden brown! However, I had the same problem w/ these biscuits as with every other soaked recipe I’ve tried, the outside is perfect, but the inside is undone. Other recipes I’ve turned the temp down and cooked them longer, but the same thing happens. With these biscuits, about halfway thru I just split them in half and cooked them that way, so that the inside would get done. Any suggestions?

  30. thitayakorn pakavechkul says

    I use ghee, spelt flour, organic oat bran, raisin, mutcha green tea, soymilk( sogood ,lyte) in making healthy biscuit. It is very good.The next time,i will use the coconut oil.

  31. Kristie says

    Do you use palm oil or palm shortening? I am interested in palm shortening for frying also. I am wondering if it is really healthy like coconut oil.
    PS- I will be trying this recipe soon with spelt flour. :)

  32. Sarah says

    Hello, hello!

    I was so excited when my biscuit-craving fueled Google search led me to this lovely-looking recipe. I’m not new to baking, but I am new to this irritatingly-restricted diet of vegan, only stevia for sweetener, low-glycemic, and avoiding numerous food allergies. All of my recipes have come out waterlogged and inedible. Heartbreaking, really.

    Carefully, I began on this recipe. Measured my flour on a tared kitchen scale (which is likely my downfall) to 20 ounces. I cut in the shortening, but it looked seriously dry. Pressing on, in hopes the nut milk addition would loosen it up a bit, I added my liquids. Still very dry. Nervous to add any more liquid-liquid, I cut in 1 more tablespoon of oil.

    I couldn’t see your pictures well (made it from looking at the recipe on my phone), so I didn’t see how wet the dough was *supposed* to be.

    Now I’ve got a large amount of something resembling pie crust resting overnight downstairs and I have no idea what to do. Is it even possible to salvage the recipe by adding more liquid this late in the stage? I’m so bummed, I had even made strawberry jam from scratch just for these biscuits :(

    • Heidi says

      Mine were also very dry using the exact measurements but using raw milk as my liquid, but I let them soak anyway. This morning, I added enough milk to create a wet dough (warmed slightly so as not to cause the palm shortening to harden), and they rolled out and baked beautifully. They rose a little but not as much as I would have liked.

      Because they tasted so good and because they’re so easy to make, I will try them again, adding a little more palm shortening and raw milk to get the right consistency. I may also add a pinch more baking powder to see if that helps them fluff a bit more.

      • KimiHarris says

        Hey Heidi!

        Sorry that these didn’t rise very much for you! As a side note, the method/recipe I am using for biscuits here are supposed to make a dry dough. It is possible that if it got too wet, it may have prevented them from rising as much.

  33. Vivien says

    The biscuits have great. The only thing is I find them a bit salty. Could it be the baking soda or powder (besides the salt) may be a bit on the higher side? If I reduce either, would I get very flat biscuits?

  34. Val says

    I tried the recipe today – the biscuits came out great. It took me only 15 minutes overall, and I substituted coconut oil for grape seed oil.

  35. April says

    Hello,
    I was wondering if it is possible to substitute whole eikorn flour or whole spelt flour in this recipe? I know both have a lower gluten content than lower wheat so I’m a bit concerned. Thanks! :)

    • KimiHarris says

      Definitely! Go for it, and let us know how it turns out. I am sure that through the years I’ve at least used spelt if not other options. I am even having good luck making this gluten-free right now. :-)

  36. Love says

    I also am gluten free and these biscuits look so good they are tempting me to want to cheat and make them. I would
    love to know your subs for GF.
    I love the little helping hands. So sweet.

  37. Ellen says

    The number of hours isn’t listed here, but I am assuming you could set them soaking in the morning and make them fresh for dinner? How long of a soak is required?

    They look amazing! I’m pretty good with sourdough, but otherwise don’t soak… this would be a great intro!

  38. Cassandra says

    Just found this while looking for recipes. Wanted you to know your remark at the end of the post “Biscuits are best warm” made me smile. It’s so simple and profound. :) There’s some Zen in that.

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  1. [...] them. I rolled these out on the baking pans as the dough is a bit fragile. One batch of soaked biscuit dough (start the night before). about 3 tomatoes, top quality (and never refrigerate) Extra Virgin olive [...]

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