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. says

    Firstly, the photo with yours and Elena fingers is cute. :) I love having help in the kitchen, but so far, we have to plan carefully, because SOMEHOW everything gets tasted! :)

    Secondly, I’ve been trying to find a whole wheat recipe that still tasted good with the soaking method – I was REALLY, really, disappointed with several that I’ve tried in NT fashion… the dough was always too sticky, even after adding copious amounts of flour. I’ll have to give this one a try. Thanks!

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Meg,

      I know how that is! Elena also wants to taste everything. ;-) This dough will be quite wet and sticky at first, so don’t let that discourage you. ;-) It works great just the way it is!

  2. says

    Looks sooo yummy! I will definitely be trying these, probably tomorrow if I remember to start them soaking tonight! I like that I have all these ingredients on hand, always! Thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    I can’t even tell you how helpful your blog has been for me. I only recently found it and as I’ve only recently discovered Nourishing Traditions in my ventures to eat healthier and only whole foods, I can’t express in words how helpful your blog has been. I’ve passed it on to others as well who I know are beginning this return to organic whole foods the Nourishing Traditions way. Just wanted to pass on a big thank you of encouraging feedback! Please keep it up! You are blessing so many!

    KH: Thanks so much for the sweet comment! That was so encouraging to hear! I am so glad that this site has been helpful to you. :-) And thanks for passing on the word about my blog!

  4. says

    I can’t wait to try these! I’ve made your Irish soda bread twice already, and it’s so yummy.

    KH: Glad to hear the Irish Soda bread has been turning out well for you!

  5. says

    I like the way you cut the biscuits. I always use a biscuit cutter, I never thought of doing it that way. Thanks for the photos. And your baby girls hands make the pictures really sweet.

  6. Jessica O. says

    Kimi,
    Wow…Thanks for the great recipe…..healthy, soaked, & dairy free…..yippee….
    I will try these soon….we have been enjoying our sourdough biscuits here….I too thought our biscuit days were over…..but the sourdough ones are great!. :) I can’t wait to try this regular recipe….
    Jessica O.

  7. says

    Oh, I gotta try these! The soaked grain products are just about the only part of NT that I’m not wild about.

    Wait. Roll it out? What’s that? What is that wooden thing? It looks like an old housewife’s implement for chasing husbands out to mow. I don’t do the whole “pin” thing, never got it to work for me. Do you suppose this would work as a “drop” biscuit?

    KH: I actually made these biscuits as “drop” biscuits the first few times. Just up the amount to 1 cup of liquid. :-)

  8. Kathy says

    Can’t wait to try these, I had a failed attempt at soaked whole wheat dumplings last week. they were awful!!

    By the way are there any crackers that are acceptable to eat? I can’t find any in the stores that look like they would be okay to eat as in real food . I will probably make my own some day soon but I have too many projects growing in my kitchen right now to tackle another one.

    KH: Hi Kathy! It’s always sad to have a cooking disaster, isn’t it? Since I am often having to adjust recipes or start from scratch in making up recipes, we have had to eat our way through many cooking disasters ourselves! Oh my! I do have a few cracker recipes on this site. Check out my recipe index. :-)

  9. Elizabeth says

    I have been reading your blog for several weeks now. My husband sent me the link when your brother-in-law mentioned it on his.
    I have owned NT for several years now, but haven’t done much with it and am interested in learning more.
    Would you have any suggestions for the biscuits using gluten-free flours?
    Thank you!

    KH: I haven’t done a lot of gluten free baking because when I was on a gluten free diet, I was also not using flour, for the most part. Early on, I did make some gluten free millet biscuits that we really enjoyed that are on this site (look at the recipe index). But they are made with dairy, so I haven’t made them for a long time now. :-) You could probably do this recipe with gluten free flours and add some type of binder in it (like guar gum) if it seems too runny.

  10. Kaylin says

    What kind of palm oil do you recommend? I got some at our local Asian market but I haven’t tried using it yet because it is bright red and has a distinctive smell and I’m afraid it might give a distinctive taste to anything I use it in. Any suggestions? I can’t wait to try these biscuits. Thank you!

    KH: I have used Spectrum’s Brand, which is mechanically pressed and white. However, Wilderness Family Natural’s Brand. also sells the red type of palm oil. I have a jar of the red palm oil, but truthfully haven’t figured out how to use it yet! I just need to be brave and try it in something!

  11. says

    I’m making these biscuits today because I’ve been waiting for a good tried and true biscuit recipe to come along. Please explain a bit more about the temperature of the fats. I have coconut oil (solid in my kitchen) and palm shortening which looks like crisco! Do you want the fat to become soft during the soak, kind of like NT’s yogurt dough? I’m not quite understanding the comment: “keep this dough “soaking” above 76 degrees” because my palm oil will stay solid and my coconut oil will become liquid above 76 degrees. I’m about to grind the wheat…….

    KH: See my comment below! Sorry about the confusion. I am trying to keep the fat harder, rather then melting. :-)

  12. Nancy says

    Hi, I love your website. I’ve been reading for a couple of months now, but this is my first post. I would really like to try these out over this weekend. How do you think the recipe would work if I substituted olive oil in place of the coconut/palm oil?

    KH: Hi Nancy! Thanks for the first time comment. :-) The reason I used coconut oil or palm oil was because I was trying to use a fat that would keep solid until it started baking. As it cooks, and melts into the flour, it creates layers in the biscuits that make it so delicious. However, I think it would be possible to make something like a biscuit with olive oil. It just won’t be quite as biscuit like, perhaps. Olive oil also might be a little strong, so use a nice mild one. Let me know if you try it and how it turned out!

  13. Journey End says

    Is there a” print” version? Without the pictures etc.

    KH: At this point, I don’t have any “print” versions for my recipes. But it’s a great idea! Hopefully someday soon I will figure out how to add that feature to this site. Thanks for the suggestions!

  14. Jessica O. says

    I was not/am not sure about the oil comment either…did not understand what you meant, but went ahead & made them up…soaked last night…cooked this am…they were wonderful…we all loved them…..we used coconut oil. Since I didn’t understand the oil comment I just made them w the coconut oil @ room temp…this morning their were little pieces of coconut oil in the dough, but when baked it all worked out great & everything turned out good!
    Thanks for the recipe….
    Jessica O.

    • KimiHarris says

      Hey Everyone! (Especially Judy, Cook 4 Seasons, and Jessica).

      For some reason the comment I posted about being gone for the next 48 hours didn’t post two days ago as I left on a short trip shortly after this was posted! Sorry I was so late answering questions! Yes, the soaking “above” 76 degrees was a typo! I added that part in rather hastily right before we left as I was trying to make things clear. Oops! Instead I just confused you all! Sorry! It should read “under” 76 degrees. I have fixed it now. Thank you for asking! Jessica, I am so glad that your recipe turned out! Hurrah! You will probably noticed in my photos that there is also little bits of coconut oil in the dough, but it doesn’t seem to effect the overall taste in the end!

  15. Lisa says

    Hi Kimi–
    I’ve been following your site for a few months, now. I am on the Maker’s Diet to correct some health issues, so was happy to find your blog with all the good recipes! I’m currently not eating anything with flour, however I’m always on the lookout for good soaked-grain recipes for my family. I made these biscuits last night, and they were amazing! Rarely have I made a whole grain biscuit recipe that comes out tasting good, and never have they been like these! (I had to sneak a bite.) They were even flaky! (I used buttermilk for soaking, and a combination of butter and olive oil.) Thank you so much for posting–such an encouragement!

  16. says

    Aha! The new clarification explains why my batch turned out the way they did! I actually set the dough on the oven while it was heating so the coconut oil would melt! :) Oh well, we at them anyway. I’m getting ready to give them another try.
    The reason I used the coconut oil instead of my palm oil is because it makes everything turn out orange! I was running out of coconut oil a couple of weeks ago and had to use it in a few recipes. It looked like I was making everything pumpkin! Things even tasted a little “pumpkin-y” to me just because they looked like it. However, my husband always says the “power of suggestion” is more powerful for me than it is for the average person! :) All that to say, I think the palm oil would be good to use in some sweet potato biscuits or pumpkin muffins! That would just add to the festivity of it! I made a coffee cake with it that turned out really light and moist!

    KH: Oh my! I am glad that I was able to clear up the confusion with the melting point etc. So what happened when you melted the coconut oil in the dough? Did it turn out funky?
    The palm oil I used was the white kind, not the red. I still need to figure out how to use my red kind. It does have a more pronounced taste, doesn’t it!

  17. Dana says

    This recipe looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. I am wondering though, why can’t the salt be mixed in the dough during the soaking time? It seems that it would be easier to only have to mix in the leavening…I have a soaked scone recipe that, although it says to add salt and baking soda after soaking time, I have put the salt in before this and they came out fine. Does the salt effect the health benefits of soaking in some way?

    Thanks!!

    KH: That’s a great question. Salt does take away some of the benefits of soaking as it slows the process down of neutralizing the phytic acid. That’s why I add it in later. The only time I don’t worry about it is in sourdough bread. Sourdough starter is so powerful, it can work well even with salt added. :-)

  18. says

    The second attempt was much more successful. The first ones just didn’t rise at all. They were little hockey puck biscuits! They were tasty hockey pucks and they got eaten, but the second ones were better. I am quite happy to have a dairy-free biscuit now. I was just getting ready to try to convert my buttermilk biscuits recipe to dairy free. Thanks! Now maybe I will attempt to make the recipe into sweet potato biscuits and use my red palm oil! :)
    The red palm oil doesn’t seem to have too strong of a flavor. I made some spelt/wheat bread with it and didn’t have any problem with it other than it made the bread a little orange. It was a slightly different flavor but not that strong. The whole loaf got eaten (and my husband is rather picky!).

  19. Nicki O'Donovan says

    I have just made these for lunch today and they were DELICIOUS! Wow…my family gobbled them up! Thank you once again for a fantastic reciepe!

  20. t says

    Hi! Just a quick question. The recipe calls for lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. The recipe omits when you are supposed to add it, or am I misreading it? From what I have been doing I guess it should be part of the soaking of the grain with the oil to initiate the whole reason why we soak in the first place.

    KH: Thanks for pointing that out! It’s fixed now. :-)

  21. Megan says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have tried to make “healthy” biscuits many times with out sucess. This one really worked! We are not dairy free so I did use raw milk. They were wonderful!

  22. Lisa says

    Thank you for this blog!!! We have recently (in the last 6 months) started eating based on the Weston Price philosophy. We have been able to find a great farmer and are making the most of their dairy products and grass fed meats. I am so glad to have found your blog which is what I like to think of as Nourishing Traditions with a dairy free twist. I don’t tolerate dairy as well as the rest of my family. This biscuit recipe looks like another winner and I can’t wait to try it. I’ve tried several of your recipes and they have all turned out beautifully! Thanks again!

  23. Vika says

    I tried this recipe yesterday. I used yogurt (we eat dairy) and water. I actually needed to add more water than called for, about 1 cup, to get the right moistness of the dough. I thought the biscuits were pretty good, my husband thought they were terrific! I’ve actually enjoyed the flavor and texture more today, which is nice as I usually find biscuits a little too dry on the second day. Thanks for the recipe, I think it’s a keeper!

    KH: Thanks for sharing! It’s helpful to hear how it worked for others. :-) Glad they turned out for you.

  24. says

    I made these for our tea party tonight. We had been craving scones. I cut butter into the flour and soaked it all in kefir (since we eat dairy). I didn’t have any trouble folding in the leavening agents and then after the 15 “kneads”, I thought to add currants so I kneaded a few more times. These are fantastic. I had not written down the temp. and time of baking, so I did 400 degrees for 15 minutes and loved them.

    I could not ever want white flour scones again. These are so light and fluffy and the bitterness of the whole wheat is gone. Thank you for working this out.

  25. Kimberly says

    Fabulous! We just had these for lunch drizzled with raw honey with a chard and tuna salad. Incorporating soaked grains into our diet is my last big step on the road to NT nirvana. ;)
    I tried a bread recipe calling for soaked flour and it was awful! Dense, chewy and WAY too sour.
    These biscuits are so yummy, though.
    I’m also happy to see they are dairy free. My four year old was diagnosed with a dairy allergy when she was small. We thought raw milk had solved that problem, but her eczema is getting pretty bad and my two year old has digestive problems. We are hoping a dairy free diet will work for us.

  26. Susanna says

    We were so busy making batch after batch of these that I forgot to post and thank you for yet another great recipe!!! I used 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup water and it worked very well. I love the idea of cutting them into squares, and you’re right – you don’t even have to flour the counter! Besides being simple and soaked, they’re also the most delicious biscuits we’ve ever had. And when we happened to have one or two left over, they still tasted good the next day (not something biscuits are known for.) It’s the only recipe i’ll use now. Thanks so much!!

  27. Gina says

    I’m so glad I came across your site…it’s wonderful (this is my 1st post)! Can’t wait to try this recipe, and wish I would have come across it sooner! I’m fairly new to NT, and so excited about all the changes we’re making! I’ve made 2 different whole wheat biscuit recipes lately, and both tasted good, but were like little bricks! Is there anywhere on your sight that I might find info on incorporating NT, but with the ability to lose, rather than gain weight? I just started recently reading Eat Fat,Lose Fat, but since starting to add in healthy fats and coconut oil, have gained a couple pounds(which is making me nervous about implementing NT), and am thinking I need to cut the carbs even more. I am now grinding our own grains, and making our own bread, and soaking, etc., but probably need to limit these wonderful treats even more than I have been doing. Thank you, Kimi, for any input or direction to another area of your site, etc., and again, for all you do thru your site!

  28. Kim says

    Okay, I made these for the second time this morning. And I had a 2nd flop – not a complete flop but they just didn’t rise at all. Does anyone have a good method for baking these at high altitude? I tried adding 2 1/2 tbsp of flour, increasing the liquids slightly and decreasing the baking soda and powder by 1/4 with a slightly better rise but not significant. The flavor is good, but they’re just not fluffy…

    Thanks!

    • Symphoyn says

      Same thing happened to me. Use this instead, do the same exact thing bake at 400 degrees for 10 -12 miniutes

  29. says

    Hi all

    These are pretty much scones which are always yummy! We make ours in a similar way with spelt wholmeal flour. I sometimes use kefir to leaven flour bakes by soaking it overnight. You can use grape keifir if you are dairy free (which I am not). That means you have soaked your grains but you don’t need baking soda.
    My recipe would be: spelt flour, oil mixed in or butter rubbed in, then milk or grape kefir to moisten and for the soaking period. In the morning add a little cane sugar or honey if I want a sweetish scone, or not if I don’t. You can simply press the dough out on a board if you don’t want to roll it. Cut it into squares or use a cutter to get rounds, and bake in moderate oven for around 13 mins. I also do drop scones (pancakes) using spelt flour soaked in kefir, egg and a little sugar, cooked on a griddle.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Lucy

  30. Kelli says

    This is what you use the red palm oil for, POPCORN! It tastes the best made this way, makes the popcorn a yellowy color, which makes you think you are eating butter. I’ve heard it has the same health benefits of coconut oil? My friend uses palm oil for savory recipes and coconut oil for sweet recipes. Our family loves popcorn, and I bought a gallon (from Wilderness Family Naurals) just for this purpose. I also use it when cooking beans.
    Just found your site, and want to read every page!
    Kelli

  31. ing says

    Your recipes are wonderful, thank you for sharing them. I’ve read your blog for over a year and really enjoy the experimenting you do, that I’m not particularly good at. We eat dairy and are trying to eat locally, so I used butter instead of coconut oil and homemade buttermilk instead of the tonic. As you suggested, it took much more liquid this way, I think I used 1C buttermilk and more than a cup of water. I was concerned they were too wet, but they turned out fine. They are flaky, buttery and have an amazing bottom crust. Next time I will try making them just a bit wetter and using a scoop for drop biscuits, or just tearing off pieces, and see how that turns out. Thanks again!

  32. says

    Made these today – absolutely delicious. My husband actually looked surprised and said, “Mmmm” when he tasted one, so I know they are really good! :) I used butter b/c I’m out of coconut oil – can’t wait to try it with the CO. Thanks for another great recipe, Kimi.

    • KimiHarris says

      Amanda,

      Haha, that’s great. I am glad that they turned out well. I am sure they would be fantastic with butter in it!

  33. says

    LOVE THIS RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!! I used buttermilk instead of coconut milk, and they turned out wonderful. I was really missing biscuits since switching to whole wheat and other whole grains. I am a southern girl (texas) and this really hits the spot. My kids also love them! My daughter (2) ate three this morning and my son (1) at two. I of course could only eat one before getting full…I don’t know how they do it.

  34. Kay says

    I just tried these, kimi! It turned out great. I soaked the flour for 24 hrs, instead of 8. Next time, I might do 8 to reduce the sourness a bit. I also used butter instead of coconut oil and buttermilk instead of coconut water.

    Thank you!

  35. Claire says

    Pam oil plantations are the main reason why Orangutans are highly endangered. Please try to avoid buying products labled with ‘palm oil’ or sometimes even ‘vegetable oil’. Do what you can to save the orangutans.
    Claire, aged 11

  36. Rachael says

    This was my first time soaking biscuits, and I had wonderful results! Instead of coconut milk, I used raw milk (so much for the “dairy free” part….whoops!). Also, I used coconut oil. This is such a versatile biscuit–it could be served at breakfast, brunch, or dinner! I froze most of them so that I could serve them with a Father’s Day breakfast. Have you ever frozen them, and if so, how did that go? Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  37. Kim says

    Just had to share – I used this technique to make some savory cheddar and chive scones (high altitude, no less!). They came out great and I’m so excited that I’m able to tweak conventional recipes to make them nourishing; it’s a whole new world!

    Thanks again for your blog, it’s been so helpful for me!

  38. says

    Thanks for a great recipe. My husband had 3 for breakfast this morning and they are almost gone. I bake a lot, but had never used a recipe that had you soak the flour. This was very easy and delicious. (I did substitute olive oil, since I haven’t found coconut oil in our town. Shipping from the US is expensive right now.)

  39. says

    I have to say, I adore your blog! Such great info–and I am definitely putting these biscuits on the ‘must try’ list!
    Thanks!

  40. says

    I just made these for breakfast – they turned out great! I’m wondering how you store them – plastic wrap, air tight container?

  41. Sara says

    Yum! I made these without soaking tonight (last-minute bread need—-will try them soaked next time), and used coconut oil and the coconut tonic with my fresh-ground flour. I’m having a hard time leaving them on the cooling racks, waiting for my husband to get home for dinner….I might just have to deny that they ever existed! Too bad the kids helped, and would rat me out. Thanks for the lovely recipe.

  42. Shobana says

    Hi,
    I love this recipe of yours and I’m going to be trying it out soon.
    I live in India and coconut oil or palm oil don’t stay hard in room temperature. How do you recommend I work this out.
    Cheers!
    Shobana

  43. SYMPHONY says

    These are great, but they come out better if you don’t leave it over night, there is no need for the dough to rise since there is no yeast.

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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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