Recreate southern style buttermilk biscuits using kefir and cream.
Founding a site with “healthy” in the name turns out to be a lot more complicated than you’d realize.
I guess it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Using the word “healthy” to market a food or product isn’t exactly straightforward either. I knew when I founded HealthyAperture there would be times where a recipe would pop up for review and my team would have to give some extra thought to whether or not it made sense to include on the site. Even now, we occasionally get queries from bloggers who've had their posts declined for "nutrition" and as a team, we'll revisit whether or not we made the right call.
But the longer I cook for a family of two growing boys and a husband with food sensitivities, reclaim my own personal cooking passions and explore the intersection between healthy foods and a healthy relationship with food, the more I embrace that there truly is no one-size-fits-all “healthy” recipe.
You clicked into this post knowing that there were biscuits to be shared today. You may have expected them to be gluten free, grain free, low fat, low carbohydrate, high protein, whole grain, high fiber, paleo or any of another whole list of categories common on a “healthy” recipe website.
But they’re not.
They’re just biscuits -- warm, fluffy, soft, Southern-style biscuits -- the kind of biscuits little girls and boys grow up with down South, slathered in butter and topped with your grandmother’s summer preserves or local honey. The kind of biscuits I was never making for my own kids, but had enjoyed nearly every weekend as a child myself. I decided a few months ago by not making biscuits for my boys, I was withholding a piece of who I was as a woman who loves to bake and preventing them from ever knowing the taste of the kinds of recipes my family made for me.
When I was growing up, both sets of my grandparents had a fresh batch of biscuits on hand about as often as a freshly brewed pot of coffee. On my mom’s side, my Papaw Jennings was the biscuit maker in the family. Best I recall, his were mixed in a melamine bowl that had this weird dotted 70s color pattern and were always baked on a sheet pan. I don’t recall what kind of bowl my Mawmaw Ween (my dad’s mom) mixed her biscuits in, but I do remember them always being baked in a cast-iron skillet… the way I prefer to make mine today… and I remember that down at her house you never wasted a batch of biscuits. They could easily end up in a pan of dressing at the holidays (or stuffing as some of you like to call it), but always the next morning if there were any left from the day before, she would cut them open, smear on a little butter and give them a good toasting (this was before she adopted a 90's fat phobia, sadly.) I suspect that whole butter-toasting thing was the way my grandfather (Buddy) liked them… at Mawmaw’s house, most things were done because Buddy liked them done a certain way. My boys share that strong-willed and not-afraid-to-tell-you-about-it quality. I wish my grandfathers and my Mawmaw Ween had known my boys and in turn, my boys known them. Biscuits are a small thing to bridge two generations, but they're what I've got.
Just days before Easter there’s no shortage of articles online to help you enjoy a “healthy” holiday. Our homepage is full of good-for-you choices to click through, and I hope you will! But these biscuits? Well, I’m not going to tell you they will cure cancer, prevent heart disease or even make you drop 5 pounds. But I will tell you that they will be a bright spot to wake up to on Easter morning or any Sunday morning for that matter. And that’s the kind of healthy that’s good for the soul.
Happy Easter to you all.
Recipe Note: We often have buttermilk on hand for pancakes, but I've found nowadays kefir is actually more commonly found in the kitchens of my friends and colleagues. If you have buttermilk, by all means use it. Either will give you that sweet tang that's characteristically good of a buttermilk biscuit. It's also worth noting that very likely, my grandparent's biscuits were made with either lard, butter, shortening or a combo thereof. I discovered years ago while in the test kitchen for Southern Living cookbooks that simply using heavy cream eliminates the need to "cut in" the butter and yields a terribly tender biscuit. I'm all for preserving my grandparent's biscuit heritage, but I like to do it with the quick & easy approach that's my own.
Recreate southern style buttermilk biscuits using kefir and cream in this recipe by @ReganJonesRD. Tweet this
Kefir Cream Biscuits
Makes 7 to 8 biscuits
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup whole milk kefir
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add kefir and cream, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Roll or pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place biscuits in a greased cast iron skillet or lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.