Monday, July 21, 2014

such biscuit. very crave-satisfying.

I admit to being only human and sometimes I get cravings for things I don't eat anymore. One of the most prominent things I miss is biscuits. But I figured if once in a while I want biscuits, it's better to do something that's at least grain-free and sugar-free, than to just indulge with regular wheat biscuits. So I went on the hunt for a suitable biscuit recipe and have spent the last couple weeks dialing it in.

I'd seen this biscuit recipe floating around the low-carb/paleo/primal-sphere for a while, and the final product looked most appealing of most of the recipes I've seen, so I decided to try it.

My very first batch was a total failure. They looked ok coming out of the pan, but they tasted terrible. This is mostly due to the fact I was out of baking powder, so I substituted with an equivalent amount of baking soda + cream of tartar in proportion (2 parts cream of tarter to 1 part baking soda, according to Chef Google). All that lead to was baking-soda flavored biscuits. They were also exceedingly greasy and I'm not sure why. Maybe some weird reaction with the baking soda and cream of tartar? Either way, into the trash they went..

For the second batch, I actually went to the store and bought some damn baking powder. I followed the recipe exactly, and they were pretty good. They tasted great - not very almondy. They were rather crumbly, though. I think this is partially due to the fact I just put them straight into a muffin tin. Though it was greased, it was still very difficult to remove the biscuits without them falling apart. But even still, they didn't hold up well to attempted applications of butter, or cutting in half, etc.

For the third batch, I consulted my boyfriend (who actually can cook) and together, we reformulated the original recipe into something that held up better and we both enjoyed.

muffin cups would prove to be an integral part of the process
The biggest changes we made were to reduce the amount of baking powder - 2 tbsps is an unnecessarily high amount - and to replace the sour cream with almond milk (slightly less amount, since sour cream is so thick). Additionally, we added in flaxseed meal to give a bit more stability and keep the biscuits from crumbling. Flaxseed meal is like magic glue. And, lastly, this is a small point, but I feel like the amount of butter in the original recipe is a tad high (blasphemy, I know) so I toned that down a bit. We also doubled the whole recipe to make great big batches in one go so as to have biscuits to last a while. 

These biscuits hold up well; they can be cut in half and used for sausage sandwiches or the like and don't crumble. Their texture is actually fairly similar to corn bread, just without the corn flavor of course. I find the almond milk makes them taste slightly more almondy than the version with sour cream, but once you've slathered butter on there you don't notice anymore. 

biscuit sliced in half
The texture inside is moist but not soggy, fluffy, slightly craggy, and very reminiscent of cornbread.

Here's the full, modified, doubled recipe:

"Reminds Me Of Cornbread" Biscuits

makes 24 biscuits in regular-sized muffin tins


3 cups almond flour (I use Anthony's Almonds blanched almond flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
4 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
6 tbsp melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg, put some muffin cups in a muffin tin. Or use a fancy silicon muffin tray, I bet those would work fabulously. Or just grease a regular muffin tin if you're not inept at using them like I am.

2. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in a big bowl, being sure to break up any almond flour clumps.

3. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, and put all wet ingredients in there. Just crack the eggs into the well, dump in the almond milk, and pour in the melted butter. (I like to let the butter cool a bit before putting it in, just to prevent any chance of cooking the eggs with hot butter.)

almond flour seems very forgiving, this is not too exact of a science
4. Mix it all together like crazy. You can't over-mix almond flour like you can wheat flour, so just mix until all the wet stuff is incorporated and there's no obvious egg strings showing.

5. Drop heaping spoonfuls into each muffin well. This should make 24 smaller biscuits, or you can put everything into just 12 wells and they will be bigger and more muffin-y.

I just used a big soup spoon and eyeballed it, but I'd guess there's ~2 tbsp of mix per well
6. Bake for 15-17 minutes. (It needs more time due to the inclusion of flaxseed meal.) When you press on the top of a finished biscuit, it should give slightly, but not feel squishy. If it's squishy it needs more time.

7. Enjoy! 

Carb break-down according to the ingredients used in my recipe (be sure to check your own ingredients, your almond flour or milk may have different carb amounts):

24 total biscuits: 40g net carbs
Per single biscuit: ~2g net carbs (rounded up)


Tips for enjoyment:

sage sausage + slice of cheddar

i missed you, sausage sandwich
Obviously they're great for breakfast. I love sausage sandwiches and it's been like a year and a half since I had one, so getting to eat this was like having a chorus of fluffy, biscuity angels descending onto my tastebuds from on high. I've also tried the biscuits just warm with some butter and sugar-free jam and they're marvelous that way too. 

the sweet variation
For a lark I also tried sweetening a half batch to make dessert biscuits. I just put about 1 cup equivalent of sugar-free sweetener in the mix, as well as a splash of vanilla. When they came out, they reminded me sort of a muffin-poundcake type of texture/flavor, so I cut some in half, topped with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream for a ridiculously delicious and indulgent dessert. The picture above is three biscuits cut in half and if you were less gluttonous than me (or if you are being strict about your carbs - I estimate that whole plate was about 26 carbs) you might share that with someone else. Or if you're just as gluttonous as me, you'd eat it all yourself. Yum. 

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