Baking powder biscuits are one of my favourite brunch items. I have baked many varieties. People may think they are an indulgence due to a main component being butter. When you do the math, it's less than 1 tablespoon per biscuit, about 100 calories. The biscuits themselves are just a bit over 200 calories.
Fat is fat is fat. If you don't want to use butter, and the recipe calls for a melted fat, you can always switch up the butter for perhaps avocado, olive, or any other healthful oil that suits your fancy. The biscuit won't taste much difference. It will still have that home baked homey goodness.
The basic composition of a biscuit is any type of flour, a leavening agent or two like baking powder and/or yeast, add some kind of moisture like buttermilk, dairy free milk, pumpkin puree...throw in a bit of salt or spice, maybe a little kind of sugar like brown or raw...you got yourself some tasty biscuits! I switch up the flours to make it less white. Last time I made these I put in an equal amount of oat bran in exchange for half the white flour. To be honest, it was delicious, but it's not the flavour expected from a traditional baking powder biscuit.
Here's the big thing. The method of incorporating said ingredients. Now that's where you can make or break a biscuit. I am sharing a recipe, adapted from Cook's illustrated that just might rock your biscuit baking world. First off, this is a drop biscuit. This particular recipe makes for a tender, kind of fluffy texture, while preserving the crispy outside we enjoy about biscuits. Wait for it...here's the secret technique. You melt the butter and then add it to cold milk and let it solidify to a slushy piecy mess. Add that to the dry ingredients. You got pieces of butter all over the mixture. I know you seasoned bakers are thinking, how about shredding frozen or cold butter with a grater. Yep, that's good too. But this texture is different.
If you treat yourself to just one, the fat issue becomes non existent i.e. for people who eat healthy and love it!
The Best Ever Drop Baking Powder Biscuits
Makes about 8 (double up recipe for the number of people)
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1 cup cold milk, buttermilk is great but any other is good too
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes)
Place rack middle position and heat oven to 475°F.
Aerate flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and sea salt in large bowl.
Combine milk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps.
Add milk mixture to dry ingredients.
Stir with until just incorporated.
Scoop about ¼ cup of mixture and drop onto silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining batter. Spacing biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.
If desired, brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.