I have been playing with baking a lot lately. For a long time “carbs” and “grains” meant the same thing to me, in my mind. I don’t know why, but I blame the media and the “low carb craze”. So basically I have stopped listening to the media when it comes to my food choices and eat what feels the best to me, which has taken quite a bit of research and time. I recently took a DNA test, which I may talk about more on here (if you are facebook friends with me, I will be updating my results soon!), but the results showed that I had a low genetic probability to Celiac’s Disease, answering a question I have wondered about for nearly a decade.
However, just because I don’t have Celiac’s Disease doesn’t mean that wheat doesn’t affect me. For the past several months I have been soaking my flour in an acid, like whey, or homemade kefir or buttermilk for 24 hours before baking. I do this in order to break down the phytic acid that is in wheat, which makes wheat hard to digest for many people. I have found this to be very helpful with regard to the effects on my body that I usually attribute to wheat – like a “carb coma”. So recently I was looking through Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, to see what recipes they had for bread, and I found a recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits. I was very excited.
I was recently able to procure some Gjetost – a Norwegian brown cheese, commonly known as Brunost, which means “Brown Cheese”. It is generally a goat’s milk cheese (but there are cow, and mixed versions as well). Brunost is made by boiling a mixture of milk, cream and whey carefully for several hours so that the water evaporates. The heat turns the milk sugar into caramel which gives the cheese its characteristic taste. It is the most amazing cheese in the world. My favorite, and one that I ate several times a day when I lived in Norway. I used to love it on bread for breakfast and lunch, or on waffles, with a little raspberry jam for dessert. I thought these biscuits, slightly sweet, would be the perfect vehicle to eat this cheese, and I was right! They are also good with another Norwegian favorite (and one of mine) smoked salmon.
I really love the dough – it smells amazing and is a dream to work with. I have made these biscuits twice in the past week, and the second time, they were even better. I used the Parmigiano Reggiano Butter I talked about in my last post and it made so much difference. I also made sure the dough was thick enough when rolled out, and used a larger glass to cut them out – which made the resulting biscuits much more tender.
They are simple to make and delicious. Your house will smell like a bakery all day. I happened to have people come over in the evening both of the days that I baked them, and they both asked what I had been baking. So yeah, they are amazing. Try them today – and if you can find some brunost, slice some very thinly on top, using a cheese slicer and place a dollop of jam on top, and you will be in heaven.
from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Makes about 1 dozen
1 cup of unbleached white flour
2 cups of spelt, kamut, or whole wheat flour
1 cup buttermilk
4 TBS melted butter
1 ½ tsp sea salt
2 tsp baking soda
unbleached white flour
Mix flour with buttermilk and mix to form a thick dough. Cover and leave in a warm place (countertop) for 12 to 24 hours. Place in a food processor with the other ingredients, and process several minutes to knead. Remove dough to a well-floured pastry cloth or board and sprinkle with unbleached white flour to prevent sticking. Roll dough out to ¾ inch thickness. Cut biscuits with a glass and place on buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (my biscuits baked in about 15-20 minutes, so keep an eye on them!)