I used to be a whey-waster. Yep, I threw out the yellowish liquid that collects on top of yogurt or is strained away when one makes Greek yogurt at home. But I have repented and changed my ways, due in large part to these flaky cinnamon biscuits.
While researching the whole ways-to-use-whey issue, I decided to invent a biscuit recipe using whey as the liquid ingredient. In the process, I not only perfected my recipe but I discovered a new technique for making the flakiest biscuits to ever come out of my kitchen. (Canned biscuits don’t count even though I’m a sucker for the butterflakes, chemical taste and all.)
Please note: If you don’t have whey sitting around the house, use buttermilk instead. They will be just as tasty.
Part of the secret is in the rolling-out technique. The original inspiration came from Kate of Cooking during Stolen Moments. Check out my video for the fine details. (This is my first attempt at a video so don’t laugh or groan too much).
But there’s more than “flaky and tasty”. These biscuits will rise double their original height when baked. I’ve never been very successful with biscuits so I was elated when I pulled these lovelies out of the oven the first time and saw all the expansion cracks.
They also are not difficult, especially if you have a food processor to mix up the dough. Make it even easier and cut square-shaped biscuits to save the integrity of the layers which would be lost if you had to re-roll scraps after cutting circles.
Four more reasons you will love these biscuits:
- Want a quick snack? Freeze baked biscuits and microwave them as needed.
- Company coming? Make ahead and freeze the raw biscuits. Add a few minutes to the baking time.
- Don’t like sweets? Go sans cinnamon and sugar leaving the layers unadorned.
- Love sweets? Go all the way and make some brown butter icing to pour over the top.
- 2 cups flour (I used bleached white flour)
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar (Use lesser amount for plain biscuits)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing tops
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- ½ cup whey + 1 tablespoon extra if necessary OR ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon for layers)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, silicone baking mat or lightly grease.
- Place dry ingredients together in food processor bowl. Pulse 3 times.
- Add cold butter and shortening, sliced into small pieces. Pulse 8 times to cut into flour until you have pieces of various sizes resembling oatmeal, peas, and cornmeal all mixed together.
- Pour whey over mixture and pulse about 8 times just until mixture starts to stick together.
- Turn out onto floured surface. (I like to use a silicone baking mat because clean-up is easy in the dishwasher.)
- Knead about about 3-4 times until you have a cohesive ball of dough. Use your hands to gently push dough into a square shape.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out dough about ½ inch thick. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over ⅔ of the dough. (I like to execute one quick spritz of water on top of the cinnamon to help the layers stick together. Fold uncoated third of the dough over on top of the cinnamon layer and then the other third on top of that one. See picture. Repeat process one or two more times.
- Roll dough to ½ inch thick and cut into 12 squares with a sharp knife. Use a greased cookie sheet or one covered with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Slice into 12 biscuits and use tip of sharp knife to lift onto prepared pan.
- Brush with melted butter if desired and sprinkle with regular or sanding sugar.
- Bake at 425 for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees for another 12 minutes.