Lately, I have been waking up at 4:30 am on a regular basis, knowing that attempting more sleep is futile. There is just so much to do. I’ve been sorting through everything in my house, figuring out what to throw away or give away, what to put in storage, and what to move to M’s house. He has been doing much the same, making room for me and my things.
I do try to sleep more but generally give up at 5:30 or 6 and use the extra morning time to get some things done. On this particular morning I decided to make biscuits with my extra time, because that’s what you do when you should really be packing.
Where did this biscuit recipe come from?
I had a bag of locally produced whole wheat flour from Shelton Farms that I had been wanting to try. I noticed that it was low in protein, like White Lily. They say that you want lower protein flour (2 g/serving) for biscuits and higher protein for breads, so this seemed perfect.
I also had a Granny Smith apple in the fridge that needed to be eaten. I had been wanting to experiment with shredding apple into biscuits ever since I made the Paige’s Family Biscuit recipe. That one seemed to benefit from the larger chunks of apple in my second making, but I liked how the smaller pieces sort of disappeared into the biscuit in the first making, becoming part of the biscuit and not just an addition to it.
Finally, I have been following a very low tech biscuit making process for some time now. There is something very satisfying about that. Getting your hands into the flour, rubbing the butter. But I do happen to have, and to love, this wonderful food processor and have wondered if and how it might be of use in the biscuit making process.
There you have it – the perfect storm of flour, fruit, and appliance came together to inspire these Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits.
What is persnickety about this biscuit recipe?
It might be difficult to find a whole wheat flour that is low in protein. If that is the case, you may want to try using half of a regular WW flour and half low protein white. I’ve also heard of mixing in part cake flour to add the lightness. If you try one of these options please let me know how it turns out!
I also added some ricotta cheese to this biscuit and believe that, and the grated apple, are what makes this biscuit so moist.
So how were the biscuits?
They turned out just as I had hoped they might. Nutty, moist, flaky, slightly sweet, lightly spiced. Perfect warm or cool, with butter or without. Seriously, you could throw one of these into a lunchbox and it would be a perfect snack – no reheating required. I took a couple into the office to share with coworkers and they are still talking about them.
How were the leftovers prepared?
I only baked a few in the first batch and those were gone in hours. The remainder were cut out and put onto a cookie sheet to freeze, uncooked. After freezing, they were bagged up and saved.
Later I took them out of the freezer, placed them close together on a parchment lined baking pan, and baked them at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. I did not thaw the dough first. Note that is a lower temperature and longer time than if the dough were fresh.
I brushed a little almond milk on them and sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on top of that before putting them in the oven. The frozen biscuits baked up perfectly. My mother came over to help pack and it was the perfect thing to share with her.
Remarkably, there were still a few biscuits left after that, so I got creative with toppings and constructed this biscuit sandwich.
If you want to make something similar, just slice the biscuit in half, put a nice slice of Brie cheese on the bottom of the biscuit, add a layer of cooked bacon and a few very thinly sliced apples, another thin layer of brie, and put the top half of the biscuit back on the stack. Warm the whole thing in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes – or until you notice the cheese getting nice and melty. Yum!
>>> Click here for printable biscuit recipe.
Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Biscuits
- 2 cups low-protein (2 g/serving) whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon aluminum free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter, frozen and cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup butter-flavored Crisco, frozen and cut into small pieces
- 1 tart apple, peeled and shredded
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup buttermilk
- About ¼ cup all purpose flour (for folding and cutting out dough)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Put the first six dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse for 20-30 seconds to blend thoroughly.
- Add butter to dry ingredients and pulse food processor 15-20 times until butter has been incorporated and the bits that remain are about the size of a pea.
- Add shortening to food processor and pulse 15-20 times until shortening has been incorporated and the bits that remain are about the size of a pea. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Using the shredding attachment of the food processor, shred the apple. Add to the dry ingredients and mix to coat the apple and break up shredded pieces so that they are loose in the mixture. You do not want them to all stick together.
- Combine vanilla, ricotta, and buttermilk in a small bowl. Whisk together.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the buttermilk mixture. Mix quickly with spatula or hands, turning bowl and gently scooping the dry ingredients into the wet. Add more buttermilk, if needed, to make dough moist but not too wet.
- Sprinkle flour onto countertop or pastry board. Dump dough out of bowl onto flour. Sprinkle flour onto dough and rub onto hands. Press dough together and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Fold dough in half. Repeat three times. A pastry scraper can be really helpful to lift up the dough. Keep adding a little flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
- Press out to about ¾ of an inch high. Using a biscuit cutter or tin can, cut out biscuits. Transfer to cookie sheet. Place biscuits close together on cookie sheet, or 1 inch apart if you want crispier biscuits. Press scraps together and cut out remainder of biscuits.
- Put cookie sheet in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until tops of biscuits are slightly browned. If you wish, take the biscuits out of the oven a couple of minutes before they are done and brush the tops of the biscuits with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then return them to the oven.
- Remove from oven, let rest a few minutes, then break apart and eat!
- Share with someone you love.