Tender, hot biscuits can be the crowning touch to a sumptuous breakfast, but they usually add regal amounts of fat.
In classic recipes, lard or butter gives the biscuits their moist and flaky texture -- and as much as 9 grams of fat each. So how can the fat be reduced without ruining the results?
It's easier than you might expect. Using low-fat buttermilk and substituting some of the all-purpose flour with cake flour is all it takes.
Years ago, buttermilk was a liquid byproduct of the buttermaking process. Today, it is made by combining nonfat or low-fat pasteurized milk with lactic acid bacteria, the same healthful bacteria you find in yogurt.
The slight acidity of buttermilk acts as a tenderizer to the flour in the biscuits and imparts a rich dairy flavor.
Cake flour is a specialty wheat flour often used for making cookies, cakes and other items.
It's milled to an extra-fine consistency and processed to have only about half the protein of all-purpose flour. As a result, it absorbs fat, such as butter, very well and helps to more evenly distribute it throughout a dough or batter. This means you can add less fat to a baked good and still get moist and tender results.
This recipe for lower-fat buttermilk biscuits also substitutes canola oil for some of the butter to help reduce saturated fat even further.
If you want to make these for strawberry shortcake, cut them a bit larger and sprinkle the tops with sugar before baking.
Use any leftover buttermilk for making low-fat salad dressings.
Start to finish: 30 minutes (15 minutes active)
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon low-fat milk, for brushing
Heat the oven to 425 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and oil. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Using two knives or your fingertips, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Make a well in the center and gradually pour in the buttermilk and oil mixture, stirring with a fork, until just combined.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and sprinkle with flour. Lightly knead for 30 seconds, then pat or roll out to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Use a 2-inch round cutter to cut the dough. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet.
Gather any scraps of dough, pat to 1/2 inch thickness and cut rounds.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with the milk. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories; 30 calories from fat; 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 294 mg sodium.