Friday, June 29, 2012

Thyme Country Style Biscuits

Biscuits as Americans know them, are soft baked goods. They are not the crunchy cracker-like biscuits that some of us grew up with. I learnt how to make the traditional country style biscuits in one of my baking classes at culinary school. I love the flakiness of the biscuit but because it was made with refined sugar and butter, I couldn't bring myself to eat them. They smell awesome though.

So I decided to try making country style biscuits my way...using coconut oil instead of butter and using maple sugar crystals instead of refined sugar. And to kick up the flavor another notch, I added thyme to the dough and also at the end of the baking process to give the biscuits a little hint of fresh lemony flavor without the tartness of lemon.

Ingredients (makes about 18 biscuits):
1. 600 g pastry flour
2. 12 g salt
3. 15 g maple sugar crystals
4. 30 g baking powder
5. 15 g fresh thyme, chopped (leave some to sprinkle on top)
6. 200 g coconut oil, solid break into chunks
7. 360 ml water

1. Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl, making sure they are blended thoroughly.
2. Cut in the chunks of coconut oil. Cutting in means - add coconut oil chunks into the bowl of dry ingredients. Then using your finger tips, swiftly and gently break up the coconut oil chunks into smaller pieces about the size of a green pea. The mixture should look mealy. Do not overmix.
3. Add water into the mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon, combining only until the mixture holds together.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until it forms one mass, should take only about 5 to 6 kneadings. Do not use to much force like you would when kneading a bread dough.
5. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1 cm. Cut with a floured cutter and placed the biscuits on a paper-lined sheet pan.
5. Bake at 400F until the tops are light brown, the sides almost white and the interiors still moist. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes.
6. Remove biscuits from oven and sprinkle fresh thyme over the biscuits.
7. Allow the biscuits to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

Nutritional value of this recipe:
This is a nice little treat for yourself. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat but bear in mind, the saturated fat in coconut oil is not the same as the saturated fat in butter. The saturated fat in coconut oil consist of medium chains of carbon and are therefore more easily digested by the human body and converted into energy.

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