I love a good biscuit. Flaky, warm, and soft. Eat it with jam or butter or a good white gravy. Doesn’t matter, I love it any way.
I made these biscuits to serve a dual purpose. One, obviously, was to eat it with dinner. But two, I needed to have a heart-to-heart with my kids, and I thought that if I fed them something delicious, I could get them to sit and be quiet long enough to discuss the all important conversation of the day: swim lessons. More importantly, passing Level 1 after being in swim lessons for 3 years.
I know all kids are different, and they all learn and grow at different rates. So expecting them to be Michael Phelps at 5 and 7 is a little unreasonable, but surely, just getting their head wet is not out of the question, right? Our conversation went a little like this:
Me: Matthew and Grace, in order to pass Level 1, you have to submerge your whole head in the water. You need to bob. And bob more than once. Do you think you could try that when your teacher asks?
Matthew: But I don’t like getting my head wet.
Me: I know. That is why you are still at Level 1. For the third year.
Grace: I get my head wet!
Me: Well, sort of. You dip your nose in ever-so-slightly to blow bubbles. All of you needs to be under the water.
Matthew: But I learned how to doggie paddle. And I didn’t even use my goggles this year.
Me: That’s great! However, you can’t learn the next stroke unless you get your head wet.
Matthew: But it’s hard to stay afloat! You know why I can’t pass Level 1? Because my bottom sinks me. That’s why I have to doggie paddle really fast. And then I get too tired to get my head wet.
Grace: [laughing–says something completely inaudible, as she’s stuffed her face with the biscuit]
Sigh…I wish I could say this important conversation hammered home the valuable skill of learning to swim, but sadly, it did not. (And bribing them with an extra biscuit didn’t work either.) Neither kid passed Level 1 when the session was over, so they will try again next summer, at ages 6 and 8.
What I love about these classic biscuits is the combination of all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour. Because of the whole-wheat, there’s a hint of nuttiness in them. And it makes them healthier than a traditional, all white flour biscuit. They really rise due to the amount of baking powder, which makes them light and flaky. Serve these when you’re having an all-important conversation. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll have better luck than I did. Enjoy! xoxo
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12-16 2-inch biscuits
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
4 ½ t baking powder
2 T sugar
1 t salt
¾ t cream of tartar
¾ c (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and cold*
1 egg, beaten
1 c milk (NOT non-fat)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Measure out milk in a medium bowl. Add egg and whisk. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add both flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Whisk to combine. Add unsalted butter and using your hands or a pastry blender, cut butter into small bits, so it looks like cornmeal. Add the milk and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold until it mostly comes together.
Dump the mixture onto a floured surface and knead until all is incorporated. Shape into a circle about 1-inch thick. Using a 1-inch or 2-inch cutter, cut into dough and place onto cookie sheet, 9 per sheet. Continue with cutting and reshaping until all the dough is used.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are golden. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container up to 3 days.
*I like to use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in my food. However, if you like salted butter or that’s all you have on-hand, decrease the salt to ½ teaspoon.