Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 18: Sourdough Biscuits

Whatever you are doing now, please stop. You have a new mission if you choose to accept it: Sourdough Biscuits. These are not traditional sourdough - they have a weird pre-ferment that (in our veganized version) involved soy yogurt and commercial yeast. Given my cultural background and location, I can be picky about biscuits. These are flat-out fantastic. If Southern biscuits got together with dinner rolls and had a baby, this is it.

Not too long ago, I bought a baking video made by the aunt of a friend of a friend. It's not vegan, but most of the recipes are veganizable. Think whole (peeled, cored) apples, wrapped in crust and baked in a deep bath of syrup. Not health food, but really good - and well-demonstrated with lots of tips and tricks. This odd biscuit recipe intrigued me, and I decided to try veganizing it. Here's what I did:

The day before, mix up 2 cups of soy yogurt, 2 cups of all purpose flour, and 1 T yeast. I used FarmSoy yogurt, as it is delicious, local, and contains only organic soymilk and live cultures. Cover this, and leave it out on the counter for approximately 24 hours.

When ready to make biscuits, mix 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 T baking powder, 1 T unrefined sugar, and 1/2 t salt. Work in 1/2 cup of vegan margarine or shortening. (I used Earth Balance. If you are avoiding palm oil products, I think almost anything would work - probably even a mild oil like canola, as she used very soft butter in the demonstration.) Then add 2 cups of the "sourdough" pre-ferment, and stir until just combined. The dough will be sticky. Turn it out on a floured counter and knead for just a minute or two - not much.

I made small biscuits, as that is what I wanted, but in the DVD, Bonnie Hamilton demonstrates making big tall ones. However you do it, cut the biscuits out, place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425. Bake 12-15 minutes until they look done.

In the DVD she gives more details and tips, and instructions for how to keep the pre-ferment going. Not to mention a bunch of other good recipes!


kittee said...

dude, you are so posting ahead!!!! i feel a bit cheap, reading this post already. what am i gonna do for my i040 fix tomorrow???

anyway, these look great and i am sooooooo fuckin' jealous of the yogurt you get from the farm.


Celine said...

they look insane. in a good way.

JohnP said...

Kittee -

I am going to post today (the real today), have no fear. I was going to schedule the biscuit one, and then said screw it, and hit publish.

Tell your friend in Murf to load up a metric tonne of FarmSoy and drive it down to you!

Tofu Queen said...

those look so amazing. I can practically taste them just staring at the photo. I find almost all of the soy yogurt I've had to be really chalky tasting. Yours sounds great though.
Also, I know it's later than I said it would be, but I finally got your package out to you today. I sent it priority so it should be there soon.

JohnP said...

Dear Tofu Queen,
FarmSoy is not chalky at all. It is a miracle in the form of soy yogurt. I hear they are considering expanding their market - you should get your natural foods market to beg them to drive a truck of the stuff to SF. And the biscuit recipe is great - try it!