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!