My main criterion for judging the deliciousness of a biscuit is whether it’s so warm and buttery, I forget who I was before tasting it. I’ve been lucky to lead a life where many biscuits have met this benchmark of existence-altering butteriness, thereby creating a positive feedback loop (slicked down with butter) and consequently, dangerously high standards.
So when my editor Hana asked me to test a biscuit recipe that contained exactly no butter, I prepared myself for what I knew would be massive disappointment.
“Sure,” I said, shrugging like a retired athlete in a movie who, despite a bad hip, has been asked to come back and play for one last season. I grabbed my favorite jam, and resignedly, prepared to take a bite.
Well, I’ve never been more wrong.
To say that Sweet Laurel Bakery’s dairy-free, grain-free Southern-style biscuits are delicious is an understatement—to say that they’re so fluffy and “buttery” that I’d like to cut open a whole batch of them to use as pillows gets closer to the reality of the situation. And to say that they’re more tender than even the most heart-filled Pete Davidson/Ariana Grande emoji exchange would be to paraphrase a text message I sent my mom last night at 1 a.m.
SO, HOW DO THEY DO IT?
Interestingly, the technique behind Sweet Laurel’s biscuits comes from taking their favorite classic biscuit recipe, and just swapping in grain-free, dairy-free ingredients, like almond flour, coconut butter, and coconut yogurt. Two main steps in the dough process are integral to the tenderness of the final product:
- Chilling the coconut oil and butter and cutting it into the almond flour so it’s pea-sized, rather than fully combined, which (like with standard pie dough) facilities flakiness.
- Folding the formed dough over on itself as if laminating it three times creates layers to puff up in the oven, which sets the biscuits up for maximum fluffiness.
The buttery quality I mentioned (okay, swooned over dramatically) comes from the combination of three different fat sources: coconut butter, coconut oil, and coconut yogurt. This trio confers a distinct coconutty-edge, which allows the biscuits' flavor profile to transition nicely from savory to sweet.
WHAT TO EAT THEM WITH
Everything! Creator Laurel Gallucci likes them best, “right out of the oven or with BBQ.”
The subtle coconut flavor of these biscuits also lends itself to sweeter applications—they’d be great forked open (like an English muffin) and served with jam, as a substitute for shortcake, or topped with roasted rhubarb:
FLEXIBILITY IS KEY
One of the essential qualities of this recipe that makes it a keeper in my book is how easily (and intuitively) adaptable it is. A few examples:
- One of our testing days had near 90% humidity and an 85° F temperature, and as a result, we couldn’t keep the coconut oil and butter chilled for very long. We adapted by adding in more almond flour (about 1/4 cup) by eye to make the dough less wet, using a smaller (about 2-inch) cutter to reduce spread, chilling the biscuits after cutting, and baking for them for longer (20 to 22 minutes total).
- I suspect that, should one want to mellow out the coconut flavor, almond or cashew milk yogurt could be swapped in for the coconut yogurt—if you try this, let us know in the comments!
- According to Laurel, the coconut butter doesn’t need to be cubed, as the recipe calls for—it can be scooped right out of the jar.
- 2 tablespoons coconut butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 3/4 cup coconut yogurt, store-bought or homemade
- 1 large egg, beaten
Have you made these grain-free, dairy-free biscuits? Let us know what you think in the comments.