Monday, August 4, 2014

No-Butter Biscuits #PantryInsiders

The nice folks at Pompeian, who have been sponsoring posts on this blog, came up with an interesting theme: Use olive oil in place of butter in a recipe that traditionally uses butter. And try to replace all the butter with oil.

Hmmm. Welllllll. Huh.

The first thing I thought of was corn on the cob. But that's not much of a recipe. I mean, I did think of brushing the corn with oil and then adding other stuff, like herbs or cheese. But it's still not much of a recipe. Tasty idea, though ...

What other recipes traditionally use butter? Recipes where you'd assume there's butter, without even thinking about it?

I probably could have come up with a number of recipes that used just a few teaspoons of butter, but I wanted to come up with a recipe that used a significant amount, because I like to challenge myself, even when it's not required.

And I wanted one more hurdle to jump over. I didn't want to rehash something I made before - I wanted to come up with something new for this post. I made cakes and cookies with oil before, and they worked out really well, so baking sounded like fun.

I decided on biscuits.


Well, because most biscuit recipes we think about have butter in them. And it's a significant part of the recipe. So changing butter to oil is ... uh ... fat-changing? I guess it could be life-changing, if you're doing it for the diet rather than for the fun of it, right?

And also because I wanted biscuits for dinner. Sometimes it is all about practicality.

I made eight small but tall biscuits, but if you prefer shorter, wider biscuits, just roll the final shape a little larger before cutting.

To help me on my quest, Pompeian sent a bottle of their OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean blend, with canola, olive, and grapeseed oils. The flavor was mild, but pleasant.

So I embarked on this madness. There's still some butterfat in the recipe, since I used milk and yogurt, but there's no solid butter. No butter butter. And you could use nonfat milk and yogurt, if you wanted to.

No-Butter Biscuits

2 cups (9 ounces) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Pompeian OlivExtra Premium Mediterranean blend
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 egg

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk or stir to make sure the paking powder and salt are well-mixed into the flour. Set aside.

In a small bowl (or you can do this in a 2-cup measuring cup), combine the oil, yogurt, milk, and egg. You should have 1 1/4 cups of liquid. If it's a little short, add more milk. If it's a little more (since egg sizes can vary) it's fine. No worries. Whisk this to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until all the flour is moistened. If the dough seems dry and it's hard to incorporate all the flour, add a little extra milk, as needed. The dough should be soft rather than dense. If it seems wet or gloppy, that's fine - we can incorporate more flour when folding.

Flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Flour the top of the dough. use a rolling pin to roll the dough approximately 1/2-inch thick, adding flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or the counter. Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter.

Roll the dough again to 1/2-inch thick, flouring the dough and work surface as needed. Fold the dough in thirds, as before.

This time, roll the dough to slightly larger than 4 inches by 8 inches and keep the sides as straight as possible. It should be about an inch thick.

Trim the outside edges of the dough to straighten those edges, then cut the dough in half to form two 4-inch squares. I used a pizza cutter to trim the dough, but a sharp knife is fine. Then cut each square into quarters. You should have eight squares total, plus the trimmings.

Arrange the squares on the baking sheet. You can leave them farther apart if you want them crisper around the edges, or place them close together, or even touching, if you want more rise and soft edges.

Bake at 350 degrees until the biscuits are nicely browned, about 25 minutes.

Remove the biscuits from the pan and cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pompeian has sponsored this post as part of the Pantry Insiders program.