I’ve been spending a few weeks playing and tweaking my favorite sourdough biscuit recipe to make a honey-flavored sourdough biscuit. ‘Cause strawberry season means strawberry shortcake!
I tend to be a little OCD when I’ve got a batch of sourdough starter bubbling. I get a bee in my bonnet wanting to add new recipes to my family cookbook that make use of sourdough. Now that I’ve finally got a sourdough farm loaf that doesn’t drain a good chunk of my day away, I might get working on pancakes, buns, chocolate cake, pizza dough, noodles, dinner rolls, donuts… don’t stop me! The first bee landed on Honey Sourdough Biscuits.
I had a rough time getting the tall rise I like to see in a fat biscuit and not letting the sourdough go too long and completely overpower the honey. I was looking for a balance of the flavors because when honey and strawberries get together, they know how to party! While I still love my normal Buttermilk Biscuit recipe (it’s the best!) and the whole wheat drop biscuit I normally use for strawberry shortcake is quick and delicious, neither use the honey I wanted to try.
After taking some clues from the Biscuit Troubleshooting Guide, I finally nailed it!
A few tips:
• Be very, very careful when cutting the biscuits that you don’t twist the cutter or compress the sides in any way. Use a sharp biscuit cutter for a nice, clean cut. The sourdough isn’t as strong as a hefty addition of baking powder to recover and still get tall sides.
• For the same reason, make sure when you transfer the biscuit to the baking sheet you don’t pinch the sides.
• You can let the sourdough biscuits rise longer than the 2 hours if you’d like, just remember, you’ll taste the honey less and less the longer the souring happens.
• These biscuits are fluffy and moist after baking but are best eaten within a day or they tend to dry out. Though if you’re making strawberry shortcake with them that won’t be a problem. Well macerated berries are nice and juicy.
• While it’s ok to use a sourdough starter that was fed with whole wheat flour, using wheat flour in the biscuit recipe makes a dense, heavy biscuit. We’re shooting for a beautiful dessert here, not hard tack.
• Normally biscuits are best made with chilled ingredients. I found that these biscuits actually get a better rise when using warm, soft butter. I’m sure there must be some sort of scientific reason about the wild yeast being activated more in a warm environment or something.
Strawberry Shortcake with Honey Sourdough Biscuits
- 1 quart strawberries, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons evaporated cane juice, or sugar (Buy cane juice here.)
- splash of vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Honey Sourdough Biscuits
- 2 ½ - 2 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup evaporated cane juice, or sugar (Buy cane juice here.)
- dash of vanilla
- Thinly slice the strawberries. (If they're fully ripened you don't need to core them.)
- Add the berries, evaporated cane juice, vanilla, and salt to a bowl and carefully stir them.
- Cover and set them aside to macerate while you make the biscuits.
- Honey Sourdough Biscuits
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
- Cut in the butter with your fingertips until it's incorporated and crumbly.
- In another bowl, whisk the sourdough starter, honey, and buttermilk together.
- Add the starter mix together into the flour/butter mix and stir it together until it comes together in a dough. Additional flour may be necessary.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it about 20 times until it all comes together.
- Pat the dough, flattening it until it's about an inch high.
- Using a 2 ½" round biscuit cutter, cut the dough (without twisting the cutter) and transfer them to a baking sheet being careful not to pinch the sides.
- Set the baking sheet aside and allow them to rise and sour about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Bake the biscuits for 8-9 minutes until fully baked.
- Transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Whipped Cream
- Add the cream, evaporated cane juice, and vanilla to a bowl and whip it with a whisk until it forms stiff peaks.