My sourdough starter kicked the bucket about a month ago… or, more accurately, I brought about its demise through sheer neglect. Still, not one member of the bread-eating family was prepared to say good-bye to fermented bread and just about that same time, with plenty of milk between Mabel and the goats, milk kefir was back up and running in our kitchen.
Milk kefir is probably my favorite fermented food, in case you hadn’t picked that up here on the blog or in Traditionally Fermented Foods. I use it for drinking, salad dressings, desserts, snacks, to ferment whole grains, and to sour breads. It is one of those foods that seem to really encourage gut health, energy, and nourishment so it has become a staple in our home when we are in milk.
So I started making kefir-soured tortillas and these lovely biscuits on a regular basis. They are flaky and tender, tangy and light, with just a bit of a crisp edge as one would want in a biscuit. I ferment them overnight, generally, but you can extend that to a full 24-hour fermentation if you prefer.
In the morning I put on a kettle for coffee and the morning milking. I preheat the oven, hand Stewart the milk pail, and then start rolling out these biscuits right on the baking sheet. The biscuits are golden and flaky by the time the cow and goats are milked, the chickens out and fed, and the family gathered around the table. It is at this point I am dishing up homegrown eggs from a cast-iron skillet and sitting down to join them.
Somehow even though I’ve made these over a dozen times this past month, this family of mine still doesn’t seem to be growing tired of them. And the milk kefir appreciation continues…
- 1.5 cups cultured milk kefir
- 3.5 cups bread flour (we like this variety of Heritage Wheat Bread Flour)
- 1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
At least 12-24 hours before you wish to bake the biscuits, combine the kefir, bread flour, and softened butter or coconut oil in a medium bowl. Mix all ingredients just until roughly combined and the flour is moistened. Cover and leave to ferment at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a baking sheet generously.
Uncover the fermented dough and sprinkle over the salt and baking powder. Fold the dough over onto itself (and the salt and baking powder) several times, breaking up the dough and kneading until the salt and baking powder seem well distributed.
Transfer the dough right to the greased baking sheet and roll out to 1/2 – 3/4 inch thickness using a rolling pin. Cut the biscuits into squares using a knife or bench scraper or into rounds using a biscuit cutter or narrow-mouth canning ring. Gently gather up any scraps and form a few extra biscuits.
Move the pan to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until deeply golden on the bottom and brown and crisp around the edges. Allow to cool at least five minutes before serving.