Using a softer flour is the ‘fluff’ dreams are made of

This recipe for homemade biscuits is good when made with hard red winter wheat flour. It’s even better when you can get ahold of soft winter wheat flour, making these fluffier and tastier than ever.

The Kansas Wheat Commission reports on its website that there are six varieties of wheat grown in the United States.

Those include hard red winter, hard white, soft red winter, soft white, hard red spring and durum.

Anyone who has been around wheat farmers in Kansas knows that most farms produce the hard red winter variety. The wheat commission notes we grow more of it here than anywhere else in the country.

I’m sure I already knew that there were other varieties of wheat, but until a few months ago, I didn’t give it much thought. Wheat flour is wheat flour, right?

But, as many of my weird experiments tend to begin, I watched a video online of a woman claiming that she made the best biscuits of her life by using flour produced in the South—soft winter wheat flour.

It stuck in my mind, but since our grocery stores don’t sell it (if someone does, let me know), I didn’t see any way to test it out. But then we were invited to speak at the Kentucky Press Association convention, and I had the perfect opportunity to visit a Kroger, get myself some soft winter wheat, and give it a try.

And I have to admit that I was honest-to-goodness angry, because, you guys, it worked. I had the fluffiest biscuits I have ever made. So I’m sharing a recipe with you that I actually shared clear back in September of 2013 for homemade biscuits (you can find that post on my website, spiceupkitchen.net), and while you can totally make these with hard red winter wheat flour, I’m imploring you to try to get ahold of some of the soft stuff to see the difference. It’s a weird experiment but totally worth it.

Even Fluffier Homemade Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose, soft winter wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups milk

1/4 cup shortening

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in the shortening until it’s well combined (the texture will become a bit mealy).

Add milk and stir. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and knead until all of the ingredients are well-combined and the dough is soft and easy to roll. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour. If it’s tough and hard to work with, add a little more milk.

After the dough is kneaded into a soft ball, roll it out to about one-inch thickness.

Use a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass to cut out biscuits. Continue to roll out dough and cut it into biscuits until all the dough is used (if you have a weird little bit left over, go ahead and bake it. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll be tasty.).

Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

We had these with sausage gravy, and I changed nothing about how I made the biscuit recipe I’ve made dozens of times since 2013 except the type of flour.

Could it have been confirmation bias? Sure.

But Joey was convinced, too, and I honestly might bake two batches to compare side by side just to see.

Regardless, this recipe is one to try, no matter what kind of wheat flour you use. It comes together quickly and is way better than the canned variety.

Now I’ll have to figure out how to keep supplying myself with soft winter wheat flour for future biscuit baking. I still have several pounds left, but with how much we enjoyed this experiment, I don’t expect it to last long.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly recipe column by Lindsey Young, who describes herself as an enthusiastic amateur cook and can be reached through her website at spiceupkitchen.net.

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