Somebody pinch me. It's always been a dream of mine to have the chance to grind my own flour. To have access to an amazing source of grains and then grind "to order" the flour to maximize not only the flavor unique to that grain, but to maximize the imbedded nutrition that is alive within. So often flour and wheat is made to be the enemy, and "bad for our diets". It is not. It is full of amazing nutrition and especially when it's harvested from a source that makes the effort to provide such a high quality product. So grinding my own? I haven't started yet. I simply go through too much of it to go to that level of processing myself in my current operation. But there's farmers out there doing it and here's one I recently discovered.
I love meeting those working in agriculture. They share the same goal as me, working to fill our bellies and keep food on our tables. So when my lovely friend Lisa mentioned I needed to try these flours, my eyes lit up and my heart was happy. I was super excited at the opportunity to try something so close to the source.
So check this out! Meet the Mile High Mill & Grain Co., an organic family farm with an onsite flour mill located in Ravendale, California. In their own words, "Our family farm is committed to using its fertile ground to sustainably grow and mill our certified organic grains. We know where every seed is grown in the field and where each seed is carefully milled to a delicious and health-giving flour product. We are delighted to bring back the dedication and intimacy that allowed farmers and millers to bring a nourishing wholesome flour product to you and those you love."
Thank you Mile High Mill for sharing your incredible products with this chef! I'm so grateful there are farmers who work so hard to connect with consumers and share the perspective of quality and history! And guess what? The flour is remarkable. The biscuits I made are tender, soft, and delicious. I'm truly blown away by the flavorful quality that is not short on obvious expertise from start to finish in the processing of the flour.
Directly, the flours are incredible. The chef in me feels like didn't find a flour mill, I found a culinary gold mine. When opening the flour sack, I was careful not to waste or lose any! Dare I say the flour didn't need sifting? It's aerated and fluffy. The color is beautiful. I knew I needed to do it justice and have started working it into some of my favorite recipes.
So let's start with the first one.
If you are a fan of homemade (drop-style) biscuits, and I mean, authentic, handmade biscuits, ranchy, fluffy and flavorful then I'm going to ask you to consider this recipe. If you are a fan of sourdough, or baking with sourdough starters to make your own bread, flapjacks, muffins and more, then I'm also going to ask you to consider this recipe. There's a quick fermentation that's triggered but it's so fast and so flavorful you'll slap your thigh and wish you had this little recipe all along. So let's get started.
First it's the butter. The recipe specifically calls for salted butter. Why? Because it immediately drives flavor and we want a biscuit that's ready to eat! Yes, unsalted butter will definitely work! So if that's what you have on hand, then roll with that! If you go that secondary route, then give the batter an extra pinch of salt!
For the remaining ingredients, it's important to bring the ingredients together "just" until they are combined. I'm going to say it twice so it is emphasized that when the wet meets the dry, if over-mixed, it will result in a tough biscuit! So really resist the urge to stir, stir, mix, mix. Always do a little less and your dough will thank you! We aren't making a chewy artisan style bread, we're making biscuits so tender you might confuse them with a pillow!
And finally, regarding the "sour", that's the game changer in this recipe! It's fascinating to watch it happen. When you add the vinegar to the milk, give it a slight stir and let it rest for a few minutes before you add it to the dry ingredients. You'll notice it will trigger the fermentation process, which is the delicious sour you'll pick up in the final flavor! Its fascinating and flavorful!
You'll notice the melted butter will "pool" around the exterior of the baking dish. That's ok and not to worry! It will scoot around as they are baking and the resulting giant biscuit will definitely be cooked through! To serve, allow to rest once they come out of the hot oven. Using a serrated knife, cut them into your desired portion size.
So let's get a batch in the oven! Here's how!
- 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
- 2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
- 4 t. granulated sugar
- 4 t. baking powder
- 1 t. table salt
- 1 ¾ c. milk mixed with 2 T. distilled white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place butter in an 8x8-inch glass, ceramic baking dish, or cast iron skillet. Place into preheated oven to melt but not brown. Remove from oven and hold warm.
In a medium size mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together to combine. Add the milk and white vinegar mixture. Using a firm rubber spatula, stir the wet into the dry ingredients until JUST combined. Do not over mix or the dough will be tough! Pour the dough carefully over the melted butter and spread evenly to the edge of the dish or skillet.
Bake in the preheated oven until biscuit tops start to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. A wooden toothpick placed into the thickest part should come out clean. Carefully remove from oven, cool five minutes then cut with a serrated knife and serve warm. Enjoy!
Makes 1, 8x8 pan or skillet.
To find Mile High Mill & Grain Co. visit www.milehighmill.com