Whole grain (make-ahead) sour cream biscuits

By: Jackie Martin    Last Updated: January 10, 2023       

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After a busy week of work, school, and the usual commitments, our family really enjoys the pace of a Saturday morning. We’ll usually sleep in a little bit, the kids will watch something on TV, and my husband and I will make a big breakfast.

The problem is that not all Saturday mornings can be so slow and lazy. Sports events, birthday parties, or just to-do’s sneak in and we have to get out the door.

What I love most about these biscuits is that they can be made the night before. They are great to mix while you’re waiting on dinner to cook, or as the kitchen gets cleaned up for the night. They rise in the fridge overnight and you can pop them in the oven and have a healthy, whole grain biscuit to enjoy as-is or with a protein (such as eggs, bacon, sausage).

Don’t want to make them the night before? These biscuits are flexible! Mix and cut your dough first, letting them rise for about an hour, bake, and serve hot!

Pouring whole wheat berries into a grinder
I use whole grain flour that I grind at home to maximize the nutrition of wheat, but this recipe can use any whole wheat flour from your local grocery store. Your an even make it 1/2 all-purpose flour and 1/2 whole wheat if your family is still adjusting to whole wheat baking.

I first found this recipe in one of my favorite whole wheat cook books, The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. Originally published in 1982, Laurel Robertson and her friends give so much wonderful information on how to cook with whole grains.

I modified a few things, opting for real sour cream instead of her “mock” sour cream, adding a bit more flour to bring the biscuits to what my family prefers, as well as lowering the cooking temperature and time.

Ingredients for quick, homemade biscuits

I typically have all these ingredients on-hand, so I can throw the biscuits together without a lot of pre-planning.

  • Commercial active dry yeast: Unlike using a starter, commercial yeast is a great option for “quick breads,” as you can have whole grain biscuits from start to finish in about an hour and a half
  • Whole grain flour: I use hard red wheat berries that I grind in my mill, but any whole grain flour will work
  • Baking soda: A fancy word for sodium bicarbonate, baking soda produces gas as soon as it is exposed to heat, helping your biscuits achieve a light and fluffy texture
  • Baking power: Another secret in quick bread making, baking powder is used to lighten the texture and increase the rise of your biscuits
  • Honey: Adds a hint of sweetness to your biscuits, but is optional if you want to cut it out
  • Sour cream: Good biscuits need fat and moisture. Dairy has long been the go-to way to add these critical ingredients to biscuits. Many recipes call for buttermilk, whole cream, cottage cheese, or sour cream
  • Egg: Have you ever forgotten an egg while baking? I have, and everything fell apart! They also add important nutrients and protein to these biscuits
Whole wheat biscuit with butter and blackberry preserves in human hand
I’m not sure there is anything better than fresh biscuits, hot butter, and homemade jelly or jam.

What to eat with biscuits

We love biscuits for breakfast, but they are also great with dinner. Here are some pairing ideas:

  • Butter: This is a given, as a biscuit without butter is just not living up to its potential. Make sure it’s salted butter for the best taste.
  • Honey: Honey “melts” into a warm biscuit and pairs well with butter. If I make biscuits for dinner, my husband will eat his last with butter and honey as a dessert.
  • Jelly or jam: From strawberry to blackberry, fig or even apple butter, biscuits pair great with jellies and jams. Add butter if you want to dress it up even more.
  • Mini sandwiches: Leftover biscuits make great mini-sandwiches, especially if you have leftover meat as well. I enjoy them with the meat of your choice and a slice of cheese, warmed up in a toaster oven or broiler, with some mustard.
  • Egg sandwich: Add a sausage patty or slice of a bacon, an egg (I love one with an over-easy egg, but it can be a bit messy, so I do scrambled for my kids), and a slice of cheese. You can even add some avocado!
Pan of biscuits with bacon and strawberries on counter
Fresh fruit and bacon with biscuits, butter, and blackberry jam makes a filling, nutritious, and delicious Saturday morning breakfast.

Flexible biscuits

The best part about this recipe is you’re using yeast to help get your biscuits to rise. This means you’re making tender, fluffy biscuits without a lot of extra fat. It also means you have a few different options in when to make them:

  1. The night before: If you have a busy morning coming your way, get the dough mixed and cut in 15-minutes, letting them rise (covered) in your fridge overnight. In the morning, preheat your oven and put them directly in to bake
  2. The morning of: As long as you can work around the 1-hour rise, you can have these ready from start to finish in 1.5 hours
  3. For brunch or dinner: If you are baking them for later in the day, let them rise in the fridge (covered) for at least 3-hours. Then, preheat your oven and put them directly in to bake

Make-ahead sour cream biscuits

It doesn't matter if you make the dough night before or the morning of, but breakfast is better with whole-grain, fresh biscuits. It's easy, nutritious, and uses ingredients you already have.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Rising Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 10 biscuits

Equipment

  • 1 Stand mixer optional
  • 1 Biscuit cutter or empty can
  • 1 Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour plus a little more as-needed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • .5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1.25 sour cream
  • 2 tsp honey

Instructions
 

  • Add the warm water and yeast to your mixing bowl and let it dissolve for a few minutes.
  • Mix together the wet ingredients (sour cream, egg, and honey) in a small bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) and the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl.
  • Using a dough hook attachment, combine the ingredients to form a shaggy dough. (You can also do this in a regular bowl with your hands!)
  • As you get more experience, you'll be familiar with what "biscuit dough" should look and feel like. All the ingredients should be fully mixed, with the dough able to "come together," even though the dough will still be sticky to the touch. Add more flour if you need to but be careful not to dry it out.
  • Add some flour to your counter, turn the dough out onto the counter.
  • Roll the dough until it's about 1/2" thick, using a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or even an empty tin can or cup. Some folks prefer thinner biscuits and some thicker, so there is no wrong way to do this! I usually end up with 9-11 biscuits depending on how thick I roll them out.
  • Add your biscuits to your pan (mine is cast iron but anything from a baking dish to a cookie sheet will work–you will just want to make sure the bottom doesn't burn if you're using a cookie sheet). If you are making these ahead of time, cover them and stick them in your fridge to rise overnight. If you are making them the same day, let them rise for 1-hour in a warm spot. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Take the biscuits out of your fridge (or after they are done rising on your counter) and bake for 15-20 minutes until they are done to your liking. We like ours with a slight golden brown on the top. Enjoy!
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