The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pretzel tasting biscuits

evolver's picture

Pretzel tasting biscuits

Greetings everyone!

I joined this forum becuase I have found a love and respect for baking. I've always cooked but never baked. Maybe becuase I see cooking as an art and baking as a science....btw: I'm not that scientific.

I've been having a bit of trouble with a vegan recipe that I found for making vegan "buttermilk biscuits". My batches have been coming out very inconsistent lately. I would like to make a big batch but I'm very hesitant because I don't want to end up making30 biscuits that taste like pretzels.

Here's the recipe:

1 c flour

1  1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp vegetable shortening

for butermilk

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar AND 1/2c almond milk set aside to curdle.


Any help is greatly appreciated.

Rodnee :o)

Ford's picture

My understanding of the term vegan is that those who practice this type of diet use NO animal products, milk and cheese included.  With that definition the buttermilk substitute you gave would not qualify as it contains milk.  In any case here is my recipe for buttermilk biscuits.  Perhaps, you could substitute 1 Tbs. of lemon juice with 6 ounces of soy milk for the 3/4 cup of buttermilk -- I have not tried this.

[as cut 3/8"x2" diam., 22 g, 72 cal., 1.4 g prot., 3.4 g fat, 8.7 g carb.]

2 cup (8.5 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1  tspn. salt
2 tspn. double acting baking powder
1  tspn. baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1/2  cup (1.8 oz.) Earth Balance, or Crisco Shortening
3/4 cup (6.5 oz.) buttermilk
*Note: Butter, margarine, and “spreads” all contain water, as much as 15 to 30%, or even more.  Consider this, if you substitute these for shortening.  Earth Balance Shortening contains no “trans-fats” and makes the best biscuits, in my opinion.  This shortening must be refrigerated and note the container has only 15 oz, not a full 16 oz.  Not all groceries carry it, but Whole Foods did.  Crisco shortening now has no trans-fats, does not need to be refrigerated, and may be substituted for Earth Balance.

    Preheat oven to 450°F.  Sift together and mix the dry ingredients.  (Baking soda tends to have clumps.)  Then add the shortening in teaspoon size bits.  With the fingers of one hand, mix the shortening with the dry ingredients, then mash and rub the shortening with the dry ingredients to form thin flakes of shortening covered with flour.
    Add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients and lightly stir the ingredients; dough should be slightly sticky.  Add more buttermilk, if necessary.  Place on a floured surface and sprinkle dough lightly with flour.  Flatten the dough with a floured hand to about 3/8 to 1/2  inch thickness. (If you use only one hand, the other will be clean for handling other things in the kitchen.)  Fold double four times, flattening after each fold.  Cut with 2 inch diameter biscuit cutter, straight down and do not twist.  Alternatively, , just cut the biscuits into 2” squares with a knife.  Should make about twelve biscuits.  Place biscuits on ungreased, or slightly greased, baking sheet or other suitable pan.  King Arthur bakers claim that freezing cut biscuits for a half hour before baking will make them flakier.  (It doesn’t hurt them, and I have frozen them for two weeks and then baked with good results.  Ford.)
Bake until brown, about 12 - 14 minutes.  If you use a forced convection oven, reduce the temperature to 425°F and bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until brown.

Serve hot with real butter and honey, preserves, marmalade, etc.  Leftover biscuits may be split and the opened side browned under the broiler – still good.

evolver's picture


Yes you are correct. I've vegan and I'm so accustomed to just saying milk without specifying. I use almond milk. I think I use and absolutely love Earth Balance. That's what I started out using. For baking I recently have been using Spectrum's Palm Oil Shortening.

Thanks so much for the recipe. I'll try it out.

Ford's picture

On rereading your recipe - I think you are using too little shortening.  Solid shortening makes better biscuits than does liquid.


EvaB's picture

milk just water, but think that the problem with the pretzel taste might be your palm oil shortening, I use lard or butter, so can't say what it would taste like with a vegetable shortening, but I do know that pie crust has an odd taste to me when its made with vegetable shortening so it may be the shortening and the cider vinegar for the curdler. Try using lemon juice instead, or plain white vinegar, to cut the slightly sweet taste from the almond milk.