Biscuits can stir up a great deal of tension when you suggest tinkering with a traditional recipe. Well, things are about to get awkward. I made biscuits with a cherry fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cup, and I liked it. Frankly, I prefer it to other biscuits. I completely understand that some family recipes are great, and that for some folks, that recipe is going to be the only biscuit there is. But this biscuit recipe is better.
I semi-frequently need to have a warm biscuit. They’re a treat—comforting, buttery, great with a whole meal or a simple smear of jam. Biscuits require very few staple ingredients—butter, flour, salt, baking powder, and usually buttermilk—although you can make biscuits without buttermilk, I find the hydration it adds creates a more delicious quick bread.
Unfortunately, I rarely keep buttermilk on hand for my semi-monthly biscuit cravings. But something I do always have is yogurt. I stock some single-serving, 5.3 ounce, fruit-flavored yogurt cups, as well as a giant tub of plain greek yogurt for numerous cooking applications. Yogurt is great for making dips, salad dressings, as a cool condiment for spicy meals, and if you thin it with some milk, it’s a reasonable replacement for buttermilk. If you’re looking for other things to make up for your lack of buttermilk, Bob’s Red Mill has a nice breakdown here.
I wanted a quick way to make a small batch of biscuits and didn’t want to bother with thinning out any yogurt (the fewer steps between pillowy biscuits in my mitts, the better). Normally I’d reach for the plain yogurt, but the idea of having a fruit-tinged biscuit changed everything.
This biscuit recipe uses the usual mixing method of butter bits and flour, but instead of playing chemist and stirring vinegar into milk and wondering if it’s chunky enough, you just empty out a single-serving yogurt cup. The exhilarating part is deciding what flavor biscuit you want—peach, cherry, coconut, lemon, strawberry-banana—the options are as wide as the dairy aisle.
The trick to these biscuits is pinching the butter into flat pieces and trusting the amount of yogurt. Be careful. After adding the yogurt it’s easy to think, “oh, boy, this needs milk, it’s too dry,” but resist the urge. Adding liquid to the mix will make the biscuits tough.
Halfway into incorporating the yogurt, you’ll dump out the shaggy mixture onto the counter and finish kneading it there. Once you get your hands in it you’ll realize that no extra moisture is needed. Stick to the plan and your reward will be tender, buttery biscuits with a fruity finish.
I chose cherry yogurt, and I already know peach is next on my biscuit list. Feel free to use a plain yogurt cup if you want a more traditional biscuit. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want more fruit flavor, mix in a handful of chopped cherries or whatever fruit your yogurt cup features.
How to make yogurt cup biscuits
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons (5.7oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Scant ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 oz (6 tablespoons) butter (cold)
- 1 single serving (5.3 ounces) flavored or plain yogurt cup (I used Chobani cherry greek yogurt)
- Egg yolk for egg wash (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Move the baking rack to the center position in the oven.
In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients and stir with a fork to combine. Add the butter to the dry mixture in thin pats, two or three slices per tablespoon will do. Toss flour over the butter so the pats are individually coated. Pinch the pieces of butter so they flatten and break apart. Keep pinching and tossing the butter in flour until your biggest pieces are the size of a nickel. The mix will look flaky. If your kitchen is hot, you can pop the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes while you stir up the fruit on the bottom of a yogurt cup.
Empty the yogurt cup into the butter and flour mixture. Stir and press with a rubber spatula until most of the flour is incorporated. Pour the mixture onto the countertop to knead-in the remaining flour. Be quick but gentle, taking the stickier clumps and pressing them into any existing dry clusters. Pat the dough into one clump.
Move the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough with your finger-tips into a squat oval shape about ¾ inch high. This recipe will make four 2-inch round biscuits. For soft sides and a taller biscuit, bake the rounds with the scraps. Egg wash the tops if you like a shiny, golden brown finish. Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy them warm from the oven with salted butter.