I don’t care if you’re on a low-carb or gluten-free diet: there is nothing quite like a warm, buttery Southern biscuit made from scratch. For all of my international readers, here in the United States/ Canada a “biscuit” refers to a savory baked good that is firm on the outside, but steamy and soft inside. Elsewhere, this may be called a “scone”. I learned from The Great British Baking Show that in England, the word “biscuit” is actually used for what Americans would call a “cookie/ cracker”. It’s all very confusing. But a Southern American biscuit? Well that’s something I associate with my grandmother who cooked nothing but Southern foods, honey. Imperfect, buttery, moist and flaky. My grandma would top them with gravy or butter and her homemade preserves and then wash it down with some sweet tea. I like to think my she would approve of these biscuits.
While I was pregnant, a coworker brought in a really hot, greasy egg and cheese biscuit. The kind that comes from a gas station wrapped up in foil. Normally I’d pay something like that no mind but the smell did something to my pregnant brain. I thought about that sandwich for the rest of the day. My coworkers thought it was hilarious because I was vegan and they teased that my baby was asking for eggs and cheese. Nope. Anything can be made vegan. So when I got home from work, my husband watched in awe as I raided the kitchen for supplies to make biscuits from scratch. I was going to recreate an egg and cheese biscuit, vegan-style.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Southern Vegan Egg and Cheese Biscuits:
- Unbleached all-purpose flour
- Non-dairy butter (such as Earth Balance)
- Sea salt
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Plain non-dairy milk
- Lemon juice
- Vegan Sliced Cheese (I recommend Chao Original or Follow Your Heart Cheddar)
- Follow Your Heart “Vegan Egg”
First I made the biscuits. I found the perfect recipe from one of my favorite vegan recipe sites, The Minimalist Baker. The title is literally “Best Damn Vegan Biscuits” and yes, I can confirm. They are. Not only do you only need one bowl and 30 minutes but the ingredients are pretty minimalist, too. If you really do need a gluten-free biscuit, she has a version for you here.
- 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened PLAIN almond milk
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups (272 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp (7 g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 4 Tbsp (56 g) non-dairy, unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C), and add lemon juice to almond milk to make “vegan buttermilk.” Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add cold butter and use fingers or a pastry cutter to combine the two until only small pieces remain and it looks like sand. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, stir gently while pouring in the almond milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time. You may not need all of it. Stir until just slightly combined – it will be sticky.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit of flour and then very gently turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times – hardly kneading.
- Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible.
- Use a 1-inch thick dough cutter or a similar-shape object with sharp edges (such as a cocktail shaker) and push straight down through the dough, then slightly twist. Repeat and place biscuits on a baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch – this will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the dough and cut out one or two more biscuits – you should have 7-8.
- Next brush the tops with a bit more of melted non-dairy butter and gently press a small divot in the center using two fingers. This will also help them rise evenly, so the middle won’t form a dome.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately.
After your biscuits are made (or while they’re baking, if you’re that skilled!), it’s time to whip up the VeganEgg.
- 2 tablespoons of Vegan Egg
- 1/2 cup of ICE COLD water
- Heat a lightly-oiled skillet to Medium-High.
- Whisk or blend the two ingredients together until smooth.
- Pour mixture into the skillet. “Egg” should sizzle in the pan. Immediately begin to scramble.
- Scramble frequently and evenly with a spatula until Eggs are firm. VeganEgg takes longer than regular eggs so they recommend 6-8 minutes until fully cooked.
Next, I carefully broke the biscuits apart and added the vegan egg. Break cheese slices into quarters and sandwich between each biscuit.
There should be enough heat inside to warm the cheese. If you want to melt the cheese even more, throw into the oven, still be warm from baking the biscuits. Last resort: zap in the microwave.
Enjoy these for breakfast, brunch… or for when you or your partner gets a pregnancy craving 🙂 Let me know what you thought in the comments below!