Quick Breads

Lemon Swirl Biscuits

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Most of the time in our house, if someone is going to make breakfast for the family, it’s my husband who does it. He gets up earlier than me and has more energy first thing in the morning than I do. If I’m going to make something special for breakfast, it’s usually something I prepare the night before, like a flavoured bread or danish. This weekend I was going to make a chocolate-hazelnut braided loaf, but I had just made some sourdough loaves and didn’t feel like making a yeast bread this weekend. Maybe I’ll make it next weekend to share with you guys 🙂

When deciding what to make, I remembered a recipe that I had for quick orange buns, that I have made before, which are basically like a cinnamon roll made with biscuit dough and filled with orange zest and sugar. While I like the flavour of those buns, I have found them to be very dry and I don’t have any oranges on hand right now. I do have lemons, so I set about altering the recipe to make a lemon version that wasn’t dry.

I started out with my recipe for Rich and Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits. The orange bun recipe had more 3 Tbs sugar in the dough and used orange juice instead of buttermilk for the liquid. I wasn’t sure if it would be too strong if I used all lemon juice, so I decided to go with the juice of 2 lemons, which came out to 1/3 cup, and use milk for the balance of the liquid (I used whole milk). I increased the sugar in my biscuit dough to 2 Tbs from the original 1 Tbs to make it slightly sweeter, but with lots of sugar in the filling, I didn’t think I needed to add more than that. I also reduced the sugar in the filling from 3/4 cup to 2/3 cup because I remembered having trouble fitting all the filling in the dough before.

The resulting bun was delicious! It had a soft, fluffy texture and you could see the layers of dough in the swirls and it wasn’t dry at all. It had a nice lemon flavour, without being overpowering. The sugar filling created a nice crunch at the top of the biscuit. Perfect for breakfast or for a coffee break!

[recipe title=”Lemon Swirl Biscuits” servings=”8 biscuits” cooktime=”1.5 hours including chilling time” difficulty=”moderate” description=”These are reminiscent of a cinnamon bun with a lemon flavour. They are rich and soft and buttery with a crunchy top. “]

For the Dough/
– 2.5 cups (12.5 oz/354g) all-purpose flour
– 1 Tbsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 2 Tbsp sugar
– 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening or lard
– 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen
– 1/3 cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
– 2/3 cup milk (not fat free)

For the Filling
– 3 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
– 1 Tbsp lemon zest, from 1 lemon
– 2/3 cup granulate sugar

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Place bowl in freezer to chill while you prepare the butter.
2. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the butter into a small bowl. Place in freezer until ready to use.
3. Remove flour mixture from freezer. With your fingers, work the lard or shortening into the flour until you have pieces that are no bigger than the size of a pea.
4. Gently stir the butter into the flour mixture with a fork then place in the freezer again for 10 minutes.
5. Spray the counter with vegetable oil spray and then lightly coat with flour. This will help to keep your dough from sticking when you roll it out.
6. Combine milk and lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and keep chilled.
7. Combine sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
8. After flour mixture has chilled, pour lemon juice and milk mixture over the mixture and stir with a fork to form a ball with no dry bits of flour, adding more milk as needed. Save any leftover milk to brush over the tops of your biscuits before baking.
9. Transfer dough mixture to the floured counter and bring together with hands to form a cohesive ball.
10. Roll to a roughly 12×9 inch (30x23cm) rectangle. Then fold into thirds like a business letter, then again in half to form a square. A bench scraper is useful for this.
11. Repeat the previous rolling and folding one more time.
12. Roll the dough one final time to an 8 inch square
13. Spread surface of dough with butter, then sprinkle with the sugar-lemon mixture.
14. Roll the dough into a tight log, then cut into 8 equal slices.
15. Place the rounds side by side into a parchment lined 9-inch spring form pan.
16. Chill biscuits for 30 minutes while you preheat oven.
17. Preheat the oven to 425F.
18. After biscuits have chilled for 30 minutes, bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the top.
19. Let cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to either eat or cool completely on a rack.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.

Use fingers to rub shortening into flour until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Freeze mixture until ready to use.

Using a box grater, grate frozen butter into a small bowl.

Using a fork, gently combine butter with flour mixture, then freeze for 10 minutes.

Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and stir to combine. Then turn onto counter and form into a ball.

Roll dough into an approximate 12 x 9 inch rectangle.

Fold into thirds like a business letter.

Fold again in half to form a square. Repeat previous rolling and folding one more time.

Roll one more time into an 8-inch square.

Spread butter over top of dough.

Sprinkle evenly with lemon-sugar mixture.

Roll dough into a tight log.

Cut into 8 equal rounds.

Place rounds in a parchment lined 9 inch spring for pan. I used a square one today.

Bake at 425F for 25-30 minutes until golden.

Perfect for breakfast or a coffee break!


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