Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze

I once saw a Tumblr post that said something like, “I feel like Michael Cera never intended to act but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and was too awkward to tell them he wasn’t an actor so filmed stuff anyway, and now he’s let it go too far and can’t back out,” and I lol’d for a good several minutes. (I don’t really think that, of course…)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

Turns out, however, that karma remembered that I laughed about Michael Cera’s supposed acting backstory. And now I find that Tumblr post a lot more relatable. Let me explain.

~story time yaaaaaaay~

Once upon a time (If I begin it like a fairytale then maybe it will all just be a dream?) two days ago, I had an appointment at an elementary school in Bologna to interview a teacher about how school lunches work there.

I got to the school at 8am and walked in with a swarm of 7-year-old Italians, so that was adventure #1. When I got to [teacher]’s classroom, there was a substitute there who told me [teacher] wouldn’t arrive until 8:30. I figured I’d just hang out in the classroom and listen to adorable children speak Italian better than me.

Well. Was I ever wrong. (About the hanging out part, not the kids being better than me at Italian part)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

The sub had me introduce myself to the class, which I thought was somewhat weird, but I went along with it anyway. I should tell you that it’s common for college students here in Bologna to volunteer at elementary schools as English teachers.

Can you see where this is going?

After the sub took attendance, she gestured toward me and said to the class, “This is going to be your teacher for the day! She’s going to help you learn the days of the week in English! Michele, start naming them and Molly will correct you.”

Um.
Wait.
Did I just get roped into teaching English?
I just got roped into teaching English.

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

“I’m not here to teach English!” -is what I should have said right away. But I just couldn’t. I became Tumblr Michael Cera.

Finally, at about the third kid naming the days of the week, I found my voice and explained to the sub that I was just there to interview [teacher]. As soon as I got the words out, the real English teacher showed up. She was from Georgia–—the country. She spoke no Italian, and only kind of spoke English. With a veeery thick accent.

I almost wish I had been supposed to teach them because now that Georgia was there I had to sit through her not realizing that some of the kids were saying that Saturday came after Wednesday. I mean, I know we all wish it did, but I also want those kids to actually learn English.

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

Anyway, that’s the story of how karma is on Michael Cera’s side. What a morning.

I like to think that I just wasn’t completely awake yet and would have spoken up earlier if I had had time for coffee… But who even knows.

I BLAME YOU, MICHAEL CERA. At least in the end I got some good lunch info. And a good story.

And here’s a recipe for the dangerously delicious scones that I should have been telling you about, but you’re happy you got a story instead, right? (Srsly though, lemon and basil is a winning combo. Please make these scones. And please don’t laugh at Michael Cera.)

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze | memo2munch

Lemon Basil Scones with 2 Ingredient Lemon Glaze

For the scones:
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
¼ c. granulated sugar
½ c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter or earth balance, cut into small cubes
¾ c. nondairy milk mixed with ¾ tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice*
1 large egg
Zest from one lemon
2 tbsp. to ¼ c. chopped fresh basil
1 beaten egg, for brushing scone tops before baking

Lemon Glaze:
1.5 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp. lemon juice (use the lemon you zested for the scones)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Use your fingers or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter until the mixture feels like sand.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and vinegar mixture. Add to flour mixture ¼ cup at a time and stir until the mixture comes together in a soft dough. You might not need all of the liquid. Fold in the zest and basil.

4. Turn dough onto a floured cutting board and gently flip it over itself about 10 times. Pat into a wide rectangle one inch thick and about 4-5 inches tall. Cut the dough vertically into 4 smaller rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half diagonally to create 8 triangles. Arrange triangles a few inches apart on lined baking sheet. Brush each scone with beaten egg. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until scones are lightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Make the glaze: Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. If glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If glaze is too thick, add a little milk or water. Spoon glaze over scones and enjoy!

*If not dairy-free you can substitute buttermilk for the entire mixture, or make the mixture with dairy milk

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan)

By the time you have finished lunch, I will have finished my classes for the semester! YAAAAY!

Well, there’s still finals. But small victories, small victories, right?

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

For one of my classes our final is to write a paper about a food fad. I’m thinking about titling mine, “The Rise and Fall of the On-the-Go Yogurt Empire.”

Anyone remember drinkable yogurt? Like Danimals? Do they still make those? I’ll be finding out! Also, remember Gogurt? I could never open those things without them squirting all over…

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

Update: you CAN still get Danimals, and they’ve been reformulated to contain 25% less sugar! (See this article) I infer this to mean that they are both healthier and a LOT less tasty than they were when I used to drink ‘em on the daily. PS strawberry banana with the monkey on it was the best.

meme

So I’m actually kind of excited to do the research for that paper, but not the actual writing part because that involves comprehensible sentences. And I ain’t feeling that right now. <– Exhibit A

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

I just want it to be breaaaaak.

I hate to be wishing away time, but I’m just ready to be with my friends and family and wear cozy clothes 24/7 and read books and sip tea and start all of the shows that I didn’t have time to watch during the semester and also COOK COOK COOK/ EAT EAT EAT.

I am so ready, guys. I will do all of those things. In about a week.

But on a less melancholy note, let’s talk about biscuits, shall we?

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

We all know that I’m kind of borderline definitely obsessed with bready things. Bagels, pancakes, cookies, sweet rolls, bread itself (duh), biscuits. These days I’m also very into whole grain things.

Originally I switched most of the bread I eat to whole grain because of the health benefits—fiber that keeps your colon healthy and also lowers cholesterol, contributing to overall heart health, not to mention the LOADS of vitamins still naturally present.

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

However, now I just really like the taste and texture that whole grains add. They’re so hearty and rustic and comforting. Yum!

Since making the original Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits, I’ve been wanting to try a whole grain version. Let me just say they are DELICIOUS with rye flour! They’re still doughy and soft, but the flavors are so much deeper and more complex. A++++ to you, rye flour.

They would look super adorable with some caraway seeds sprinkled on top, but I’m a college student, and we don’t just go buying a whole container of caraway seeds for a little sprinkling. But I definitely recommend it if you’ve got some caraway seeds on hand!

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

The fun thing about baking with whole grains is that it’s totally customizable. Play around with the ratio of whole grain to white flour to find what you like best.

Going whole grain isn’t an all or nothing thing. You don’t have to get rid of all of the white flour in your recipes. As long as you add some 100 percent whole grain, you’re doing something positive for your diet and your health!

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

And once you get more used to how whole grains taste, you can keep adjusting the ratio to include more and more whole grain four. Who knows, maybe soon you WILL be using predominantly whole grains!

Buttermilk Rye Biscuits (Vegan) | memo2munch

Vegan Buttermilk Rye Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c. dark rye flour
  2. 1/2 c. white spelt flour (or sub all-purpose)*
  3. 1 tbsp. baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  6. 4 tbsp. Earth Balance or coconut oil, NOT melted
  7. 1 c. unsweetened, plain almond milk + 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice or vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Add cold butter or unmelted coconut oil and use fingers or a pastry cutter to combine until only small pieces remain and the mixture looks like sand. Work quickly so the butter does not get too warm.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the almond milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. You may not need all of the milk mixture. Stir until just barely combined--it will be sticky.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit more flour, and then very gently turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times.
  6. Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible. Use a 1-inch thick dough cutter or a similarly shaped object with sharp edges and push down through the dough and twist slightly. 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 remaining dough and cut out one or two more biscuits. You should end up with 8-10 total.
  7. Brush the tops with a bit more melted butter if you wish, and gently press a small divot in the center of each biscuit using two fingers. This will prevent the tops from doming.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden.
Notes
  1. Feel free to alter the ratio of white to rye flour according to your tastes. Just make sure that the total amount of flour comes out to 2 cups.
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Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits

There comes a point in every person’s life when he or she leaves the comfort of toast as the sole base for breakfast spreads and enters the world of tender, flaky, biscuits.

Butter melts into every last crumb, jam shines on one biscuit half, cream cheese smothers the other, and MOLLY’S MOUTH WATERS, OH EM GEE.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

I’ve loved all things dough-y and delicious since I was just a wee girl, and biscuits definitely qualify. We have a tradition when we see my Grandpa Gene where he’ll make my sister and me biscuits one morning. It’s been going on for as long as I can remember, and those are for sure my favorite biscuits. This recipe would have to be my second favorite. Just being honest, here. I can’t lie to you guys! 🙂

I also love pancakes, muffins, bagels, cinnamon rolls, donuts, cookies, everything related to bread, yeah. However, when you’re vegan or just dairy-free like me, you can’t get a lot of these things at restaurants because they invariably have dairy in them. Buttermilk biscuits I don’t even have to ask about.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

So I end up having to make a lot of that stuff myself if I want a dairy-free version. But I’ve neeeever attempted something that has ‘milk’ in its name. That just seemed like I would be breaking some sort of rule. Committing a cooking faux pas. Whatever you want to call it.

NOT ANYMORE, FRIENDS!

Buttermilk biscuits CAN and WILL be vegan in this household (unless Grandpa visits 😉 ), and they CAN and WILL taste delicious because this recipe is the bomb.com. Thank you, Minimalist Baker! You’d NEVER know they were vegan unless you saw the ingredients go in the bowl. And even then you might still deny it. They’re THAT good, friends.

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

You may have heard of this trick already, but if you need buttermilk in a pinch you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Turns out you can also make vegan buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to your non-dairy milk. How cool is that?! I think dairy-free buttermilk pancakes are next on my list.

And even though these biscuits have zero buttermilk or butter in them, they still have the wonderful, buttery flavor and tender crumb of your favorite buttermilk biscuit. Only vegan-ified. Enjoy.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and family. To have new posts delivered straight to your email, you can click the gray follow button on the left side of the screen or at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading!

Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits | memo2munch

Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Buttermilk Biscuits
makes 7 or 8 biscuits

Click here to print recipe.

Ingredients
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp non-dairy, unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup unsweetened PLAIN almond milk + 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar

Method
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 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.
7. 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.
8. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Let remaining biscuits cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or bag.