the biggest tree on our property is a wild honey mesquite. it’s loaded with pods right now.
damian picked a bowl full and put it in the vitamix. then he sifted it (the empty hulls on the left make a good mulch or carbon addition to compost)
and then i was ready to bake!
after getting really excited about eating mesquite (blood-sugar balancing, high protein super food), i was disappointed when i started looking for recipes and couldn’t find any that used exclusively mesquite. the flour is delicious on it’s own, but it does have a rather strong flavor. so if you want baked goods like you grew up with, you’re gonna want to mix it. sometimes i do want baked goods like what i am used to, but i also like to let foods be what they are and not try to turn them into something they are not. i do not like foods that need quotation marks. soy “cheese,” almond crust “pizza,” chicory “coffee,” raw cauliflower “mashed potatoes.” no thank you. i like my cauliflower as cauliflower, pizza as pizza. but when it comes to mesquite, how can i let it shine as itself? what is it?
i’m gonna find out. we tried pancakes with 100% mesquite. they were fine, tasty, even, with yogurt and blueberries, but it took a lot of eggs to get them to hold together, and i got the feeling something like a scone or biscuit would be more suited to it’s properties. the cinnamon and caramel notes remind me of graham crackers, so i started there.
they turned out delicious! the mesquite flavor shines. when i make these again though, i’m going to do the same recipe but make them thick like scones. yours will not be this messy unless you also have a two-year-old “helper” -see, quotation marks are not a selling point! also you will use two trays instead of one…
(that dark spot is on my camera lens, not the biscuit)
i know i just said i wanted to use 100% mesquite, but i also wanted something really yummy, and i’m just learning, so i used half mesquite here. i’ll post more recipes as i discover what works.
adapted from smitten kitchen’s graham cracker recipe
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup mesquite flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (i used turbinado, because that’s what i had)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen
5 tablespoons milk, full-fat is best
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Topping (optional) i didn’t do it because i wanted to feel good about eating them for breakfast)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pulse or mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off on and off, or mix on low, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal.
[Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor or electric mixer, you can cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender. Just make sure they’re very well incorporated.]
combine milk, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture and pulse on and off a few times or mix on low until the dough barely comes together. It will be soft and sticky. cover and chill it until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, prepare the topping, if using, by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and setting aside.
flour your work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, so flour as necessary. Trim the edges of the rectangle and cut it into squares (or use a cookie cutter for fun shapes.) (or make scones!)
Place the biscuits on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets and sprinkle with the topping. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes in the fridge or 15 to 20 minutes in the freezer. Gather any scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and re-roll.
Adjust the oven rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch,