Whole-Grain Bacon-Ranch Biscuits: Yes. And it gets better from there.

Biscuits are warm, wonderful meal completers. They soak up gravy or sauces, cradle a poached egg perfectly, and are dessert heroes in their own right when wearing some butter and jam. Once in awhile, though, it’s their turn to take front and center. This is one of those times.

While many may see biscuits as an indulgence, in their savory guise they can be the foundation of a great sandwich. It’s been pretty hot and sticky around here lately – the kind of weather that has me thinking about BLTs, frankly. From there it went from bacon to bacon/ranch, and boy, wouldn’t that make a tasty biscuit?

It does. Our work on the Whole Grain Baking book taught us that whole grains pair very well with stronger flavors, and if I was going to make a meal around these biscuits, I’d want the nutritional oomph that whole grains provide. They’re as easy to put together as any other biscuit. First, the dry ingredients:

2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or 1 tablespoon dried

drymeasuredoutIt’s second nature to me now, but bears repeating: get in the habit of adding your dry ingredients in separate piles, so you can identify each one. If I’m being really good, I put the flour in, then the second ingredient at 12 o’clock, third at 3 o’clock, fourth at 6 o’clock, and so on. That way if I’m interrupted and come back, I can easily count and see where I am in the ingredients list.

Next, whisk everything together and work in 1/2 cup butter.

buttercutinnobaconFor biscuits, I cut the butter fairly small (smaller than for pie crust). Little blueberry-sized (in keeping with the summeriness of the season) bits.

Now, the indulgence. Bacon. Yes, you can leave it out, or simply add a slice of bacon to the concoction that’s coming up. I’m using 3/4 cup here, or 1/2 pound before cooking.

addbacpmUse the good stuff. What you see here is from North Country Smokehouse (a local New Hampshire brand), thick-cut and cherry-wood smoked. Baked, drained, and chopped. Yes, I snitched a couple of bits. I’m only human.

By the way, if you haven’t already, turn the oven on to 400°F.

After mixing in the bacon, it’s time for the wet ingredients.

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon honey
addwetusethisMix them together in a measuring cup, and pour into the bowl.

stirinNow, mix until evenly moistened…

scoopontoparchment…and scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment.onpaper2foldoverThere’s likely to be some dry flour from the bottom of the bowl…

foldwithbowlscraper…so fold the dough over on itself to make some nice biscuity layers.

Once the dry bits have become one with the dough, it’s time for the cutter.
Decision time, by the way. If you’re thinking these biscuits will be very nice next to an omelette or maybe split with an egg on top (and I agree with you there), reach for a cutter that’s 2″ to 2 1/2″ in diameter.

cutbiscuitsIf you’re game for bigger adventures, go for a 3″ cutter. And, because I always like options, you could make some of either size.

6big8smallThis batch of dough will give you 6 big biscuits and 8 small ones (not all of which are on the baking sheet just yet).brushwithbuttermilkBefore baking, a nice brush with buttermilk gives these biscuits a shiny, crisp top.

Bake the biscuits for 20 to 22 minutes, until they’re nice and golden brown, and there you are.

WG-BaconRanchBiscuits2Ready to join whatever food partner you ‘re interested in. My dream was this:WG-BaconRanchBiscuitsStill thinking about the BLT that started it all, morphed with its cousin the club sandwich. When I’m feeling particularly indulgent, my BLTs include avocado, so here it is altogether:
grilled or seared chicken
avocado slices
tomato slice
arugula leaves

Amounts? Whatever you can pile on there and still have a chance of getting a bite of everything on the first try. It’s a little sandwich.

You can do it, really, all by yourself, no recipe. Be bold. Use leftovers if you have them. Or if you’re having a party, just make a batch of biscuits, buy a couple of tomatoes, some lettuce and an avocado, and put whatever you’re cooking on your tasty biscuit base.

BaconBiscuitSliders_900wPlease read, bake, and review our recipe for Whole-Grain Bacon-Ranch Biscuits.

Or, just go to the recipe.

Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently the Food Editor of Sift magazine. She does demos, appearances, and answers food (and baking) questions from all quarters.


  1. believer731

    I used to make tall soft fluffy biscuits all the time. No more. They are more flat, don’t seem to rise and are a little crunchy. I have tried everything. What can I do? Is it the flour? I tried adding some baking powder to the self rising flour. I don’t work my dough much and it is at least 1/2 thick. (I don’t roll it out, just pat it with my hands. I am at a loss. Thanks for any help you can give me.

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Sounds like this would be a good conversation to have first-hand with our hotline. It will be much easier to troubleshoot “face to face” as it were if you give them a call. ~ MJ

  2. Jackie Julty

    Where did you add the chives? I see them in there, but you didn’t indicate whether they go with the wet or dry ingredients.If they’re fresh, they would be on the wet side and vice versa(unless you had to reconstitute the dried chives with a bit of water)

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The chives were listed in with the dry ingredients. If you look at the pictures, the chives are visible in the bowl with the dry ingredients. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  3. alldogz11

    Can you substitute the Bakewell Cream in here instead of the baking powder? What amount/adjustment to recipe would you have to make?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Bakewell cream can sub 1:1 for cream of tartar. Since baking powder is a combination of baking soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch, we wouldn’t make the switch! We wrote the recipe to use baking powder and baking soda as most baker/customers have those leaveners in their pantry. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  4. Carol

    If I’m in a hurry I just pat out the dough into a square shape and take my big pizza cutter and make squares and then bake. The kids love square biscuits too! There is no reforming the excess dough when cutting out rounds this way.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Easy and still just as delicious!!! I remember when I was little I loved anything with bacon and/or ranch and this biscuit has BOTH! Sounds like a great way to whip these up to me…thanks for the suggestion! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hello! My first suggestion would be to make sure that you are not using all whole wheat. Our recipe uses white whole wheat and all purpose to make for a better texture. You also have to be very careful when mixing as the whole wheat is much higher in protein and is even more prone to over mixing. You can also try using a whole wheat pastry flour. Jon@KAF

  5. Candy C.

    I love using biscuits for sandwiches and these sound like the perfect base with the whole grain flour and savory touches. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Glad we could help, Candy! What types of sandwiches do you like to make with your biscuits? Jon@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, that amount is correct. Though, feel free to reduce it if you are not a huge onion fan. Also, make sure to use onion powder, not onion salt. Jon@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Jennifer,
      Just use 3/4 cup of regular milk with 1 teaspoon of vinegar stirred in, and you’ll be just fine. ~ MJ

  6. Laura

    These look great! I’d like to serve them as a side for scrambled eggs, would this recipe fit the mini scone pan?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hmm, I don’t see why it wouldn’t fit. Give it a try and let us know how it works! Jon@KAF

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