Dishing Up the Dirt

Buttermilk Biscuit Jammers

Folks, before I get to this recipe I want to tell you a little story about a girl and her biscuit. This story began when I was in middle school. You see, every Friday morning I had a standing tradition with my mom (who was my designated driver to school) to swing by Grand Central Bakery in Portland, OR for a vanilla steamed milk and a “jammer” before school. I dreaded school in those days (I was bullied, had high anxiety and undiagnosed dyslexia) so as many of you can imagine (and many of you can probably relate) those days were dark, lonely and full of utter exhaustion. Friday mornings however, were the highlight of my week. In fact, I cherished these mornings so much that I started looking forward to them pretty much after I nibbled that last crumb of biscuit and licked jam off my sticky fingers. These biscuits were special. They offered me comfort, reliability, and a brief “break” from the turmoil of early adolescence and the anxiety of being in a classroom were I felt like the biggest misfit. It’s true what they say, food is medicine. And no, I’m not talking about kale and bone broth. I’m talking about the feeling of security. The feeling of being far away from your troubles and worries. The feeling of biting into a warm, buttery, crumbly, sweet (but not too sweet) little biscuit that feels like a trusted old friend. Those Friday mornings were magical and I look back on them with a lot of fondness and a slight sadness at the same time.

Fast forward 22 years! Taylor and I live over an hour and a half from that wonderful bakery in Portland, OR. However, we live 15 minutes (YES, 15 minutes!!) from a little corner bakery- Pine Street Bakery. I didn’t know much about this bakery before we stepped into the front doors for the first time eight years ago. However, it didn’t take long for my jaw to pretty much drop to the ground. Staring right back at me from the front and center of the pastry case was an old and familiar sight. An abundant selection of beautiful JAMMERS!!!! Turns out, the owner of Pine Street Bakery is the daughter of the original Grand Central Bakery owners! I about died. That little 12 year old girl hadn’t let the bullies, anxieties, and learning disabilities stop her. She lived in this new town, running her own business with the love of her life and by a miracle beyond anything she can comprehend, the Jammers found there way back to her life. However, now that girl (woman) can enjoy them not as a way to escape, but as a way to slow down, be present, and savor the simple pleasures of a warm, buttery, jam filled biscuit. That girl has also upgraded from a vanilla steamer to a whole milk latte and loves dunking chunks of biscuit into that hot, frothy beverage.

Ever since the pandemic we don’t leave the farm much. And while we still try and support our favorite local businesses when we can, it’s hard during the winter with snowy roads and a new baby whose nap schedule pretty much keeps us homebound most of the time.  I’ve been craving jammer’s recently and after a little digging on the old internet I found the original recipe!  I am so beyond excited to share this treat with you all. It’s simple to make local (we used locally sourced flour, butter, buttermilk and homemade jam) and if you’re able to source your ingredients with local grains and dairy that’s always a bonus, but if not this is an easy, economical treat that anyone can make and enjoy in the comfort of their own home. I did change the recipe up a bit to use what we had on hand (whole wheat pastry flour and honey instead of sugar) but these babies are pretty darn close to the original recipe and the results were divine!

I hope you all get a chance to take a break from the chaos of these heavy times and enjoy a warm biscuit and a cup of your favorite cozy beverage.

Cheers from a very snowy Tumbleweed Farm.

Buttermilk Biscuit Jammers

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 35 minutes    Serves: 10-12 biscuits

  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub all purpose)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (you can substitute sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups cold buttermilk (see note)
  • 3/4 cup good quality jam (homemade or store-bought is fine)

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set it to the side.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor pulse the flour, honey, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix to combine.
  3. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs with a few larger pieces of butter still visible. Add 1 cup of the buttermilk and pulse until the mixture just comes together. Scrape the dough from the bottom and sides of the processor and then add the remaining 1/4 cup.  If the dough seems too dry and a few more tablespoons of buttermilk.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently pat it into an oblong shape about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. It won't looks smooth and will look rather rough and that's just fine. Use a biscuit cutter to cut the jammers into circles at least  2 1/2 inches in diameter. Layer the leftover scrapes on top of one another and repeat the process until you use up all the dough. You should end up with about 10-12 biscuits.
  5. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each biscuit (use your fingers to gently support the outer edges of the biscuit while you do this so they don't crumble or smash) Make your indentation semi deep so you can get a good amount of jam in there! (you almost want to go to the bottom of the biscuit but obviously not all the way!) Fill each indentation with about 1 tablespoon of jam and place the biscuits about 1 inch apart from each other on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until golden and baked through. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.

Notes

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand you can make your own by replacing the buttermilk in the recipe with whole milk and adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. *Store the biscuits in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days or place in the freezer for 6 months.


Leave a Reply

7 thoughts on “Buttermilk Biscuit Jammers

  1. Jo-Anne Lennard says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I just wanted to let you know that I have been a subscriber to your blog for several years and always enjoy your recipes and tales. This one really got to me. Like you, my younger years in school were difficult and I was bullied also and made to feel “different” by my school mates. I recall some foods being a comfort to me also. I grew up in West Vancouver, B.C. and we lived on the side of Grouse Mountain. So winters were snowy and we didn’t have stores within walking distance. My Mom would drive once a week into town to Safeway at the Park Royal Plaza where she would do her food shopping for the week. At the front of the store there was a glassed in donut making operations. My brother and I would stand at the beginning of the machine as the dough was measured out into the oil, then they would float along and an arm would flip them over so the other side could cook, then they would be grabbed and placed on a wire rack where they would drain and cool. A few minutes later, the woman operator would take them and dip them in various glazes and put sprinkles on others. By the time we watched the whole process, my Mom would be finished her food shopping and come to collect us where she would buy some fresh donuts for us to bring home. Your story reminded me of my own memories and the simple pleasures that can captivate us and turn something negative into positive. Thanks for sharing your story and recipe.

    1. Andrea says:

      I can almost smell those donuts! Oh how I love this story and that weekly tradition. Thank you for sharing. xoxoxo

  2. Sharon Suits says:

    Wonderful memory you shared with us. How lucky to find that connection! Can hardly wait until we can come back to the Gorge-one of our favorite locations for so many reasons. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. LORIE DURFEE says:

    I just have to say that I love your stories. And what a way to look at food as medicine. It’s so true, how certain foods can bring us joy. I just ordered your new cookbook and cannot wait to get it and read it. I love making your recipes!
    By the way that baby of yours is so adorable, I love seeing pictures of her.

    1. Andrea says:

      ah, thank you so much for your kind words. Happy holidays. xo

  4. Beverly says:

    I was so happy to find this recipe using whole wheat flour, that’s all I ever use for biscuits and most of my baking. I made a batch this morning and they turned out delicious. Thank you!

    1. Andrea says:

      So happy to hear!!

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