Whilst there are many recipes for traditional homemade dinner biscuits, that include buttermilk, eggs and butter, there are not that many recipes that are budget friendly or vegan.
Sure, you can always swap dairy products like butter or milk with dairy-free versions, like almond milk or coconut milk or butter.
But, did you know that you can bake dinner biscuits with just 4 simple ingredients, that are cheap, vegetarian and vegan and you probably have them already in your kitchen cupboard!
Whilst the butter, eggs and milk or buttermilk makes the homemade dinner biscuits deliciously soft, creamy and full of flavour, the same recipe can be made without them! You don’t even need to substitute them for anything else or use a dairy-free versions!
What are dinner biscuits?
A note for my British friends: Dinner biscuits are basically version of a savoury scone, which can be made with butter, eggs and buttermilk to add richness. They are eaten like bread with dinner and go well with anything from soup, stew or other evening meals.
This version is a very basic one, but you can find dinner biscuits with cheese and various fillings and toppings. This is a savoury version of the sweet scones recipe which is often made for an afternoon tea.
My version of this dairy free and egg free dinner biscuits is based on Irish Soda Bread, which is similarly made from plain (non-bread) flour and whilst normally made with buttermilk is perfectly good tasting without it too!
Ingredients for dinner biscuits
Plain white flour
This can be any plain white or even wholemeal flour you would normally use for baking cakes. You can also use low gluten or gluten free flour, such as buckwheat, spelt or lupin flour or mix them together.
Since we are using baking powder for raising these dinner biscuits, we need the flour to be as light on gluten as it can be.
I use regular tap water to make this recipe, but you can use filtered water or even other liquids such as sprite or lemonade, milk or grape juice.
Your dinner biscuits will have a slightly different taste depending on what type of liquid you use. This is a great way to wary the flavour of your dinner biscuits and also a fab way to use up any leftovers of milk, yoghurt or buttermilk.
Theoretically, you could make dinner biscuits without salt, but they would be rather dull tasting. I prefer to use a sea salt or flavoured salt to add a hint of flavour, but any type of salt will do.
If you are using anything coarse like a sea salt flakes, make sure you disolve them in a water/liquid first before you add them into the dough. Sea salt or larger flakes have the habit of not dissolving on their own and you might end up with a bits of salt inside your dinner biscuits.
I prefer to use baking powder instead of baking soda, but theoretically, you can use both or even mix them together.
I find that if you are a little bit sensitive to baking soda, you might taste a bitter after taste if you use it. Surprisingly, you won’t have the same problem with baking powder even when you add a large amount, which this recipe does have.
Tips for making homemade dinner biscuits
The most important thing is not to overmix the dough. You don’t need to knead the bread dough, you literary just need to throw it together. The less you work your dough, the lighter the dinner biscuits will be.
Pre-heat the oven before you start mixing your dough and make sure it’s the correct temperature before you put the baking tray in the oven. The high & correct temperature is important for the biscuits to rise well.
Don’t hang around when you finish mixing & cutting your biscuits and place them straight to the oven. The baking powder starts to work the minute you add water to the dough, so you want to make sure that you get the best rise right from the beginning.
Check that your dinner biscuits are done by inserting a wooden skewer to the biscuit. If it comes out clean and dry, your biscuits are ready.
Hope you enjoy baking this one and if you do, let me know how you got on in the comments below!
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Easy dinner biscuits recipe (Vegan & Budget-Friendly)
- 250 g plain flour
- 150 ml water
- 1 1/5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6).
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix in the water to make a dough.
- Tip everything on a kitchen surface and bring everything together by kneading the dough very briefly.
- If the dough looks like it's too dry and not coming together, add a tablespoon of water.
- Roll out the dough to about 1 inch depth (2 fingers approx) and cut out the biscuits with a 3 or 4 cm cutter (you can also use a small glass or something similar). You should have about 6 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutter.
- Place on the baking tray, which is lined with a non-stick baking parchment.
- Gently brush the top of the biscuits with water to prevent them from drying out.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then check with a wooden skewer to make sure they are baked.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and serve with your dinner.