Biscuits. Moist, fluffy, and slightly chewy. Drop biscuits, specifically. I’ve never been a fan of rolled biscuits. They never seem to break apart like they should when homemade, and I can’t stand the store-bought layered biscuits in a can. The layers just weird me out. I keep expecting to find a bug between the layers.
No, I’m not saying there are bugs in the packing plant for companies that make layered biscuits in cans. I’m saying I have terrible paranoia and food that has layers that can hide things makes me think it has something to hide.
If you’re Cajun or Creole and your doctor tells you that you can’t have gluten, there’s a high probability that bread and pasta will not be at the top of The Evil List of Doom (aka stuff you can’t eat anymore and therefore will torture you from this point on). They’ll probably be 5 and 6 on the list. I’ve spoken to a few other locals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, and the thought process is usually something like this, although if someone has more of a sweet tooth the pastries come first:
So I can’t have anything with wheat? Like, flour? Wait, you’re saying I can’t have
1. Roux. Roux?? I can’t have gumbo?!?
2. No roux, ugh, that means no etoufee, no bisque, no gravy for my biscuits –
3. CRAP!! NO BISCUITS!! (So long Mel’s!)
4. Hmm. If I can’t have biscuits, I can’t have donuts or beignets or…uh-oh. No King Cake. (Say goodbye to Meche’s too)
5. Huh. I can’t have bread either. No po-boys. This is gonna suck. (There goes Chris’s Poboys and Olde Tyme Grocery)
6. Oh for the love of–no pasta? Seriously? I can’t have shrimp or crawfish fettuccine either??
Given that this is usually the case, I’m more interested in addressing the more pressing issues, like roux and biscuits. Every gluten-free blog I link to has at least one good bread recipe, if not more. A few have pasta recipes ( I love the gum-free pasta from No Gluten, No Problem). Because of this, I see no point in spending time on these dishes. Good gluten-free drop biscuits that stand up well to gravy, though, seem to be harder to pull off. I’ve tried close to 10 recipes, I’ve tried coming up with my own, and still, this is the best recipe. I’m not even going to try any more. Feel free to look for others, but don’t come back fussing if/when you realize you wasted your time. This is THE BEST gluten-free biscuit recipe I’ve found out there. It’s not made of lots of whole grains, and it’s not low-fat, but they taste like “real” biscuits.
Big Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits
1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato flour (grind instant mashed potato flakes in a coffee grinder)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum*
1/4 tsp guar gum*
5 tsp sugar
1 cup buttermilk
4 tbsp butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
for lower fat, use these wet ingredients instead
1 1/2 tbsp canola
1 1/2 tbsp cold cubed butter
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (use 1/4 cup extra)*
Instead of 1 tsp xanthan gum I used 1 tbsp flax meal.
Instead of 1/4 tsp guar gum I used 1 tsp psyllium husk powder.
Note – I don’t recommend substituting one and not the other. If you’re going to use gums, use gums. For some recipes you can use just flax or just psyllium, but in my experience, if you are making biscuits without xanthan and guar gum, they need both psyllium and flax. I suppose Chia could work (if you’re allergic to flax), but I’ve never cooked with it, and have no idea how much you would need.
Instead of buttermilk I used an equal amount of unsweetened almond milk, because I was out of buttermilk :*)
One other little note. If you like cornbread-textured things, you could swap out the potato flour and 1/4 cup of the white rice flour for 1/2 cup of sorghum flour. It makes rather crumbly biscuits that are very reminiscent of cornbread, but nowhere near as mealy. I discovered this while playing around one day with flours, and my brother actually likes them better with jam than the original, fluffier version.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and mix well to avoid flour pockets.
Mix all of your wet ingredients except for the butter into a smaller bowl.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Finally, add the cold cubed butter. Use your hands to work the butter into the dough if you have to, but be gentle, and make sure to leave a few butter chunks here and there.
Now, this part depends on how many biscuits you want. I wanted a dozen. You might want 6 really big biscuits. That’s up to you. Whichever you decide, roll the dough into that many balls. Place the dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet (nonstick works too) and press down with a glass or the palm of your hand to flatten them into discs, about 3/4″ tall. You don’t want to smash them, just press them down enough that they will bake into discs. Brush some butter on top if you want them golden on top, since gluten=free flours don’t brown the way wheat flour does. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
Let the biscuits rest on the pan for a couple of minutes after you pull them from the oven, but before you transfer them to another dish or container. They might need that extra time in cooler air to ‘set’, as do a lot of baked gluten-free items.
Now, I’ll be back sometime today, possibly tonight, to post part 2, the gravy recipe. It’s not quite normal white gravy with sausage. I’d post it now, but I’m typing this with a sleeping toddler in my lap who very much needs to be put to bed.
Oh, and I didn’t forget about the scones. You’ll get them soon enough 😉