Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits

Portioned Buttermilk Biscuits
My friend, Stella, gifted me Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap by Nicole Hunn for my birthday last month.

What to make for breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning? Buttermilk biscuits! Below is my interpretation of Hunn's gluten-free recipe to make these comforting discs of buttery goodness.

  • 2 cups (350g) all-purpose gluten-free flour I used Arrowhead Mill's GF AP Baking Mix, which already includes zanthan gum 
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 8 tbsp butter, chilled & sliced into small cubes (or, one stick)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled, plus more for brushing tops I used 1 cup of lowfat milk shaken + 1 tbsp white vinegar, shaken

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack positioned in middle of oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Sadly, my parchment paper was too large and the baking sheet was slightly wet, so the bottom of my biscuits burned. Learn from my mistakes, folks. 

In a food processor (or large bowl), combine dry ingredients together. Add the butter. Pulse until butter is pea-sized and well distributed. 

With floured hands, transfer dough to lightly floured surface. Place dough in plastic wrap, lightly squeezing it together. Place in fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill, then remove.

At this point my dough was very crumbly and dry, though chilled enough. So, I gently kneaded it together to combine the ingredients better. Be careful not to overwork the dough as you can make it dense and melt the butter with the heat of your hands. Cold butter is what creates the desirable flaky crust. 

Biscuit Dough "Ball"

Roll out dough, in between plastic wrap, until you get a rectangular shape about 1" thick.

Flour a round biscuit cutter, and cut out rounds of dough. I don't have any cutters, so I used the back of a floured knife. This way, I didn't have any scraps. If you do have any left over pieces, re-roll the scraps and shape as desired.

Place the cut dough on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a bit of milk or buttermilk. This step was not included in Hunn's original recipe. I wonder if you could use egg wash, too. Anyone?

Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

Note: You can also freeze the biscuits and bake to "order" later. Place raw biscuits on a sheet pan & chill in freezer. Then, transfer frozen biscuits to freezer-safe container. Increase baking time by 2-3 minutes.

How to Enjoy

When cooled, I put two small biscuits together like a sandwich, with raspberry preserves in between. 

Photo Credit: Nicole Hunn

The Verdict

These gluten-free buttermilk biscuits tasted buttery, doughy, and soft. But, they weren't as fluffy as traditional biscuits. It's probably due to the way I handled my dough as I am a novice baker. 

Though I make a mess with flour, the ingredients and steps in this recipe are simple enough to make these on a re-occuring basis. 


Follow the author, Nicole Hunn, on Twitter @gfshoestring.

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