Food + Wine

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

My kitchen is like a test kitchen. It’s part grocery store, part laboratory. My husband asked me a couple months ago if we had xanthan gum because he wanted to make some post-workout protein balls and I, reading a book on the couch, said,

‘yep. Bottom shelf, on the left.’  
Then paused for a moment, put my book down and thought, ‘that probably isn’t normal.’

I love to play with my food and experiment and try new things. And I love to always have the means to do so. Therefore my kitchen is stocked with a plethora of ingredients ranging from the normal stuff to the far from so. So when I set out to attempt gluten free biscuits to sell to my G-free clients, all I had to do was look at the bottom shelf, on the left.

Let me preface this recipe with this: I am Southern. Therefore I know what a biscuit is supposed to look and taste like. It cannot be made with anything other than butter and/or shortening and I believe the best ones are made with buttermilk. If you use any kind of oil to replace the butter and/or shortening in a biscuit recipe, you are not making biscuits.  You are making muffins.
These are really a very good substitute if you can’t tolerate gluten. My family eats gluten just fine and they were still a big hit.  I made my own flour blend that I believe works quite well as a replacement. (The key is to be sure to have twice as much heavy flour to starches in the blend.)  But be warned: these have a slightly gritty texture because brown rice flour is course in comparison to fluffy white flour.  I also don’t use any gums; xanthan or otherwise. They are not needed in a biscuit recipe because what you want in a biscuit is lightness and fluffiness…not stretchiness and denseness.
If you want a healthier version of a real biscuit, check out my whole wheat buttermilk biscuit recipe here:
But if you’re cutting out gluten and still want a biscuit, try this recipe!!


*Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits
(Yields 4 large biscuits)
Mix your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
-1 cup brown rice flour
-1/2 cup coconut flour
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1/4 cup tapioca starch
-1 TB + 1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp kosher salt
Using your fingers, mix in the following:
-2 TB unsalted butter, cold and cut into tiny pieces
-2 TB butter flavored shortening
Mix until the fat has incorporated into the dry and developed a crumbly consistency.
Slowly add:
-1 cup of buttermilk, cold (you may not need all of it…you may need more)
Mix with your fingers after you pour a little at a time until you get a sticky, but not too loose, dough. And be careful not to over-handle.
Transfer to a flour-dusted surface (use whichever flour/starch you want to dust your counter with) and shape into a flat disk, roughly 1 inch thick.
Cut into rounds using a 3 inch biscuit butter and place on an un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake, on the top rack in a 450 degree oven for 11 minutes.
Brush with melted butter for best results.
Cool slightly before eating warm or at room temperature.
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