My previous post for Vanilla Lemon Sabayon included a photo of the sabayon served on a gluten free biscuit. I did not post the biscuit recipe because I was still tweaking the recipe.
Biscuits were one of the hardest foods for my daughter to give up when she went gluten free. They have also been one of the hardest recipes for me to adapt!
I tried several recipes, each time expecting a product that would rise to the level of a real buttermilk biscuit (both in size and flavor). Eggs, no eggs. Combinations of up to five different kids of flours and starches. Folding and turning the dough; a sort of modified puff pastry technique. Each time I ended up with a passable biscuit, but one that had hardly risen from when the dough was cut.
The idealist in me was deflated by the reality of the chemistry of gluten.
I was forced to face the fact that due to the lack of gluten, it is just not possible to get the same rise you would get with a real biscuit. You can, however, make up for this with flavor! With this recipe the focus is on the flavor and texture of the biscuit.
Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch ground nutmeg
1 stick unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift or whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Remove 1/4 cup from the mixture and set aside. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles pea sized crumbs.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork just until mixed and then pour into the flour mixture and stir. Drizzle the buttermilk into the mixture and mix together well with a spatula, until it all comes together. It will be sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with the reserved 1/4 cup of the flour mixture. Knead the dough quickly 4-5 times, forming a large flat ball. It should feel heavy but loose.
Sprinkle extra gluten free flour onto your surface if it is still too sticky. Flatten the ball to the desired height of your biscuits (I flatten mine to about an inch and a half).
Use a long offset spatula or bread knife dipped in cold water to cut your biscuits. I don’t bother with a biscuit cutter for these, as it is a loose dough. Square it off if you want even squares.
Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Don’t fret if you have bits that stick or fall off as you transfer, just moosh those pieces onto the sides of some of your smaller biscuits. This dough is very forgiving.
Place an inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush tops with some softened butter and bake for 12-15 minutes (time will depend on how high you cut your biscuits). I like to sprinkle some of my biscuits with turbinado sugar to add a sweet crunchiness.
They are done when they turn light golden brown on the edges and only lightly spring back when you carefully touch the tops. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or room temperature.
They freeze beautifully. Just thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, or use the lowest auto-defrost setting on your microwave for 45 seconds.
This recipe makes 12 light, airy and tasty gluten free biscuits.