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It's All About the Baking came about because I want to share my Gluten-free baking. I've developed recipes and tricks over the past ten years so I could enjoy old favorites that tasted, well, just like the old favorites! Hundreds of experiments and tastings (including and especially friends who can eat gluten) later, I'm ready to share!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Old Fashioned Drop Biscuits    

I've promised several friends a copy of this recipe, adapted from America's Test Kitchen Gluten-free Cookbook. I know how I like my biscuits and though some folks might prefer the original recipe, I like the recipe as I've adapted it. These biscuits are flaky and tender, but don't take to cutting through with a knife (they tend to compact or mash down) so do split with a fork. These are marvelous on their own or with butter, jam or honey, if you insist.

9 ounces (2 Cups) ATK Gluten-free flour blend* (other flour blends/brand will produce a different biscuit)
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp powdered psyllium husk
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

4 TB butter chilled and cut into little 1/4 inch pieces
2 TB Spectrum Organic Shortening (if Crisco is all you have, go ahead)

3/4 C Whole-milk plain yogurt (please don't sub low-fat or non-fat)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp rice-wine vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice

Stir dry ingredients together. Cut in butter and shortening in food-processor, pastry blender, or 2 knives until the solid pieces are about the size of petite peas. Beat together yogurt, egg, vinegar or lemon juice.
Using a silicone or rubber spatula, combine both sets of ingredients, sort of cutting but not mashing it together. Let rest on the counter for half an hour.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 450 with the rack in the middle of the oven. To avoid burned bottoms (who likes that!) nestle one cookie sheet just inside of a larger one. You can fiddle with baking pans till something works. Line the sheet/pan you're going to bake the biscuits on with parchment or a silicone baking sheet.
When the 30 minutes are up, scoop about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dough at a time and drop on to baking sheet. You can use a big spoon, measuring cup, or tall cookie cutter for this. I use a biscuit/cookie cutter that's about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and push the dough through.
Crowd the biscuits, only about 1/2 inch apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Honestly, it took mine about 18 minutes, but please check around the 13 minute mark. Cool on wire rack and don't eat until they're cool enough to handle!

* ATK flour blend:
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (3/4 cup) potato starch
3/4 ounce (3 TB) nonfat milk powder
If you want to understand the science behind why this works, please buy the ATK cookbook. Having said that, I use only Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Flour for both types of rice flour in this formula. This is a wonderful company and deserves supporting and this flour makes the absolutely best baked good.