These innocent looking biscuits nearly drove me mad. I had to make this recipe six times before I got them right. I nearly gave up. But I was determined to win. No little biscuit was going to vanquish The Renovator! The end result—buttery, tender biscuits—was worth it.
This started out as a Cooking Light recipe renovation. I used to love biscuits-in-a-tube when I was a kid, and hadn’t tried making gluten-free biscuits. I started with their recipe for fluffy buttermilk biscuits, intrigued by the idea that you didn’t have to cut in the butter, but melted it and added it to the buttermilk. I used organic Earth Balance spread and made buttermilk from soy milk plus apple cider vinegar and salt. I also had to figure out which gluten-free flour combination would give the best texture. I made biscuits that had delicious texture inside but were flat as pancakes:I made biscuits that looked perfect on the outside but were gummy and chewy on the inside:I went back to Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies for ideas (reviewed here). I changed my flour formula three times. I realized that I had cut in the margarine too finely:It should still look like small peas (or really, aquarium pebbles, but that doesn’t sound as appetizing. But what are “small” peas? Aren’t all peas the same size? But I digress.)
When you cut the margarine or butter in too finely, there aren’t pockets of fat that will expand in the hot oven. That’s what gives biscuits their flaky texture. I gave up on the Cooking Light technique of melting the butter and mixing it with the buttermilk, as it didn’t seem to be working with my recipe.
Using a tip from Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies, I let the dough sit for ten minutes to allow the gluten-free flours to absorb the moisture and let the psyllium husk fiber do its work creating structure. That created scoop-able dough.
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- 1 cup soy milk cold organic
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 6 tbsp Earth Balance frozen, vegan butter
- 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour (78 g)
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour (80 g)
- 1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour (80 g)
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour (58 g) starch
- 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp coconut sugar (organic)
- 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Whisk the apple cider vinegar and salt into the soy milk. Return to the refrigerator so it's very cold.
- Measure and then cut up the vegan butter and put in a freezer-safe bowl in the freezer while you measure the flours.
- Weigh the flours into a medium-sized bowl, or gently spoon or sift the flours into the measuring cup, leveling off with the flat blade of a knife.
- Add to a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until it is a uniform color. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. When you measure the baking soda and baking powder, use a fine sifter or wire mesh to remove any possible lumps. Whisk again until thoroughly mixed.
- Cut in the frozen butter using a pastry sieve or two knives in a cross-wise pattern until the butter is reasonably well mixed in and about the size of aquarium pebbles (or small peas).
- Return the bowl to the refrigerator for ten minutes.
- Turn on the oven to 425F/220C/gas mark 6.5. The oven should be preheated in about ten minutes.
- Scoop the dough (if it is not scoopable, let it stand another five minutes to set up) onto a parchment-covered baking sheet using an ice cream scoop or large spoon.
- Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown and lightly cracked on top.
- Serve immediately for best flavor and texture. Store for a day in a zippered bag, or in the freezer. Reheat in a 300F/150C/gas mark 2 oven for 10-15 minutes, not in the microwave.
- 141 calories
- 5 g fat
- 0 g cholesterol
- 329 mg sodium (182 mg sodium with salt omitted)
- 31 mg potassium
- 22 g carbohydrate
- 1 g fiber
- 1 g sugars
- 2 g protein
- 4 Weight Watchers Points Plus