There are many advantages to living gluten free. If you’re reading this blog, you already know what the life-changing ones are, especially if you’ve been searching for months or even years for answers to why you weren’t feeling well. What a difference a diagnosis makes.
But did you also know that baking without gluten has advantages, too? After years of owning a gluten-full Italian bakery, writing gluten-full recipes for magazines or baking off loaf after loaf of gluten-full bread, believe me, the advantages have been liberating. It took me months to realize that gluten-free baked goods meant I didn’t have to worry about over-mixing or letting dough rest so it wouldn’t play tug-of-war with me. No more patience was needed to pull off the perfect texture.
“It took me months to re-train my brain, but it was worth every second. No gluten = huge timesaver.”
For these biscuits, I didn’t have to worry about developing gluten to yield a buttery, flaky biscuit. Before I would have folded and rolled the dough, let it rest, folded and rolled the dough again, let it rest again and finally cut it into rounds or squares before baking. Not anymore. All I needed to do was freeze the butter, then process it with my fingertips or a food processor into coarse crumbs so that the bits of butter would evenly distribute throughout the dough, resulting in pockets of buttery flakiness.
My friends and I are playing with ratios again as part of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally. What’s the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally? We’re a group of food bloggers and cookbook authors committed to baking with ratios. This month’s assignment: biscuits. Thanks, Gretchen, from Kumquat, for being our host! Please check Gretchen’s site (or below) for the complete list of bloggers with links to their biscuit recipes.
Me and my ratio: After playing around in the kitchen with various ratios, this one made me (and my family) the happiest. It’s easy to remember, too. Feel free to have fun with the ratios. It will depend ever so slightly on the ratio of grains and starches in your gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Also, just in case, I’ve included cup and spoon measurements if that’s what you’re more comfortable with.
¾ cup milk or nondairy milk, plus more for brushing? (165g)
4 breakfast sausage links, such as Jones—chopped, cooked and cooled
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese or cheddar-style cheese, such as Daiya
In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 12 minutes. Stir in the poppy seeds and a pinch of salt and let cool.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour blend, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in the remaining 6 tablespoons butter until coarse crumbs form. Add the cooled onion mixture, sausage and cheese; stir to coat with the flour mixture. Stir in the milk and combine with a wooden spoon or your hands.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Lightly flour the top and using your fingertips or a rolling pin, press the dough out until about ¾-inch thick; cut into rounds or squares. Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The unbaked biscuits can be frozen in a single layer, then placed in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 month. Just thaw before baking.