Why This Recipe Works

While gluten development is less important in tender biscuits than in chewy bread, our gluten-free flour blend still fell short. As we did with other breads, we strengthened the protein network with powdered psyllium husk and added an egg to boost the overall protein content. The biggest challenge was the fat. A biscuit must be buttery, but gluten-free flours just don't absorb fat all that well, and many early attempts were very greasy. A combination of butter and oil was key. Gluten-free flours don't absorb liquid very well either, and we found that biscuits made with buttermilk spread way too much. Switching to thicker yogurt solved the problem. (We prefer whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt will work, producing slightly drier biscuits.) Tasters missed the tang of the buttermilk, but supplementing the yogurt with a little lemon juice fixed that problem. As with other chemically leavened quick breads and cookies, we found that biscuits were much improved by letting the dough rest for 30 minutes before baking. Not only did the resting time help thicken the wet dough a bit (making it easier to shape), but more important, it allowed the starches in the flour blend to fully hydrate. If you skip this step, the biscuits will have a slightly gritty, starchy texture. Placing the biscuits fairly close together on the baking sheet trapped a little extra steam, which made them just a bit lighter and more tender. Biscuits are best eaten the day they are baked, but they can be frozen.


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9 ounces (2 cups) America's Test Kitchen Gluten-Free Flour Blend
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons powdered psyllium husk
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
¾ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice

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Makes 6 Biscuits

1. Whisk flour blend, baking powder, psyllium, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl until combined. Add butter to flour blend mixture, breaking up chunks with your fingertips until only small, pea-size pieces remain. In separate bowl, whisk yogurt, egg, oil, and lemon juice until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir yogurt mixture into flour mixture until thoroughly combined and no flour pockets remain, about 1 minute. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place inside of second baking sheet. Using greased 1/3-cup dry measure, scoop heaping amount of batter and drop onto prepared sheet. (Biscuit should measure about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches high.) Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 1/2 inch apart in center of prepared sheet.

3. Bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.