Gluten-Free Light and Fluffy Biscuits
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.