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Buttermilk Biscuits

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Buttermilk biscuits is a basic recipe, like a starting point of a recipe that everyone can learn to make. Biscuits are best eaten hot from the oven with butter, or an-inch-of-jam according to my mom. They can be made sweet into a Strawberry Shortcake or savoury with added cheese or almost anything you can think of. For a biscuit pot pie they can be baked right on top of stew. So, that means you need a recipe you love and one that works every time.

Baking With Confidence

I think there are a few things that make us think of a recipe as easy. People who grew up making all sorts of things with their family think of some recipes as easy, that many of us would consider a bit of a challenge. Think of kids pinching perogies, making pies or flipping crepes.

You have to like the recipe the first time but then my best advice is to make the recipe at least three times. That little bit of effort reinforces all the steps. That includes knowing all the ingredients, being comfortable with the method, knowing the best pan to use, the right oven temperature, cooking time and many more small things you wouldn’t normally think about. When you make a recipe once a week for a month, twice at one time or even every day for three days you just learn things. Then you start to gain the confidence to adjust small things and you know you can whip up that recipe any time you want.

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Gluten Free Flour Mix vs Measuring Individual Flours

Biscuits made with wheat flour would typically have just a few ingredients. This gluten free recipe call for five flours/starches so I totally get the appeal of a GF flour mix. However, like many people I have a cupboard full of flours and am reluctant to add GF baking flour mixes to the already crammed shelves. The ingredients in the mixes are already right there in the cupboard. I also don’t know exactly what ingredients and amounts are in the bought mixes.

This is the ongoing dilemma of a gluten free baker. I do make and use my own gluten free flour mix in lots of recipes I make over and over with great success. Gluten free baking is a work in progress so keep trying until you find the recipe you love.

The four flour and starch combination for my gluten free flour mix
Gluten Free Flour Mix -photo credit Jim Little

Get The Tools – 3 Methods For Buttermilk Biscuits

Once you have the biscuit dough made choose one of these three methods to shape your biscuits.

Drop Method

Using 2 soup spoons grab a large blob of dough on one spoon and use the back of the second spoon to “drop” the dough onto the baking sheet. This will result in a more textured, rustic biscuit.

Scoop Method

Using a large scoop with a thumb release, drop the scoop of dough onto a baking sheet. This will result in a fairly smooth, rounded biscuit.
Cheddar Pesto Biscuits
Cut Method vs Scoop Method for Biscuits -photo credit Jim Little

Cut Method

Using a spatula scrape the dough into a pile on the counter. Dust the dough with tapioca starch and pat it down. Flip it over once, dust the top with more tapioca starch and continue patting it down to about ¾-inch thickness. This will ensure you can easily lift the biscuits off the cutting board and transfer it to a baking pan. Cut biscuits into wedges or squares. I like to use a long, straight metal icing spreader  sideways to cut the dough and then just transfer them to the baking sheet as usual.
Let me know in the comments below what method you prefer and if you varied the recipes. For more ideas check out this post, variations on gluten free biscuits.
Biscuit Pizza with Pepperoni
Biscuit Pizza -photo credit Jim Little


1 cup tapioca flour
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ cup white rice flour
½ cup potato starch
½ cup cornstarch
1½ tsp xanthan gum
4 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
5 Tbsp cold vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
4 Tbsp cold butter, cut into cubes
1½ cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to mix evenly.
Put dry ingredients in a food processor with a pastry blade. Add the butter and shortening and process to a coarse mixture. This can also be done by hand with a pastry cutter.
Add buttermilk and process just until combined. It will look like a wet, sticky mixture.
Using 2 soup spoons grab a large blob of dough on one spoon and use the back of the second spoon to “drop” the dough onto the baking sheet. (see notes for alternative methods)
Place biscuits onto a baking sheet and bake in 425°F oven. For a softer biscuit leave them touching each other on the baking sheet. For more of a crust on the sides spread the biscuits about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until bottom and top are nicely browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes then serve hot or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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