How to Make Fluffy Gluten-Free Biscuits

BakingGluten-FreeBiscuit

Here's how to make fluffy, flaky, mile-high gluten-free biscuits! They're everything you want in a biscuit, just without the gluten. Use any favorite gluten-free flour mix.

Photography Credit: Sabrina Modelle

Flaky, buttery, sky-high biscuits are one of life’s simple joys. When I learned that I would need to be gluten-free for rest of my life, biscuits were one of those simple joys that I was not willing to give up. So, I set to working on gluten-free biscuit recipes!

Over the years, I’ve made some truly awesome gluten-free biscuits, but of all those biscuits, these may be my favorite.

In developing this recipe, I used every trick in the book to make my gluten-free biscuits just as good as the gluten-y ones I remember. All those tricks came with a big payoff!

Gluten-Free Biscuits

3 Tips for Mile-High Gluten-Free Biscuits

  • Replace the buttermilk with sour cream and a touch of heavy cream. This results in a light texture, a very tender crumb, and a lovely flavor.
  • Treat the biscuit dough like a pie crust. Work with very cold butter and cold hands. Also, turn and fold the dough to create distinct flaky layers.
  • Bake the gluten-free biscuits in a cast iron skillet with very little room in between each biscuit. The biscuits have almost no room to expand sideways and must puff up high instead. I like using a 9-inch cast iron skillet.

Since this recipe is made entirely by hand, if your hands tend to run warm, soak them in cold water for a minute, then dry them thoroughly before mixing.

Speaking of mixing, I find the best way is to rub the butter and flour between your fingers making a motion that mimics snapping.

Also, don’t skimp on the resting time when making these biscuits. Gluten-free flours benefit greatly from resting since they can take longer to hydrate than wheat flour. Also, working with very cold, well-chilled dough makes those biscuits even flakier.

Gluten-Free BiscuitsThis combination of techniques and ingredients produces a biscuit that is flaky, buttery, and slightly tangy. They are a complete pleasure to eat on their own, drizzled with honey, or topped with strawberries and whipped cream, shortcake-style.

If you’d like to use this biscuit for a savory recipe, like biscuits and gravy or a pot pie, just reduce the sugar to 2 teaspoons.

How to Make Fluffy Gluten-Free Biscuits Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 (2 1/2-inch) biscuits

I used Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour Mix to develop this recipe. For best results, use this flour mix.

If your flour mix doesn't contain xanthan gum, add 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum (see Recipe Note)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus more to grease the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus extra to brush the tops

Special equipment:

Method

1 Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt together.

2 Work the butter into the flour mixture: Scatter the butter over the top of the dry ingredients. Using only your fingers, work the butter into the flour using a snapping motion (like snapping your fingers).

Try to work quickly and don’t be afraid to leave some larger chunks of butter (up to the size of a hazelnut) in the mix. When the mixture looks like gravel, you’re ready for the next steps.

Gluten-Free Biscuits

3 Add the sour cream and heavy cream: Add the sour cream to the flour mixture and sprinkle the heavy cream over top. Using only a fork, mix the liquids into the flour. The dough will look ragged and shaggy, but it will come together.

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4 Fold and shape the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and use cold hands to gently knead the dough a few times until it comes together in a rough ball shape.

Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a thick rectangle. Fold it into thirds, like folding a letter. Turn the dough one quarter and roll it out again. Fold it once more into thirds.

Gluten-Free Biscuits

5 Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6 While dough is resting, preheat oven to 400F and generously grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with butter.

7 Cut out the biscuits: Unwrap the dough and roll out into a rectangle roughly 1 inch thick. Using a well-floured 2- to 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as possible. Push straight down to cut your biscuits. Twisting the cutter impedes the rise. (If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, you can use a sturdy glass, or use a knife to cut square biscuits).

Once you’ve cut as many biscuits as you can, gather the scraps together, roll them out again, and cut more biscuits.

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8 Bake the biscuits: Transfer the biscuits in the greased skillet and brush the tops with a little cream. The biscuits should be fairly tightly packed together with just a little space in between. It's fine if the biscuits touch.

Bake for 22 to 26 minutes until the biscuits are puffed and the tops are golden brown.

These biscuits are best enjoyed hot and fresh from the oven. Leftover biscuits will keep well for up to three days and can be reheated in the microwave or toaster.

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Gluten-Free Biscuits

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Sabrina Modelle

Sabrina Modelle started The Tomato Tart in 2010. Since then, recipes and photographs have been featured in media outlets, worldwide. The site features handmade, homemade, food that happens to be gluten free. When she’s not working, Sabrina can be found with her nose in a cookbook and a dog in her lap.

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57 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mrs T

    Going gluten free is still new to me. So far baking has been disappointing. These biscuits are a real treat. I will be making them again. I would like to see the nutritional values tor this recipe, as well.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. lindsay parker

    they turned out fabulous! followed the recipe to a T, even the flour recommendation and they were so good! thank you so much.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Beth

    Not sure what I’m doing wrong but made these a 2nd time tonight and still awful! Followed the directions to a T. They take way longer than 26 min to bake, still not cooked in middle. So I flipped them over as the tops still white but bottoms brown. They don’t puff up, they will doughie inside after baking close to 45 min. Threw them out :( I was disappointed after 2 times trying these.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (2)
  4. Susan

    Can’t find the recipe notes to tell me how much xanthan gum to add to a gluten free flour blend that doesn’t have it. Please help!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. PaulaG

    Made these this morning and even with my own flour blend they are truly amazing. You can see the flakey layers. These biscuits are crisp on the outside and melt in your mouth tender on the inside. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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