How to Make Gluten-Free Biscuits

You can also bring this dough together in the food processor (with gentle pulses) and by hand (soak your hands in cold water; the butter should be even colder), but we have found that using the stand mixer works quickly and requires the least amount of manual interference with cold butter. And this is what you want for flaky biscuits!

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

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about 300 g) gluten-free flour mix, preferably Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Blend or another flour blend with xanthan gum
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) very cold butter, cut into tablespoons and then cut in half, plus more to grease the pan
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter

Special equipment:

  • 9-inch cast iron skillet, or 8x8 baking dish

Method

1 Combine dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. 

Easy Gluten Free Biscuit Recipe mix the dry ingredients

2 Add the butter: On the low speed, let the mixer break up the butter into smaller pieces; this should take about a minute. Stop the mixer and check; you still want visible pieces of butter about the size of marbles or even a little bigger. They will look like they are starting to flatten.

This dough is not a situation where we say the flour and butter should look like “the consistency of small peas.” If some of the pieces haven't flattened, just press them between your fingertips to break them up a little bit—dime-sized pieces are fine.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe add the butter

3 Add the buttermilk: Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add 2 tablespoons of buttermilk. Using a fork, quickly mix the buttermilk into the flour to hydrate it.

Then, slowly mix in a scant 3/4 cup of buttermilk and combine with a fork until no streaks of flour remain. If the dough seems dry, add additional buttermilk a tablespoon at a time and incorporate before adding more. You don't want a wet dough.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe slowly pour in the buttermilk

4 Gather the dough into a ball: On a floured surface, turn out the dough, which will look like a crumbly mess. It will come together when you begin to shape it into a ball. If for some reason (ambient humidity, variations in buttermilk thickness) the dough feels dry, add a couple of tablespoons of buttermilk to hydrate those dry bits.

Gluten Free Biscuits gather the doughGluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe turn the dough into a ball

5 Fold the dough like a letter: Lightly press the dough (or roll it with a floured rolling pin) into a thick rectangular shape, about 4 inches by 6 inches. Fold one of the short ends of the dough toward the middle, and then the other, like a letter.

Rotate the dough 1/4 turn and roll it out, and fold it again into thirds. Repeat this process one more time, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1/2 hour to an hour. (This process creates flaky layers; if you skip it, your biscuits will bake flat, like hockey pucks.) 

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe fold the dough

6 Prep the oven and pan: Preheat the oven to 425°F and prep a 9- or 10-inch cast iron pan or an 8x8 glass baking dish with either spray oil or grease with butter.

7 Roll and cut out the biscuits: Remove the dough from the fridge and, using a rolling pin, gently roll it out to a rectangle about 6 inches by 9 inches and one inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter that’s been lightly floured (this dough can be sticky), cut out about 6 biscuits by pressing the cutter straight down into the dough; if you twist them when you remove them, you’ll stunt their rise!

Reroll the scraps, reflouring the biscuit cutter if needed, and make more biscuits until all the dough is used up.

Transfer to the pan. You will have to nestle them close to each other, and that’s okay. You want them touching in order for them to rise better. Brush the tops with the melted butter.

Easy Gluten Free Biscuit Recipe press out the biscuits Gluten Free Biscuits add to the pan Easy Gluten Free Biscuit Recipe load up the pan Easy Gluten Free Biscuit Recipe brush the tops with butter

8 Bake: Bake the biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops look lightly brown around the edges. Check frequently to avoid burning.

9 Cool and serve: Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter. Let the biscuits cool in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Try to wait the seemingly impossible 10 minutes before you eat one. They will continue to cook a little, firm up a little while cooling, and not burn your mouth. It’s all worth the wait.

These biscuits are best eaten warm out of the oven, but they do okay reheated in a toaster or low oven (300°F) for up to 2 days. They get dried out pretty fast.

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Comments

  • Janice

    Great recipe with easy to follow step by step instructions. After many failed attempts, I finally have amazing, flaky gluten free biscuits!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Leah

    This is probably very wishful thinking, but have you ever attempted (and had edible results) a dairy-free and gluten-free biscuit? My boys and I can’t have either and MAN do I miss biscuits.
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I just got peaches and will now have to seek out blueberries for the crumble in today’s inbox.

    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Leah! That’s not wishful thinking. Two ways to think about this challenge. Elise has written this recipe, which is tasty, vegan and uses coconut oil and almond milk: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/dairy_free_vegan_biscuits/

      As you can see from the photos, the texture isn’t the same but I have made them and they are good. I can’t vouch for what would happen if you swap out GF flour in this recipe, because I haven’t tried it.

      But as for veganizing this GF recipe, you’ve got me thinking. The one issue I can see is that plant-based butters don’t incorporate the same way because they just don’t ever get as cold as butter does, which could potentially affect the degree to which you achieve flaky layers. I’d stick a stick of Earth Balance in the freezer for 20 mins to super duper chill it, and see how it goes. You could probably swap out soy milk or a nut milk with the buttermilk and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to achieve a similarly acidic environment for the “milk.” Let me know if you try to futz with either recipe and how it goes!

  • Colleen O'Rourke

    These biscuits are delicious! They have a nice buttery, flaky texture and aren’t gluey like a lot of gluten-free alternatives. Everyone enjoyed them, even those that eat gluten. I will definitely make these again. They were also great toasted the next day.

    xxxxxyyyyy