I’ve had to be gluten-free for almost 10 years now. That’s no time compared to some folks, but still I’ve seen some big changes in my gluten-free lifetime. When I heard that America’s Test Kitchen was coming out with a gluten-free cookbook, I knew I was seeing another huge leap. By taking on the challenge of a gluten-free cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen, which has a reputation for rigorously-tested, rock-solid recipes, really did a lot to validate gluten-free baking and cooking as something more than a trend, something worthy of the same technical consideration as anything else in the culinary world.
I was happy to see that the recipes in the book are tuned-in to contemporary concerns in the gluten-free community: using smaller amounts of xanthan gum (or none at all) and only when it’s absolutely necessary and exploring other avenues for adding structure and elasticity to baked goods, like psyllium husk and milk powder. Recipes that historically have relied on relatively large amounts of xanthan gum–like yeasted breads and pizza crust–are gum-free here.
I typically shy away from gluten-free cookbooks that require you to make a flour mix as this one does. I prefer instead to bake with recipes in which the mix of flours is tailored to each specific recipe. I know gluten-free folks can go both ways on this. I think that when cooking from a number of cookbooks, as I do, having to mix up a large batch of flour for each one can feel like a big and sometimes unnecessary investment.
That said, since America’s Test Kitchen set out to develop a flour mixture not only for their recipes, but one that could be used in place of all-purpose wheat flour, it felt like a more worthy investment. And–frankly–I would have been disappointed if America’s Test Kitchen hadn’t tried to tackle a gluten-free all-purpose blend. It’s something I’m glad they weighed in on. Plus, they tested each recipe in the book with two popular gluten-free all purpose flours (Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur), providing alternatives to their flour blend to those that want it.
I tested three recipes from the book, choosing the things that I’ve had the hardest time making gluten-free. I find the simplest things, those with the shortest ingredient list, are often the hardest to successfully translate to gluten-free. So, I made lemon poppy seed pound cake, shortbread, and these biscuits. All three recipes used smart techniques that ensured stellar results.
With all that gluten-free baking nerd talk out of the way, let’s talk about these biscuits. They’re pretty ridiculous. Since my mom and sister moved to the south and I became an almost-honorary southerner, I’ve had real biscuit envy. Honestly, I had no idea where to even begin to make them how I knew they should be: buttery, light, sky-high, and golden-brown. I had made gluten-free biscuits before, but they always tasted like gluten-free biscuits. These taste like biscuits.
Scroll down for the recipe and plenty of chances to enter to win a copy of How Can It Be Gluten-free!
Light & Fluffy Gluten-free Biscuits, reprinted with permission from How Can It Be Gluten-free
makes 6 biscuits
- 9 ounces (2 cups) ATK Gluten-free Flour Blend
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered psyllium husk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Whisk flour blend, baking powder, psyllium, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl until combined. Add butter to flour blend mixture, breaking up chunks with fingertips until only small, pea-size pieces remain. In separate bowl, whisk together 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 a 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 for baking. Transfer sheet to wire rack and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The America’s Test Kitchen Gluten-free Flour Blend
- 24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup) white rice flour
- 7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
- 7 ounces (1 1/3 cups) potato starch
- 3 ounces (3/4 cup) tapioca starch
- 3/4 ounce (3 tablespoons) nonfat dry milk powder
1. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
Using Milk Powder: If dairy is part of your diet, we strongly recommend adding the nonfat milk powder. (We use nonfat, rather than whole-milk, powder because it is more readily available.) If you prefer, use an equal amount soy milk powder. You can omit the milk powder altogether, however baked goods won’t brown quite as nicely and they will taste a bit less rich, especially in recipes without a lot of fat.
Buying rice flours: We used rice flours made by Bob’s Red Mill during our testing process. We found some rice flours (including those made by Arrowhead Mills, another widely available brand) to be a bit coarser, which can negatively impact the texture of baked goods. We strongly recommend that you buy Bob’s Red Mill white and brown rice flours.
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Disclosure: America’s Test Kitchen provided me with a copy of the book mentioned above and will provide one to the giveaway winner as well. This post contains amazon affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission form anything purchased via these links.