Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The GFCF Recipe Experience: Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits, the GFCF Version

Back in the days when we had a satellite dish in the home, I was a Food Network foodie. I kicked it up a notch with Emeril, went Barefoot with the Contessa, and learned Italian with Giada. I did the 30 minute thing with Rachel Ray. I even go back to the days when the Too Hot Tamales had their own show.

And I've often wondered how the judges could eat some of the things the original Iron Chefs made with some of those secret ingredients. Bird's nests, anyone?

But my favorite Food Network person was and is Alton Brown. Maybe it's because he goes into the science behind the foods, which takes me back to my roots as a chemist. Or maybe it's the quirkiness of his show Good Eats. Or maybe it's because his food is just so "gosh darn" good.

My Twitter friend Robinhank talked about making Alton's gluten free chocolate chip cookies called The Chewy Gluten Free, which sounded really good. So I looked them up on the Food Network. And discovered that, on that same episode, he also made Southern biscuits.

I love southern biscuits! I have tried to make them before, but I am always looking for a new recipe to try. And this was the perfect time to try one of Alton Brown's recipes! Of course, I needed to adapt them to the gfcf lifestyle for our kids.

I tried Alton's original recipe twice. The first time, it was extremely liquidy, and I kept having to add flour until I seemed to get the right consistency. Why did I seemingly have to add twice the amount of flour? And then it dawned on me - when Alton bakes, he goes by weight, and not how much is in the cup.

I also forgot to add xanthan gum too, but that's another story. Sigh...

Not to be deterred, I reentered my own personal Kitchen Stadium determined to gfcf-ize Alton's biscuits. This time, I weighed the flour and remembered the xanthan gum. And while my biscuits were not as pretty as Alton's, they turned out okay. And my four "judges" all gave me high marks, and that is what matters most.

So go on and give these biscuits a try, and let me know how yours turn out. Thanks Alton!


9 1/4 oz. (by weight) GF all-purpose flour (this worked out to just under two cups of the Bob's Red Mill GF all-purpose flour)
4 tsp. GF baking powder
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/4 tsp. GF baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. CF butter, chilled (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 cup cf milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix the milk and the lemon juice together in a glass mixing cup and place in the refrigerator (again, this is making cf buttermilk, using lemon juice instead of vinegar).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, quickly cut in the butter until the four mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Make a well in the center and add the milk mixture, combining until just mixed. The dough will be sticky.

Turn out onto a floured surface, dust the top with flour, and fold over onto itself five or six times.

Pat the dough out to about a 1-inch thick square or rectangle, and, using a knife, cut the dough into twelve equal pieces. Alternatively, you can pat out into a round and cut out the biscuits using a cutter, but then you have to gather the scraps and recombine and repat out and recut and....I'd just as soon cut them square and save the extra work (the Southern purists are cringing right now).

Place on a cookie sheet with the sides just touching (I did spray the sheet so they wouldn't stick).

Bake at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes until golden on top.


I did have to add a little extra flour to the dough because it still was a little too sticky, so I probably ended up with around 2 cups of flour used. Depending on the GF flour mix you use, your results may vary. I would start with the 9 1/4 ounces and adjust from there.

We used soy as our cf milk, but there is no reason rice or almond milk wouldn't work as well.

I think lemon juice may be a better alternative to vinegar when making buttermilk, so we may use that from now on.

Allez Cuisine!


Childlife said...

Oh, I'll have to give these a try once some semblance of sanity is restored around my place -- thanks for working out the kinks in the recipe -- I'm looking forward to them :)

Carrie said...

those look AWESOME thomas! I will HAVE to try them!!!

Anonymous said...

The best GFCF biscuit recipe I've found yet!

Turtlemom said...

We tried these tonight my gluten eating husband gave them a good review, we'll be making them again.

Thanks for the recipe.

Turtlemom said...

We made them again tonight and added some thyme. My husband wants to try them with Rosemary next. Thanks for the great recipe!

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