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Gluten Free Biscuits

A tasty, tender drop biscuit
Recipe modified from the one posted by
Mary Frances Pickett on her blog

Gluten Free BiscuitsClick picture for full size, higher resolution version

My hubby is gluten free, so whenever I can, I try and make sure that whenever I make any gluten based items, I make an equivalent GF version for him.

This was my first attempt at gluten free biscuits, and I was so pleased with the results, that I'll probably just keep going with this recipe! 

Gluten Free Biscuit Tender Texture

The texture is very tender and light, and they have a GREAT flavor.  They are drop biscuits, which means preparation is even easier than "regular" biscuits that you have to roll out and cut.

The original recipe was shared by Mary Frances Pickett on her www.glutenfreecookingschool.com blog.   Please see her original post where she shares how an "accident" led her to modify an existing recipe (by adding cornstarch), leading to a very tender, light biscuit.

I've modified her version slightly to replace the egg with a flax seed glop/Ener-G mixture.  I was also concerned that the flavor needed a little boost, so I replaced the soymilk/water mixture she used with soy creamer.   From comments left on the blog, I decided to cut back the amount of liquid slightly, and increase the baking temperature.

Thank you Mary, for a GREAT gluten free recipe.   If a gluten free product isn't good enough to eaten and enjoyed by gluten tolerant folks, I don't bother .... this one definitely passes that test!!   I'd be very pleased to share these as "regular" biscuits!

The technique of having the Earth Balance frozen, and grating it into the flour, and having the liquid super cold is one Peter Reinhart shares in his Artisan Breads Every Day cookbook, and I see that Mary used this method also in her recipe! 

Light and Fluffy Gluten Free Biscuits
(Yield: 8 large biscuits)

modified from a recipe at

1 c. sweet sorghum flour
1 c. corn starch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum

1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons, or 2 ounces) of Earth Balance, frozen
        (I used the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
1 cup Soy Creamer
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. flax seed, ground
4 Tbsp. water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer

(See below for making these with soymilk instead of Soy Creamer and/or without Ener-G)

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Stir the vinegar into the Soy Creamer, and stick into the freezer for the few minutes until you need it to thoroughly chill the creamer.

3. Sift the first 6 ingredients through a sieve into a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.

4. Grate the frozen Earth Balance into the flour using a box grater. Mix the into the flour so that there are no large balls of grated Earth Balance.

5. Whisk the ground flax seed and water together till thick. Add in the Ener-G, and continue to whisk until thoroughly mixed. The consistency should be thick and gloppy. I used the attachment that came with my stick blender to do this -- shown to the right -- a mini food processor thing-y.

Scrape this flax seed glop into a small mixing bowl, and add the chilled soy creamer from the freezer, and whisk until thoroughly combined.


6. Add this soy creamer/flax seed glop mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the dry and liquid ingredients are combined.

7. Using a large spoon, drop the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to make 8 biscuits. Cook at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

NOTES:  Next time I make this, I'm going to try skipping the Ener-G (but still use the flax seed glop) and see if the texture works just as well.  I have no trouble finding Ener-G in this area, but I know it is not universally available.

Update as of June 16, 2010 -- I made these without the Ener-G this time, and there was a slight change in texture in the end product ... more cake-like instead of the coarser biscuit-like texture. Not at all bad, just different. I made one other change with this batch (I know ... never change two variables at the same time!!), but I was out of Soy Creamer, so just used regular, plain soymilk instead. I thought this would produce a less rich biscuit, but I didn't notice any difference in richness. One difference I did note is that these biscuits had MUCH more noticeable saltiness to them, which I'm not sure what to attribute that to. If your palate is especially sodium sensitive, you might try cutting back a little on the salt.

Gluten Free BiscuitsBiscuits made without Ener-G
Click picture for full size, higher resolution version

My other idea is to try and decrease the proportion of corn starch, and use more of the sorghum flour... having half of the "flour" be cornstarch seems like a very large amount to me, although in her blog post, Mary said this is what made the texture so soft and tender.  The three NON-gluten free folks (folks who can eat gluten just fine) that I taste tested this recipe on, LOVED it exactly as is (and they knew they were eating a gluten free biscuit), which makes me hesitant to "mess with perfection"  !!    Perhaps I'll leave well enough alone!!


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