Nana’s Southern Biscuits

these are my gluten free approximation of my Nana’s biscuits, that i grew up making and eating. nana’s kitchen contained all manner of measuring implements, but she mostly used specific chipped and broken coffee cups, depending on what she was measuring, and large bent and dented spoons for measuring and mixing. i’ve taken some liberties with the recipe, over the years, substituting butter for crisco and half & half for buttermilk. the most major substitution has been the flour used. i originally made this gluten free using a blend of brown rice flour, cornstarch and xanthan gum as a sub for southern style wheat flour, but have since discovered Cup 4 Cup flour blend, which saves me a lot of time and measuring and gives a more wheatlike texture. check out the process by clicking on the thumbnails below:

Nana’s Southern Style Biscuits Gone Gluten Free
makes 10-12 regular sized biscuits or 24 mini biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups Cup 4 Cup gluten free flour blend
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
1 cup half & half, chilled (you can substitute buttermilk, if you must)
cooking spray or Silpat liner

Method

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare one baking sheet: line with a Silpat, parchment paper, or line with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

2. Bowl method: In a medium mixing bowl, sift or combine all dry ingredients with a fork or flat whisk until everything is evenly distributed. Add the chilled butter cubes. With your fingers or a pastry cutter, work butter into dry ingredients until the mixture has a sandy, crumbly texture. Pour the half & half into the crumbly mixture and work with a fork until just combined.

3. Food processor method: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in processor work bowl. Add the butter and shortening into dry ingredients and pulse until mixture looks like crumbs. Pour chilled half & half into the processor work bowl. Process until the dough comes together into a loose ball. The dough will be smooth and slightly sticky.

4. Turn dough onto floured surface (I use a lightly floured Silpat). Lightly dust top of dough with flour. Pat the dough into a 1-inch thick disc or rectangle. Cut out biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch cutter. Push straight down through the dough, do not twist the cutter as you cut into the dough or the biscuits will not rise as nicely, as they could. Place the cut biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet. The biscuits do not need to be touching, but if you makes you happy, let them touch. Gather together the scrap dough and pat it flat, working it as little as possible and continue cutting as many biscuits as you can from the dough.

5. Place baking sheet into the oven. Bake until biscuits are golden on top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm with butter, jam or gravy.

6. These biscuits store well in the freezer, in Ziploc-type bags. Reheat thawed biscuits in the microwave or toaster.

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