As heard in the gfe kitchen earlier this evening …
Mr. GFE: What are you making? (with interest and hunger … third visit to kitchen in 15 minutes)
Me: Biscuits! (brightly, and with a smile)
Mr. GFE: Oh … biscuits. (flatly)
Me: Most people would get very excited when they heard that homemade biscuits were coming up. (with a combination of a teeny tiny bit of irritation, but mostly amusement)
Mr. GFE: Well, I’ve never been a biscuit man. (matter of factly)
Twenty minutes later, Mr. GFE heads off with his dinner. One bowl of homemade chicken vegetable soup (in a creamy tomato base) and two garlic cheese biscuits. He was watching a sci-fi movie and I was viewing yet another sappy (but enjoyable) Christmas movie.
Conversation resumes about 20 minutes later …
Mr. GFE: The soup was good, but I LOVED the biscuits! (enthusiastically, but just a bit sheepishly)
Me: I thought you didn’t like biscuits. (with a slight “I told you so” tone)
Mr. GFE: Those biscuits were almost perfect. They could have been just a tad fluffier, and not as dense. (perfectly serious, food critic voice)
Me: Oh, really? (laughing)
The “back” story: I attended a soup luncheon hosted by a friend as a charity fundraiser recently. She always makes one soup that I can safely enjoy and I always contribute a naturally gluten-free dessert (coconut meringues this time). One of her co-workers made “knock-off” Red Lobster garlic cheese biscuits. Of course, the biscuits she made contained gluten, so I couldn’t eat them. (And, to be honest, I have only eaten at Red Lobster once in my lifetime and I didn’t have any of their cheese biscuits at the time.) But, she had copies of the recipe (from allrecipes.com) that she handed out to anyone interested. I had to take one.
Today, when I decided on soup for dinner, I converted the biscuit recipe to gluten free and in no time at all the heavenly aroma of fresh biscuits was filling the kitchen.
These biscuits are wonderful. They are drop biscuits, so they are quite easy to make. The toughest part is cutting the butter in to the flour mix, which I don’t find difficult … it’s actually rather therapeutic, but Melissa’s tip on freezing butter and then grating it is excellent. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember that trick until after I was actually doing my fork and butter knife routine. I’ll have to try it next time. I used my usual gluten-free flour mix for this gluten-free version, which is three parts Asian white rice flour and two parts cornstarch (read more in Notes section). I prefer making occasional baked goods with this flour mix because I don’t do well with a lot of gluten-free grains like sorghum and buckwheat, but feel free to use your favorite gluten-free flour mix in this recipe.
Garlic Cheese Biscuits
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.)
1 ¾ cups gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
5 tbsp butter (See notes for dairy-free option.)
1 cup milk (See notes for dairy-free option.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (See notes for dairy-free option. I used a Mexican cheese blend that I already had open that contained mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla, Asadero; therefore, it was a bit milder.)
2 tbsp butter, melted (See notes for dairy-free option.)
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture has pea-sized flour-coated butter pieces throughout.
Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the milk and cheese to the well and stir to combine.
Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Note: The original recipe called for ungreased baking sheets, but the biscuits stuck to the pan a little.
Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Keep an eye on them though. Mine were cooking pretty quickly. I actually turned the oven down to 350 degrees the last couple of minutes, but this just might be my oven.
While biscuits are baking, melt butter and mix with minced garlic. I did do this part, but ended up using less than is even shown above (and I had cut that amount in half already). As I was getting out some seasoned salt for soup, a couple of containers tumbled onto my bowl of butter and garlic and broke it in two. What didn’t spill all over the counter, I spooned in equal portions onto the biscuits.
Makes about 16 biscuits (about 2 inches in diameter).
Adapted from allrecipes.com
Shirley’s Additional Notes: First, reader Mary makes these biscuits dairy free and soy-free as well, due to intolerances in her family. (Soy is not present in my original recipe, but it is often contained in dairy-free products.) She states that she uses Earth’s Balance soy-free, dairy-free margarine and cheddar-style Daiya cheese. She’s used both rice milk and coconut milk with good success. The following are some general notes on the ways I’ve made these biscuits. The original directions called for brushing the butter and garlic mix on the biscuits, but that’s a bit of a pain to me and I don’t want anything else to wash. Spooning the butter-garlic mixture over the hot biscuits worked just fine. Actually, next time I will probably just skip that step and add some minced garlic right to the biscuit mixture. The biscuits are plenty buttery on their own. The gluten-free flour mix I make consists of three parts Asian white rice flour (much more finely ground that typical white rice flour) and two parts cornstarch. I make 5 lbs of this mix at a time. I use three 1-lb bags of Asian white rice flour and two 1-lb boxes of Argo cornstarch. Mix well, but gently in a very large bowl and then transfer to airtight storage containers (like glass jars or Tupperware). I realize this gluten-free flour mix is nutritionally not the best, but again I have issues with many of the healthier options like buckwheat, sorghum, Montina, etc. But, feel free to try your favorite gluten-free flour mix. If you’re not gluten free (yet), you can substitute your favorite all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum. Last, another reader uses this recipe to make two very thin 12-inch pizza crusts. She uses half Parmesan, half cheddar in her recipe. She bakes the crust until it’s done before adding her pizza toppings.
Make some soup so you will have a good excuse to make these biscuits. They are the perfect accompaniment to soup. Of course, I can’t imagine what they wouldn’t go well with. Oh my gosh, I can use two biscuits like a sandwich and make bacon egg cheese biscuits for breakfast tomorrow! Sunday morning is looking fine.
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