March 5, 2014

No-Lie Best-Ever Gluten-Free Biscuits


biscuits will forever make me think of my grandmother.

minnie was truly the best. such a lovely woman. impeccably dressed, even though she lived in a tiny texas town full of cows and tamales, without anyone high-brow to impress. her closet was filled with beautiful shoes, handbags, and clothing. she was repeatedly asked by the local women's dress shop to model their clothes in fashion shows. and she always smelled like some delightful perfume. i can almost smell her now. 

she was that rare breed though who, even in her fanciness, was quick to kill a copperhead with a shovel or take on a wasps nest. she was always ready with a tender hug, a smile, and a little giggle to let you know how much she loved you. 

she was ever on the side of her grandkids and let us win every card game with her. always had a glass of iced tea during the day and a glass of white wine at night. she had a mutual love affair with babies and animals, and fought for their rights and protection in her county.

the home she made with grampy was every kid's dream. i have such sweet memories of times there with them and the whole crazy family.

every morning i spent with her, we would have fried eggs with runny yolks and biscuits with a buffet of jams, jellies, fruit butters, and honey. i remember going to town with her to buy frozen biscuits by the dozens from a tiny local market. most certainly she passed on the biscuit obsession to her daughter, my mom.

mom recently cracked the code on the perfect gluten-free biscuit. and now i can share it with you!

i wish i could share one with minnie. (who, by the way, was diagnosed late in life with celiac disease in addition to lifelong type 1 diabetes, tipping me off to my own issues with gluten.)

next monday marks 4 years since minnie passed away. i think of her often. when i think of how much she would adore my kids. when i make a pot of pinto beans. when i smell chanel no. 5. when i hear "amazing grace".

and always when i eat a biscuit with honey.


No-Lie Best-Ever Gluten-Free Biscuits

330   grams (about 2 2/3 cups) kumquat's gluten-free all-purpose flour
27     grams (about 1/3 cup) unflavored whey protein
1       tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1       teaspoon xanthan gum
2       tablespoons sugar
6       tablespoons butter, softened
1       cup heavy cream
1/3    cup milk
additional cream and sugar for top

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine flour, whey protein, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut butter in with a pastry cutter, two knives, or fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in heavy cream and milk. Stir until mixture comes together.

Turn dough out onto the counter; knead a few times just to incorporate everything if needed. Gently pat the dough out to 1-inch thickness. Dip a 2 1/2-inch round cutter in additional flour and cut dough. Gather scraps together and reroll to cut and use as much dough as possible. (the beauty of gluten-free flour means no tough biscuits!) Place dough rounds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1/4-inch space between them. Brush tops of biscuits with a little additional cream and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

Bake biscuits at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and flaky. Yield: 9 biscuits.

* recipe inspired by flying biscuit cafe "flying biscuits".

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