A couple of weeks ago, I posted that I was going to make southern biscuits. Well, I finally did last night, and um…well….they didn’t turn out as I hoped.
It is interesting when you experiment with recipes-you never know what you’re going to get. I certainly got surprised, and not in a good way.
Let’s start with the recipe.
1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened PLAIN almond milk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 cups (272 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp (7 g) baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp (56 g) non-dairy, unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
I used gluten free Bisquick, but I didn’t quite have two cups, so I used a 1/2 cup of white rice flour. I used almond/coconut blend milk, and crisco butter flavored sticks.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 C), and add lemon juice to almond milk to make “vegan buttermilk.” Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add cold butter and use fingers or a pastry cutter to combine the two until only small pieces remain and it looks like sand. Work quickly so the butter doesn’t get too warm.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and, using a wooden spoon, stir gently while pouring in the almond milk mixture 1/4 cup at a time. You may not need all of it. Stir until just slightly combined – it will be sticky.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface, dust the top with a bit of flour and then very gently turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times – hardly kneading.
- Form into a 1-inch thick disc, handling as little as possible.
- Use a 1-inch thick dough cutter or a similar-shape object with sharp edges (such as a cocktail shaker) and push straight down through the dough, then slightly twist. Repeat and place biscuits on a baking sheet in two rows, making sure they just touch – this will help them rise uniformly. Gently reform the dough and cut out one or two more biscuits – you should have 7-8.
- Next brush the tops with a bit more of melted non-dairy butter and gently press a small divot in the center using two fingers. This will also help them rise evenly, so the middle won’t form a dome.
- Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately. Let remaining biscuits cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or bag
The first thing I noticed was that the “buttermilk” did not thicken. I am not sure why, in fact, I am not sure you can actually make mock buttermilk with dairy free milk.
I had to add more milk to the dough because it was very dry. Of course, the dough being gluten free, that is not surprising.
I did not turn the dough over on itself 5-6 times. I did it twice. I tried to cut the dough into squares, but they were all different sizes, so I patted the dough back together, and cut the biscuits out with the rim of a drinking glass that I had floured. It worked ok.
I did add the baking soda and baking powder, even though the bisquick already had those ingredients.
As you can see, that didn’t help at all:
Not exactly what I was aiming for. I baked these for 25 minutes, hoping that they would rise. As you can see, they didn’t.
They did taste ok, so we still ate them. There are several reasons these did not turn into actual biscuits:
- Too much flour to fat ratio
- Wrong kind of flour
- too much liquid
- wrong kind of fat
- fat was not cold enough
- dough was overworked
- dough was too warm
I won’t be making these again, but I will continue my search for that perfect gluten free southern biscuit. It’s out there somewhere. But I give myself A for effort.