Sad, sad biscuits…Why gluten free dough is my nemesis



I have come to the conclusion that gluten free dough is my nemesis.  In my fourth attempt ( is it the fourth-frankly I ‘ve lost count) to make gluten free biscuits,  I began to think that the biscuit dough really had it out for me.  Silly, I know, but is it really that difficult to make a decent gluten free biscuit?

After speaking with a baking specialist at King Arthur flour,  who recommended this biscuit recipe after hearing about my failure with this one,  I felt renewed confidence.   So I ordered a box of King Arthur gluten-free baking mix, and waited eagerly for it to arrive.  I have used this mix before with good results.  I thought, finally, I had it licked.  I even read their tips for better biscuits.


  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
  • 2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup cold milk  I used coconut milk (not coconut cream)
  • *Make sure you use our gluten-free BAKING MIX — NOT our gluten-free flour.

Looks simple enough, right?  Well, the hard part comes next….


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the center.
  2. Work the cold butter into the baking mix, leaving some butter in small, visible pieces.
  3. Whisk the eggs and milk together.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture.
  5. Lightly dust your work surface with baking mix, and turn the dough out onto it.
  6. Fold the dough over on itself four times, then gently flatten it to about 3/4″ thick. Brush any surplus baking mix off the top of the dough. Cut with a 2 1/2″ round cutter dipped in baking mix.
  7. Stack the scraps together, gently pat down to 3/4″ thick, and cut additional biscuits.
  8. Set the biscuits 2″ apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined pan. Brush with milk or melted butter, if desired; this will help the biscuits brown.
  9. Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes or so before serving; they’re best enjoyed slightly warm.

My cutting fat into flour technique for biscuits leaves a bit to be desired.  I realized too late that you are supposed to leave some thumbnail-sized bits of butter.  I made the mix more like streusel topping which is quite different.  I used cold dairy-free butter, eggs and coconut milk.  This is important.  The cold butter is what causes the flakiness we all love in biscuits.

The mixture did come together and looked like biscuit dough.  But when I turned it out onto a flour dusted piece of parchment, and folded it over onto itself as instructed, it began to stick.  I patted the dough out but could not get it to 3/4″ no matter how hard I tried.  I kept working the dough, which made the non-dairy butter start to melt.  Uh oh…  I cut the biscuits into squares ( I don’t have a biscuit cutter) but had a hard time moving them to the baking sheet.

Someone commented on their website about the instruction that the dough should rest for 10 minutes before baking.  This was not in the instructions.  In fact, when I called, the instructions were missing.  Before they were removed (for some reason) the resting part must have been included.   The rep had to put a request in to have the instructions reinstated.  Would resting have made a difference?  I will never know.

Thinking to resolidify the butter, I put the entire tray in the freezer for a couple of minutes. Then I popped the whole thing into the oven, and prayed.  I should have just admitted defeat at that point.  But I am one who never gives up.  I wanted to see it through.

They seemed to rise a little, but not enough.  Here is the picture of what they should look like on King Arthur’s website:


Shot Code C
picture courtesy of King Arthur flour


And here are mine:


Sad, aren’t they?

I honestly don’t think that gluten free biscuit dough lends itself to cutting.  I am thinking a drop biscuit might work, such as this one.

I am not ready to give up yet.  I was able to conquer pizza dough, dammit.  I just have to find the right recipe and flour combination.

Will someone please invent a gluten-free refrigerated biscuit?  Where is the Pillsbury dough boy when you need him?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Hang in there! It took me awhile to master a few gluten-free classics, but your perseverance really will pay off! Sometimes I find it easier to take a non-gluten-free recipe and adapt it to be gluten free, rather than starting with one that’s already gluten free. It may seem counter productive but I find it really does work for me.


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      Thanks so much for your encouragement. The first couple of tries were modified. I just haven’t found the right flour/recipe combination yet.


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