Guys, I do not have words to express how much I love these biscuits. They are from Nicole over at Gluten Free on a Shoestring, and I am not exaggerating when I say I did not think I would ever eat food this good again. Especially not food that I made!
Yes, I’m a good baker, but I didn’t believe I would ever get a rise like that on something gluten free.
You should know that I followed all of Nicole’s instructions to the letter, even going so far as to buy the exact kind of flour she prescribes (Cup4Cup, just FYI. I ordered it the first time from Amazon, but have since realized my local Target carries it. Woot woot!). I also ordered a specific, 2.5-inch biscuit cutter, rather than using a cookie cutter. And because I already had a bench-scraper, cleanup was incredibly easy. The dough just scooped right off the counter. You’re also going to need some dry milk powder, which was super cheap on Amazon, as well. I’ve used dry milk powder in recipes before, so I knew that it can work as a decent substitute for the gluten protein in dough. That’s what gave me a good feeling and made me want to try the recipe in the first place. And, of course, I ordered Nicole’s book: Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.
She also has a couple of particular instructions regarding the butter. This is kind of cool and sciencey – when you’re making dough with a lot of butter in it (sugar cookie dough and pie crust are other examples of this), the butter is partially responsible for the structure. It needs to hold a solid shape well into the baking process, because as it heats, it melts and gives off steam. This steam pushes out on the dough surrounding it, creating pockets and layers in the dough. This is why pie crust and biscuits are flaky – the layers are created by the melting butter. I learned this back in food science class, and thought it was just the coolest thing since sliced bread (pun intended).
One of Nicole’s orders is to keep the butter in large chunks. Usually in recipes that require cold butter to be mixed into the dry ingredients, they have you smush it up until it “resembles small peas.”
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve read that in a recipe, I could probably afford a duodenum transplant, and then I could eat Bob Evans’ biscuits like a normal person.
But that’s a separate issue.
She also says to freeze the raw biscuits for about five minutes before baking them; since the butter has been softening the whole ti
me you’ve been rolling and cutting the biscuits, it isn’t cold enough to last a long time before melting in the stove. Remember: the longer it lasts, the better the flake in the finished product. So I did that, too.
A couple more tips: don’t twist the cutter when you’re cutting the biscuits. That makes the sides get all twisty and you lose some of the rise (I’m looking at you, biscuit in the front left of the pan in the picture below. Yeah. I see that shit). I was surprised how second nature it was to twist the cutter, and I had to keep stopping myself and re-rolling the dough to get out of the habit.
Also, the dough came out really sticky for me. I had to flour the living bodiddly out of it (please don’t ask me what that means. My finals/retail-working brain is pretty fried right now) to make it roll-out-able (yeah, I know that’s not a word. Don’t you remember what I said two seconds ago?). Don’t be afraid to sprinkle (read: fling) more Cup4Cup all over the freaking place.
Here they are, about half-way cooked:
Seriously, y’all – LOOK AT THAT RISE!!!! I was so impressed that I actually got out a ruler and measured. These bad boys went from half an inch tall before baking to almost two full inches.
And finally, have a look at those flakes and that crumb. Gorgeous!
Finally, I froze some, and cooked them the next day to see how they’d come out. I cooked them at a slightly lower temp (375 degrees instead of 400) for two minutes longer (17 minutes instead of 15), and they came out beautifully. I made them with fried eggs for breakfast, and guys, I won’t lie…
…I cried a little. I said it in the beginning of this post, but I honestly, truly did not think I would ever eat anything that tasted like this again. Obviously I have no frame of reference for what Bob Evans biscuits taste like, since it’s been 13 years minimum since I’ve had them, but this is what they taste like in my dreams.
Thank you, Nicole! You are the bomb diggety.
Seriously, guys, what are you waiting for? Get her book, Cup4Cup, some dry milk powder, and a biscuit cutter right now. Amazon can have them at your house in one day. That means you could be eating these tomorrow. What are you waiting for??
**Please note that Nicole from Gluten Free on a Shoestring, her publishers, Cup4Cup, Carnation, OXO, and Ateco have no freaking idea who I am. My spazzing out over the awesomeness of their products is completely unsolicited, and my praise is 100% my own opinion.