Nothing beats a plateful of warm, flaky biscuits slathered with melting butter. You’d never guess that these ones can be made gluten free, too.
We’re well into January now and ‘New Year, New You’ is going strong. I’ve been going to hot yoga, and eating lots of salads, and drinking lots of refreshing Wonder Water – doing all the right things.
But every now and then I feel like that scowling little pig-tailed girl who folds my arms and wants to kick the desk in front of me. I just want some comfort food, and I want it now. Like a big bowl of stew and a couple flaky biscuits slathered in melting butter that pools in little puddles of molten gold between the flakes and divots.
Yeah, that’s exactly what I need on these freezing winter days when the world is white outside the window. I’ll have a salad again tomorrow.
This was the wintery world at Christmas time at my mom’s. It still looks like that now.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: This is the biscuit dough recipe I’ve used for years. It’s from my old ‘Fanny Farmer’ Cookbook, and it produces the lightest, flakiest biscuits ever. Just make sure to barely work the dough, so you still have chunks of butter the size of peas. When they melt as the biscuits bake, they make the little pockets in the dough that cause it to flake.
Use regular all-purpose white flour, part whole wheat, or for gluten free biscuits, use my favourite gluten-free flour mix as a cup-for-cup substitute.
If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can use another ½ teaspoon baking powder.
The Best Ever Flaky Biscuits
adapted from ‘The Fanny Farmer Cookbook’
gluten-free and dairy-free option
- 2 cups (280 gms) flour (or this gluten-free flour mix)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup (115 gms) chilled butter (or vegetable shortening),
- 2/3 cup (160ml) milk (or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease one 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar. Cut the butter or shortening into chunks, then cut it into the flour with two knives or a pastry blender until the chunks are pea-sized.
Add the milk, and stir with a fork until most of the flour is moistened. Dump the dough onto the counter and scrape any remaining flour from the bowl onto it. With your hands, very quickly knead the ball just until all the flour is incorporated. You should still see small clumps of butter in the dough.
Pat the ball of dough down into a circle that is 1-inch (2.5cm) high. Cut out rounds with a 2-inch (5cm) biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Keep pressing together the scraps to use all the dough to make 9 biscuits. Place them into the greased pan touching each other.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden at the edges. (If using the gluten-free flour mix, bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer – it seems to take longer for the gluten free flours to brown.)
Serve warm with soups and stews, or just slather with butter – dollop of jam is optional.
Makes 9 regular or gluten free biscuits.
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*last 5 igloo photos courtesy of Erik Wendelboe