These gluten-free buttermilk biscuits are just like classic buttermilk biscuits but they're gluten-free and can easily be made dairy-free! These homemade biscuits are light, flaky, buttery, and perfectly golden-brown.
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Is there anything better than a classic buttermilk biscuit? I don't think so. And these fluffy gluten-free biscuits are just what we all need to satisfy that biscuit craving.
This recipe is so easy and yields the perfect texture every time. Serve with your favorite sweet jam or, of course, with a healthy amount of gluten-free sausage gravy.
📖Why This Recipe Works
What makes these the best gluten-free biscuits? Well...
- Quick and easy. You need just a few basic ingredients to whip these homemade biscuits up. If you bake gluten-free often, then you probably already have most of them on hand.
- Perfect texture. These biscuits have the texture of classic biscuits thanks to the technique of cutting the butter into a portion of the flour.
- Can be dairy-free. With just a few simple substitutions, you can make your gluten-free biscuits dairy-free too. And they still taste delicious!
- Egg-free. The base recipe does not contain eggs but I do provide instructions for an egg wash which can be skipped.
Flour - Use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend such as Bob's Red Mill. I have also tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure but found Bob's to be slightly better suited. Pillsbury GF Flour also works in this recipe.
Xanthan Gum - You may or may not need xanthan gum. Check the flour you use first. If it has xanthan gum in it, then skip it. If not, you will need to add some yourself.
Granulated Sugar - For just a touch of sweetness.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda - We're using both leavening agents to make the best fluffy biscuits.
Salt - I use 3 teaspoons of salt, which is a lot compared with most gluten-free biscuit recipes. I usually plan to serve these biscuits with something sweeter. If you plan to serve them with something more savory, cut the salt in half. If your butter is salted cut it by half as well.
Unsalted Butter - Make sure you use cold butter for this recipe. It's the key to flaky biscuits.
Buttermilk - The acidity in buttermilk creates a lighter, softer texture. If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own using a mix of regular milk and lemon juice.
Whole Milk and Egg Yolks - Brushing a mixture of whole milk and egg yolk over the tops of the biscuits is what gives them that delicious golden-brown color. This is optional but I love the color and shine it gives the biscuits.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
💭 Dairy-Free Variation
Looking for a dairy-free option for your buttermilk biscuits? You can do just that with just a couple of substitutions:
- Buttermilk: To make your own buttermilk, mix together 2 cups of almond milk with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until the milk curdles, then proceed with the recipe as instructed.
- Butter: Simply swap the regular butter out for vegan butter. Earth Balance is a great option.
- Egg Wash: You can achieve a similar golden-brown effect by using water instead of milk in the egg wash.
In this old Instagram post, you can see a video of me making the dairy-free version.
⏲️How to Make Gluten-Free Biscuits
You need a quick 15 minutes to prep this gluten-free biscuits recipe. While the biscuits are baking you can make your sausage gravy! This recipe is a cut biscuit, not a drop biscuit. I prefer the extra couple of minutes to get those butter layers
. This recipe can be made in a food processor or by hand using a pastry blender, also called a pastry cutter. I used to use a food processor but now make it by hand. I may have over-processed once or twice so I like to have a better view of the butter pieces.
STEP 1 - Mix Dry Ingredients
Add 2 cups of GF flour, which is less than half of the total, to a mixing bowl. Add the baking soda and powder, sugar, and salt, Whisk to combine. Then add the cubed ice-cold butter. Use the pastry blender to cut in the butter. You want large coarse crumbs. It is better to under-blend than to over-blend.
If using a food processor, combine baking powder, salt, sugar, baking soda, 2 cups of the gluten-free flour blend, and the chilled butter. Pulse until the largest butter pieces are about the size of a dime.
The key is to incorporate the butter enough, but not too much. Having pieces of butter in the dough is what creates a flakier biscuit texture! If you don't have a food processor, you can mix it in a bowl and use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture.
Next, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, then toss it with the remaining flour. Remember to check your flour before you add any xanthan gum.
Mix the dry ingredients all together until evenly distributed.
STEP 2 - Add Wet Ingredients
Pour the buttermilk over the dry mixture, then use your hands to knead the mixture until a dough forms and there are almost no dry spots at the bottom of the bowl. It will be slightly shaggy. This is normal.
STEP 3 - Cut the Dough
Dust a clean work surface with a little bit of flour, then turn the dough onto the flour. Pat into a 12"-14" rectangle. It will be very thick!
Next, fold the dough into thirds starting with the right over the left. Turn 90 degrees, roll, then fold into thirds again starting with the left over the right.
Repeat two more times. You should end with a fold from the left to the right. This is the same method you use for gluten-free crescent rolls.
Use a rolling pin to flatten the rolled dough to about ¾ of the height of your biscuit cutter, then cut the dough straight up and down, being careful not to twist the biscuit cutter.
To help prevent sticking, I like to dip the edges of the biscuit cutter in a little bit of flour before cutting.
Once you've cut as many biscuits out as you can, reshape the dough the same way and cut additional biscuits out. Repeat until you've used all or most of the dough.
STEP 4 - Bake
In a small bowl, mix together egg yolks and milk until blended. Brush the top of each biscuit with the egg mixture, then place them on a baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, then cool for 10 minutes and serve as desired.
🥗What to Serve with Gluten-Free Biscuits
You can serve your biscuits with sweet toppings like strawberry butter, strawberry jam, or juneberry jam. Pair with blueberry smoothies or a dragonfruit salad.
If you want, you can reduce the amount of salt you add to the dough by half and serve your biscuits for breakfast with gluten-free sausage gravy or as a side with crustless zucchini quiche or a gluten-free breakfast casserole.
They are also excellent for dipping into chilis, stews, and soup! Use leftover biscuits to make BBQ beef sandwiches.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Cold butter is essential. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The cold butter is what creates the classic light and flaky texture we know and love when it comes to buttermilk biscuits. Softened or melted butter will not have the same effect. I cut my butter and then pop it into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before adding it to the flour.
- Spoon and level the flour. For the best results, I recommend spooning the flour into your measuring cup, then leveling it off gently with your finger. This prevents it from getting too packed in. Over-measuring the flour can cause dry and dense biscuits.
Your homemade biscuits will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for up to a week.
If you want to prep your biscuits further in advance, I recommend storing them in the freezer!
Making Ahead of Time (Freezer)
To store your biscuits in the freezer, bake them as directed, then cool them completely. Stack them in an airtight container separated by layers of parchment paper or wax paper, then store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you're ready to serve, reheat the biscuits at 350ºF in the oven until heated all the way through.
💬Frequently Asked Questions
In gluten-free baking, xanthan gum is used to mimic the elasticity normally provided by gluten. It's necessary for the proper structure and texture of gluten-free baked goods. Many gluten-free flour blends already contain xanthan gum, so check yours before adding any!
The acidity in buttermilk reacts with the baking soda and baking powder to create an even lighter, fluffier, and flakier biscuit. You can make a dairy-free version with nut milk and an acid like lemon juice or white vinegar,
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Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits
- Pastry Cutter or food processor
- 5 ½ cups gluten free flour blend 29 ounces of Bob's Red Mill GF plus mroe for rolling out
- 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum omit if your GF flour mix already contains
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter cubed and cold
- 2 cups buttermilk
Egg Wash (optional)
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 egg yolk
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
- Add 2 cups of flour (less than half) along with the other dry ingredients to a bowl. Cut in the cold cubed butter until you get pieces the size of a dime. The mixture should be coarse.5 ½ cups gluten free flour blend, 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum, 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar, 3 ½ teaspoons baking powder, 3 teaspoons kosher salt, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
- Transfer to a large bowl with the remaining GF flour and xanthan gum (if using) and toss together until butter appears evenly distributed.5 ½ cups gluten free flour blend
- Pour buttermilk over entire mixture all at once and knead mixture until a shaggy dough forms and almost no dry flour is left at the bottom of the bowl.2 cups buttermilk
- Dust your work surface. Turn out the dough and pat into a 12”-14” rectangle. The dough block will be very thick. Fold the dough into thirds (see photos in the blog post) staring with right over left. Turn 90 degrees, roll, and fold into thirds again this time left over right. Repeat the process 2 more times, ending with a fold from left to right.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to desired thickness, about ¾ of the height of your biscuit cutter. Dip biscuit cutter into the GF flour to prevent sticking, and then cut straight up and down, careful not to twist the biscuit cutter. Press remaining dough together and reshape into a small rectangle. Cut out additional biscuits. Repeat as many times as necessary until only a small amount of dough remains.
- Mix egg yolk and milk with a fork until blended. Brush tops of biscuits lightly with mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.2 tablespoons whole milk, 1 egg yolk
- This recipe makes roughly 20 2-inch biscuits. less if you use a larger biscuit cutter.
- You musy use cold butter. Placing butter in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes before using will help you achieve flakey layers.
- This recipe is heavy on the salt. If you use salted butter cut the salt in half. If serving with a salty dish like sausage gravy, reduce by half as well. A minimum of 1 teaspoon of salt should be used.
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