Using a gluten-free flour blend, I made biscuits following my recipe. Although they taste ok (especially when split and toasted), the biscuits did not rise. Would there be suggestions on what to add to help with this?
My first thought was the recipe you followed a gluten free recipe for biscuits? Or was it a regular recipe that you just substituted in gluten free flour?
If it was a regular recipe using wheat flour, then you really need to alter it a bit to compensate for the properties that gluten free flours lack (in comparison to wheat flours). In place of gluten, gums (like xanthan or guar) are added to replace those stretchy, binding, and structural properties that are missing.
It’s also good to increase the other leveners (like baking soda or baking powder) called for in the recipe by 25%, to help give those gluten free flours and extra lift. If you check out our Flour Substitution Chart, it will help you know how much to add.
Gluten free baked goods don’t rise as well in comparison to wheat flours. There is unfortunately no getting around that. But they should rise at least half as much as wheat biscuits.
Here are a few more tips to make sure your biscuits rise as much as possible:
- Make sure all your ingredients (wet and dry) are at room temperature – except the butter, that should be very cold and cut into cubes.
- Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until pea-sized crumbs form (no smaller). When the biscuits are in the oven, the heat causes the large pieces of butter to release its moisture, and the steam that’s created separates the layers of the dough – which helps them rise and creates flaky and tender biscuits. This is another reason why butter is better than shortening to use, since shortening doesn’t contain any moisture.
- Wrap the dough and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This will ensure the butter stays in firm before baking, and gives the gluten free flours time to absorb the liquid (which can make the biscuits taste gritty if not properly absorbed).
- When using a biscuit/cookie cutter, don’t use a twisting motion to cut them out of the dough. Just press the cutter straight down into the dough and pull up. The twisting motion can pinch the cut edges together, which can seal it so much that it prevents the edges from rising up properly.
- Instead of using a biscuit/cookie cutter, try shaping the dough by hand. Roll into a ball, then use your knuckles to press it down to 1 1/2″, working quickly so as not to melt the butter with your hands. The only downside to this method is that it can be hard to make all the biscuits uniform in size – which can make determining when they are all fully cooked difficult. Although if you use a kitchen scale, that problem can be eliminated.
- A very hot oven is essential to create that all important steam in the biscuits. Oven temperature must be set at 400°F or higher.
For more information, check out The Secret to Baking Gluten Free Bread