I was recently asked in an interview “what keeps you up at night?” My answer was, “how can I do it better?” Whatever “it” is, I am always wondering if there couldn't be a better way, and easier way, a prettier way, a more foolproof way.
Such is the case of biscuits. For months now it has been bothering me that while a high percentage of people who tried my gluten free biscuit recipe got good results there were a few that said theirs didn’t rise, crumbled, or as in one person’s case, were like hockey pucks!
So I’ve come up with some tips to help you make foolproof, mile-high biscuits:
• A final product will only be as good as the ingredients you start with. I used Asian flours and tapioca starch in developing this recipe – Asian flours are milled very finely and do not make baked goods grainy or crumbly and are a whole lot cheaper than superfine flours.
• Make sure your baking powder is fresh, it has a shelf life of anywhere from 6 to 12 months but things such as humidity and moisture can affect it. To test if your baking powder is still “active” place ½ a teaspoon in a bowl and pour ¼ cup of boiling water on it, if it bubbles up violently and immediately, your baking powder is good. If not, toss it and get some fresh.
• All biscuits need some sort of fat cut into the flour, a combination of shortening and butter works best. Your butter should be cold. I cut mine into small pieces and then stick the piece into the freezer for a few minutes, this really chills it.