Gluten Free Drop Biscuits Recipe No. 2

Gluten free breakfasts are a thorn in my side. My whole-grain loving self cannot stomach gluten free cereals and John only likes eggs for about two weeks a year. So for the last couple of months we’ve been eating a lot of pancakes, biscuits, and grits, and I and my scale are ready for a change.

The last straw was a batch of biscuits on Friday morning. Monday is a big tax deadline so I was trying to get to work early on Friday to finish up one of my client’s extensions. I couldn’t think of anything quick for breakfast, so I started a batch of drop biscuits. (called”drop” biscuits because you drop them into the pan, rather than rolling them out). I didn’t have any of my gluten free flour mixed up, so I just started scooping out of various flour canisters to get the right ratio.

Gluten Free Biscuits

As I mixed the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients I realized something was terribly wrong. A bit of quick math revealed the problem. Eight scoops with a 1/2 cup measure does not equal two cups. (If you think accountants are good with numbers, you’re wrong. We’re heavily dependent on calculators, especially at 6:00 AM.)

Now that I had invested 4 c. of gluten free flour in this batch of biscuits I was not turning back. I added more baking soda, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum and then reached for the soy milk. Soy Milk. Snap! I had just poured the last of it into David’s breakfast and lunch cups. So I went with water.

I also realized that I had already put the last of the shortening into the biscuits. There was no way that I was going to waste Smart Balance on biscuits, so I just left it out. We’ve had too much fat in our diet lately anyway.

After these additions/alterations the biscuit dough seemed to be about the right consistency. I scooped big spoonfuls out onto a cookie sheet, popped them in the oven, and in about 15 minutes, we had huge, yummy, golden biscuits.

Cooking Tip: Fixing a Cooking Goof

Here are some points to keep in mind in case you ever goof in the kitchen.

1. Figure out what you did wrong Hopefully, you will realize that something is amiss before you’re finished cooking. If so, take a minute to consult the recipe and compare it against what you’ve done thus far. Did you measure something incorrectly? Did you do something out of order? In my case, I had put in twice the amount of flour that the recipe called for.

2. Anticipate what will happen Now, try to anticipate the effect of the error. Sometimes, the goof will not have a big effect at all. In that case you may proceed with the recipe. For instance, if I add 1/2 c. of diced onion to a dish that only calls for 1/4 c., it’s not going to ruin the recipe so I can just keep going.

With the biscuits, I guessed that the extra flour would yield a very dry, flat biscuit due to a skewed ration of liquids and leavening agents to flour.

3. Consult a cooking reference, if needed If you’re not sure how your goof will affect the end product, consult a good cooking text such as Joy of Cooking. Besides recipes, Joy of Cooking has textbook type articles in each section that explain why recipes work a certain way. In the section on biscuits, I learned that the amount of fat in a biscuit recipe can vary greatly. This is why I chose to not add any additional shortening/butter to my dough.

4. Decide on a plan of action. Once you know what you’ve done wrong and what affect it may have, try to counter that affect. Some potential solutions are increasing or decreasing the remaining ingredients, increasing or decreasing another ingredient that serves the same function, or adding a completely new ingredient to the mix. This step is probably the most difficult, but your ability will improve the more that you cook, read, and experiment with new ingredients.

5. Write down what you’ve done Every now and then you’ll come up with a great new recipe when you’re just trying to fix a goof. I try to write my corrections down as I go, or quickly thereafter, just in case I’ve had a moment of brilliance =)

So, now that you’ve read all that here’s my new recipe for big batches of biscuits. It has less fat and doesn’t use a mix, and, therefore, may be more appealing to some of you. Enjoy!

P.S. I made a new breakfast menu for this coming week. Once I’ve tried it out and tweaked a few recipes I plan to make the whole menu and shopping list available for download.

Gluten Free Drop Biscuits Recipe No. 2

(Yield: 16 large biscuits)

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1 1/2 c. corn starch
1 c. soy flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1tsp. xanthan gum

5 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
1 c soy milk
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 c. water
1 egg, beaten

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the flours, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and xanthan gum. Cut the shortening into the flour (see "Gluten Free Drop Biscuits Recipe"for further instructions). Add the soy milk, water, vinegar and beaten egg to the flour and stir until the dry and liquid ingredients are combined. Using a large spoon, drop the dough onto a greased pan to make 16 biscuits. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

(If you’re not vegan or casein free, feel free to use 1 c. buttermilk in place of the soy milk and vinegar.)


  1. I am so glad you are on breakfast too. I am going to throw this on my list for Jude and see how he does! Yay! I am going to have to use different flours, so hopefully it will still turn out well. I will let you know!

  2. Isn’t if funny how once we find a mix of flours that we like, we stick with it. Whenever I try someone else’s recipe, I always at least try my mix first. =)
    I hope Jude likes these. David starts making excited noises when he sees them, and then dives for the stove top!
    Mary Frances

  3. Hi Mary,

    I just wanted to let you know that I featured this post in our blog round-up on how-to’s this past week – – Great post!

  4. Alisa,
    Thanks so much for including me! I enjoyed looking around the blog and website, and was encourage to keep working towards a complete elimination of dairy. I bookmarked the dairy substitute page which I think will be very helpful in making more of my recipes dairy free.

  5. YUM! nice post!

  6. I’ve seen several recipes that call for the cider vinegar. Does it have a specific purpose regarding the chemistry of the recipe, or is it taste?

  7. Ann Boyle says:

    Thank you for the lovely biscuit recipes. I am making gluten free tea biscuits for old fashioned strawberry shortcake that they like so much in Canada. It is strawberry season and we eat them in this house until they come out of our ears!


  8. Ann, I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever had strawberry shortcake and I don’t think I ever had. My grandmother used to make a strawberry cake, but I don’t remember shortcake. Would you mind sharing your traditional recipe?

  9. Those biscuits look amazing. That’s what I’m going to make for brekky tomorrow. :)

  10. thank you!
    my husband & 18 year old daughter are celica. your site has givin me hope.
    most ready made items are so costly. i have paid up to $6.99 for one loaf of bread. i can purchase a lot of gf-flours for the money. what a savings in just the cost of bread.
    so you know what ill be doing this weekend, yes, baking!

  11. Thank you so much for this recipe! I cook for the hot case at my local Co-op and I feature gluten free meals on the weekend. This recipe looks amazing, and Im sure the customers will love their gluten free biscuits and gravy in the morning!

  12. Hi, I noticed that “Jennifer” asked about the Cider Vinegar… whether it was for consistency or just flavor. There was no response so as I was wondering the same I was hoping you could let us know. Thanks for some great ideas, I’m only just learning about mixing the flours to get one I like. What a shame we have to do that though and not just have 1 like everyone else. Oh well, makes us special!!! :-)

  13. Vinegar is for chemistry. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda (not baking powder) to make the biscuits rise. It’s the acid, not the flavor, although cider vinegar might taste better than white vinegar. Joy of Cooking and other cookbooks suggest milk and vinegar as a substitute for buttermilk for traditional recipes.

    If there are health benefits of cider vinegar, at one tablespoon there isn’t much, and it is probably lost in cooking. As far as the chemistry, I think the main thing is to use 5% (which most vinegar is). I have also used all baking powder (non-aluminum!) and regular milk (or even water) and left out the baking soda and sour milk in some recipes, though not this one.

  14. Yum. I wanted a grainier biscuit and I can’t have soy. So I made a flour that was mostly oat, sorghum, and brown rice and about 1/2 or 2/3 cup fine corn meal and buckwheat. I didn’t have anything gummy, so it came out like a graham biscuit. Crispy and crumbly and delicious. Perfect with blackberry jam and butter and really good with the cornstarch gravy that inspired a baked treat in the first place. Thanks for the guide recipe!

  15. Christine Gilbert says:

    I have a total grain allergy, ie cannot tolerate rice, corn, barley etc. Has anyone got any recipes that do not have these flours in them? I can have Soy, potato, quinoa, tapioca, sago and chickpea (gram).
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Okay, this is the first gluten free recipe I’ve tried (and I haven’t tried many yet) that I actually LOVED. The rest have been like “Well, this is a big improvement over store bought gluten free stuff, but it still leaves something to be desired over wheat stuff”. Not this one! This is fantastic! Hubby and the kids gobbled them up! From a newly diagnosed momma who loves to cook for her family, and was feeling a bit depressed about this crimp in my style – a huge thank you! You’ve given me gluten free hope!


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