When you think of the southern United States, you can’t help but think of the delicious dishes that southern chefs are known for – country ham, chicken and waffles, grits, collard greens, barbecue. And let’s not forget biscuits and gravy. Of course, biscuits weren’t a southern invention — this region of the country simply took it and made it their own.
In fact, biscuits, in one form or another, go back hundreds of years. The word “biscuit” comes from the French, meaning “twice cooked.” This referred to how the original biscuits were… well, cooked twice.
The original biscuits were hard, dry, and portable fare — perfect for soldiers and sailors on the go. They were originally made in Europe, but early settlers to America brought with them the tradition of biscuit making and eating.
Biscuits were popular because they were not only delicious but easy to make, and stored well. They were also inexpensive to make, since they could be made without using costly yeast.
Through the years they became a popular food for soldiers once again. During the Civil War, soldiers often had to settle for a meal made up only of biscuits, or hardtack, as it was known.
In the early 1930s, biscuit making became even easier, when the now-familiar refrigerated canned dough was patented and started to show up in local grocery stores.
Nowadays, of course, biscuits are even easier to get a hold of, as you can find them on many fast food menus—whether the restaurant is southern-themed or not.
Whether you make your biscuits or buy them somewhere, there are a variety of accompaniments people enjoy with their biscuits—molasses, syrup, honey, and jelly are all popular choices. However, the shape and density of biscuits—plus the delightful way they go together—made the pairing of biscuits and gravy inevitable. What could be better to sop up every drop of gravy on a plate?
Here are a few tips for making the best, most delicious, gluten-free buttermilk biscuits:
Although usually a baking tip is to use ingredients at room temperature, this time the opposite is true. You’ll want to make sure that your fats and liquids are cold.
Don’t mix the dough too much. The less you mess with it, the lighter and fluffier your biscuits will be.
When you are cutting up the butter to add into your dough, go ahead and leave some big chunky pieces—this will also help your biscuits to be fluffy.
If you make biscuits and they don’t come out like you want them to, the next time try adding less liquid. Or, add a little at a time until you get a moist dough.
When baking, put your biscuits close together, about ½ inch apart. This will help them to rise nicely.
For a load more tips that will help your biscuits be beautiful and bountiful, see here: 5 more secrets
If you’re craving your favorite comfort food but are living gluten-free nowadays, not to worry. Here’s a recipe for fluffy and light gluten-free buttermilk biscuits.
Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits
- Cornstarch¾ cup
- Xanthan gum1¾ tsp
- Potato starch½ cup
- Baking powder1 tbsp
- Baking soda¼ tsp
- Salt½ tsp
- Sugar1 tbsp
- Buttermilk¾ cup
- Cold butter⅓ cup
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray.
Place all the dry ingredients into a food processor. Mix with six pulses, one second each.
Cut up the butter into 1/4 inch cubes, and add them to the mixture. Mix with 12 pulses, one second each. (It should look like a bowl full of crumbs.)
Add in the buttermilk. Mix with eight pulses, one second each. Now, the dough should stick together in a moist clump.
With your hands, form the dough into biscuit shapes (this recipe will make six to eight biscuits). Put them on the cookie sheet, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are lightly brown.
Slather with butter and/or the topping of your choice, and enjoy!