Cornmeal Biscuits on a Shoestring
These are great for Sunday brunch, delicious at dinner, or served with honey at teatime (teatime?).
Have you ever made scones before? Biscuits are remarkably similar to scones. I made these biscuits in rounds, but really you can make whatever shape you like. The first 6 were rounds, as you see, and then I made four more mini-ones by patting the rest of the dough into a circle and slicing it into 4 triangles, like a pizza. You can brush them with an egg wash so they come out glistening, if you like. Remember, just because the recipe is gluten free doesn’t mean that you should have low expectations. The sky’s the limit.
- Combine all DRY INGREDIENTS in a large bowl:
- 1 1/3 cups All Purpose GF Flour
- Level 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
To the DRY INGREDIENTS, cut in 6 tBsp. COLD unsalted butter, diced. If you have a pastry knife, use that. Otherwise, use two knives together and cut the mixture repeatedly as if you were cutting steak with sharp knives, one knife in each hand. Stop when the mixture resembles even, pea-sized pieces of butter wrapped in flour.
The idea is to distribute chunks of cold unsalted butter throughout the dry mix so that, when the biscuits bake, the butter melts in all these spots and makes the dough light & flaky. Am I giving you a visual? That’s the idea with all pastry dough, and that’s why you handle it as little as possible and work with cold ingredients and utensils. It pays off in the finished product. Honest.
Now, stir in 3/4 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have any, just sour whatever milk you have on hand with a dash of vinegar – yes, really!) to make the dough. If it is very sticky, add some flour by the tablespoonful until, well, it isn’t so sticky any more. Pat the dough into a 3/4″ thick rectangle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or place it in the freezer for 15 minute. It will be much easier to handle.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and either use a biscuit cutter to cut rounds or just slice into triangles with a knife. Place on a rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. They are ready when they are lightly browned on top. Cool for a moment before serving. Oh, who am I kidding. Eat all of them immediately when no one is looking, and then tell everyone they must be delusional when they say they smelled something baking and demand to know what it was.