Crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside, these wheat-free biscuits come together quickly. Take care not to overwork the dough: Even though there’s no gluten present to toughen things up, working the butter and shortening as little as possible ensures that the biscuits stay light and fluffy.
What to buy: Tapioca flour, also known as cassava flour, is made from the root of the cassava plant (a.k.a. yuca) and is often used as a thickening agent.
Sorghum flour is made from the sorghum grain and has a texture similar to whole-wheat pastry flour.
Guar gum is made from the seeds of the guar plant and is used in small amounts as a thickener and stabilizer.
This recipe was featured as part of our gluten-free photo gallery.
- 1Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Using a pastry brush, coat a 9-inch round cake pan with half of the melted butter. Set the pan and the remaining melted butter aside.
- 2Place the cornstarch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, baking powder, guar gum, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the cold butter and vegetable shortening into the dry ingredients until they are pea-size pieces. Add the buttermilk and stir with a rubber spatula just until the dough forms a ball.
- 3Turn the dough onto a work surface dusted with tapioca flour and knead just until smooth, about 3 to 4 turns (do not overwork the dough). Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick disk about 6 inches in diameter.
- 4Using a 2-inch round cutter dipped in tapioca flour to prevent sticking, cut out as many biscuits as possible. Form the scraps into another 1-inch-thick disk and continue to cut biscuits until you have 8 total. Discard the remaining scraps. Arrange the biscuits in a circle in the prepared pan about 1/4 inch apart (the center of the pan will be empty). Brush the tops of the biscuits with all of the remaining melted butter.
- 5Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter, agave syrup, or preserves.