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  • {Recipe Redux} Gluten Free Sweet Potato Biscuits

    Saturday, November 21, 2015

    Gluten Free Sweet Potato Biscuits
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    Oh man. There are some recipes that just take you back to childhood. Something about the familiar aromas, sight and taste of certain foods that make you almost wistful for another time. Like when your mom, grandma or (kinda crazy) uncle promised to whip up a batch of your favorite cookies, pancakes or soup–just because they loved you. For me, this is that recipe.

    When the team over at The Recipe Redux announced this month’s theme (quick bread creations) my mind initially went straight to a date nut bread that I used to make when I was a kid. It was one of the yummy treats that I looked forward to most at Christmas time. Seriously, there were few things that could make me happier than seeing my mom unpack a couple of boxes of that Jiffy Mix (I am proud to say that this spirit of requiring very little to make me happy still holds true today).

    So, you may be wondering why, after waxing poetic about a boxed quick bread mix, I chose to make sweet potato biscuits instead.

    Because biscuits. 

    I mean really…who doesn’t love a good biscuit? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? I thought so.

    But mostly because biscuits….rustic “dropped” biscuits to be exact, remind me of my mom. Simple (and sweet) as that.

    Here’s the thing–I have had so many trials and errors (and more misses than hits) in my quest to come up with a gluten free biscuit that doesn’t make me want to curse the day I was told that gluten and I could no longer be friends. I’ve tried so many variations (vegan, grain free, corn free, born free…wait, what?). You get the idea. No matter what I did, it seems that there was always something that made me yearn for my days of basking in the glory of gluten-laden eats.

    I am here to tell you, that at long last, I may have found the holy grail of gluten free biscuits. No really. I. Can’t. Even.

    Gluten free sweet potato biscuits

    So, why does this recipe make me think I might be onto something? Well, in all of the biscuits that have come before these, here is what I’ve learned:

    • Some things really require fat, and by fat, I mean butter. There’s just no mistaking the distinct texture and taste that butter adds to baking. There really isn’t all that much in this recipe, considering the amount you’ll see in most biscuit recipes. So just go for it.

    Living on the edge, people. Living. On. The. Edge.

    • Yogurt is a great way to help maintain moisture in gluten free baking. Because of the nature of gluten free flours, they don’t really absorb moisture quite the same way that gluten containing flours do. This often results in heavy dense bakes goods. Not ideal for a biscuit. Because I use full-fat yogurt, it also lends another layer of richness that helps with the overall texture of the finished product. (If you’re starting to get a little twitchy because I’ve used butter and whole milk yogurt, I have used 2% yogurt for this recipe and it works just fine).
    • The real secret might be the addition of an egg. I have found that this helps to get a little more lift and volume to the biscuit and seems to make the crumb a little more gluten-like (meaning it maintains it’s structure). The protein in the egg (and the yogurt) helps to give structure to the biscuit—which means it won’t end up a sad pile of crumbs as soon as you bite into it (cue angels singing).
    • The addition of corn flour and a bit of cornstarch seems to soften the GF flour mix, which also makes for a more tender crumb and better structure to the biscuit.
    • The”dropped” biscuit route is the way to go. The batter is pretty sticky and gluten free batter doesn’t like to have more flour added to it in order to deal with the tackiness. Besides, they look really homey in a cast iron skillet.

    If you have a favorite gluten free biscuit recipe, I’d love to know!

    {Recipe Redux} Gluten Free Sweet Potato Biscuits

    servings: 8 biscuits | time: about 45 minutes

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    ingredients:

    Preheat oven to 350 and place 1 tsp. butter in a 10″ cast iron skillet. Set aside

    1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (some of my favorites are this, this and this)

    1/4 cup corn flour

    2 TBSP. cornstarch

    1/4 tsp. salt

    2 tsp. baking powder

    1 tsp. baking soda

    1/4 tsp. allspice

    1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (optional if your baking mix already contains it)

    pinch or two cayenne

    6 TBSP. cold unsalted butter

    3/4 cup full-fat yogurt (preferably not Greek)

    2 TBSP. honey

    2/3 cup sweet potato puree (use canned if you can find it–you could even use baby food if it’s just straight sweet potatoes)

    1 large egg

    directions:

    1. Place the flours, corn starch, salt, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, xanthan gum (if using) and cayenne in a large bowl. Whisk to combine
    2. Add the cold butter and cut into the dry mix using a pastry cutter or a couple of forks until the mixture forms coarse crumbs
    3. Add the yogurt, honey, sweet potato puree and egg. Using a fork, blend just until well combined (mixture will be a little sticky)
    4. Melt the butter in the cast iron skillet, swirling it around to make sure it covers the bottom of the pan
    5. Using a large spoon, make biscuits by dropping a large spoonful in the pan and smoothing slightly. Continue with the rest of the batter until you have 8 large biscuits (they should be large enough to be touching)
    6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center biscuit comes out with soft dry crumbs
    7. Serve warm with butter, honey or jam
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    comments:

    13 responses to “{Recipe Redux} Gluten Free Sweet Potato Biscuits”

    1. jill conyers says:

      So happy to see another delicious gluten free recipe! Definitely making.

    2. Okay… these look INCREDIBLE. Sadly, biscuits were never a part of my growing up! It’s definitely going to be something I do with my kids. Lovelovelove the addition of sweet potato!

      I’m not much of a gluten free baker but I might just have to try these. I LOVE adding yogurt to baked goods!

      • I’m fortunate that biscuits were a permanent fixture in my mom’s admittedly limited (but nearly always yummy seriously old-school) cooking repertoire. Sadly I’m not very much help when it comes to converting GF recipes to gluten-tactic ones. Let me know if you figure it out! 🙂

    3. I’m with you – I love me some biscuits yet why do I rarely make them (even though I love to bake!) Like the addition of sweet potato.

    4. These sound really wonderful! I love a good biscuit.

    5. Alanna says:

      I only recently started enjoying biscuits. And sweet potato biscuits?? Even better!!

    6. Dana says:

      Lots of my favorite things here, and so happy to find a gluten-free biscuit alternative!

    7. All of my nieces have Celiac, and I know my sister would LOVE a good biscuit recipe that everyone can enjoy. I’ll definitely be sharing this recipe with her!

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