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Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits (a copycat recipe)

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits (a copycat recipe)
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Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits copycat recipe[pinit] Are you a planner? I’m not, really. I mean, I have long-range goals and I pack a ton into a day (3 kids = no choice). But I don’t have an editorial calendar for this blog, and I’m old enough not to feel bad about it. This is Thanksgiving Week, and you don’t have to be too much of a planner to have that planned out already (right?). Except … I don’t. I mean, I’ve made turkey gravy already (recipe tomorrow!), and cranberry sauce. I have the turkey I plan to make (it’s not a whole big bird – more about that tomorrow). But most of that is because everyone else tends to plan, and then things get sold out.

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits copycat recipe

At this point, I’ve got a ton of gluten free bread dough rising in the refrigerator, but *ahem* I always have that. And I suspect I’ll be making some sort of stuffing. But even if you’re a planner extraordinaire, may I suggest adding these Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits to the menu? Make the dough tonight, then freeze the rounds and bake from frozen right before the Big Meal. We have made plenty of gluten free biscuits before here on the blog, but still I get asked a lot for Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits copycat recipe

You know, the kind that Red Lobster serves? They’re crazy cheddar-cheesy, and garlicky and honestly they go amazingly well with the tangy-sweetness of Thanksgiving cranberry sauce.

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits copycat recipe

The dough comes together very easily, but it is very heavy on the cheddar cheese. And if you’re a fan of the already-grated cheese packages (which I most certainly am), go for freshly-grated sharp cheddar this time. The packaged grated cheeses are considerably drier than a block of cheese, and it will really change the moisture balance (not for the better).

Gluten Free Cheddar Bay Biscuits copycat recipe

Even if you’re a total planner and you have your whole gluten free Thanksgiving meal all buttoned up already, consider throwing together these Cheddar Bay copycat biscuits. Or maybe just tuck this one away for another big winter holiday that isn’t too far off either. ;) It’ll go great with all our Christmas cookies.

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 biscuits


2 cups (280 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour, plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

7 tablespoons (42 g) nonfat dry milk (blended into a fine powder)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted butter, roughly chopped and chilled

6 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated

8 fluid ounces (1 cup) milk or cream, chilled

2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, nonfat dry milk, baking powder, baking soda, salt and garlic powder, and whisk to combine well. Add the chopped and chilled butter, and toss to coat it in the dry ingredients. Flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger. Add the grated cheese, and toss to coat the cheese in the dry ingredients. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk or cream, and mix until the dough begins to come together. If necessary, press it together with floured hands, handling the dough as little as possible. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, press it into a disk and wrap tightly. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour.

  • Once the dough has chilled, unwrap the plastic wrap and place the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper. Sprinkle the top of the disk lightly with more flour, and roll it out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick. Sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Once more, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough, but this time into a disk about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick. Using a floured 3 1/2-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Place the rounds about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Gather and reroll the scraps, and cut out as many more round of dough as possible, as place on the prepared baking sheet. Chill in the freezer until firm (about 10 minutes).

  • In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons melted butter and the garlic salt. Remove the baking sheet from the freezer, and brush the tops and sides generously with the garlic butter, taking care to ensure that the butter does not pool around the bottom of the biscuits or it will burn.  Place the biscuits in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the biscuits are puffed, very fragrant and lightly golden brown around the edges (about 22 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet until firm (about 10 minutes) before serving.



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  • Jennifer S.

    I should have put these in my bread memories because I miss these babies and honestly I’ve tried other copycats and they were not good – at all. So I’m super excited to try yours. do I have to roll into a disk in order to refrigerate? RL’s are drop biscuits, so I’m hoping I can put the bowl in and then just drop, freeze, etc?? what are your thoughts?
    and wow – no plan. not typical type A behavior – but sometimes you just have to live by the seat of your pants, right? :)

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Hi, Jennifer, Yes, Red Lobster biscuits are drop biscuits, but although I know that people love to relative ease of drop biscuits (and there is a recipe for them in Quick & Easy for that reason), they are generally far from flaky. The rolling and folding of the dough is what makes for a light biscuit. You can make these as drop biscuits, but I don’t think the results will be anything to write home about, kwim?

      • Jennifer S.

        Yep – I get it. I will roll and fold, roll and fold….but not this week – maybe the weekend because I’m stressed out already!

  • Anneke

    I love you.

  • Anneke

    And, I can probably squeeze these babies into my mostly planned T-day meal. Only planned because I absolutely refuse to go to the grocery store this week, not because I am a huge meal planner, unlike Jennifer, who probably knows what she is having for dinner next Monday already! :)

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      That’s just good common sense, Anneke! I am at the grocery store (well, various ones) at least every couple days (occupational hazard), and of course went today. Madness already!

      • Donia Robinson

        Yes, I went yesterday and wanted to scream. Hopefully I have everything now and can stay away from the madness!

    • Jennifer S.

      Yep – due to the holidays I am meal planned out for at least 3 weeks – just worked on it this weekend!! :)

      • Donia Robinson

        I love you, Jennifer, but I also hate you. ;)

  • Lynn A. Decker

    I am SUPER excited to try this. We were going to do a really simple Thanksgiving meal this year, but I may have to add these to the mix. What do you think about grating the butter from a nearly-frozen state?

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Hi, Lynn, No, I do not recommend doing that. You are much more likely to be successful making pastry if you use the method I describe in the instructions, working with chunks of butter. Grating the butter creates thin strands of butter, which are much more likely to melt while you are working with the dough, in which case the pastry won’t rise much at all.

      • Lynn A. Decker

        Thank you so much! I’ve never made biscuits before, so I wasn’t sure.

  • Laura

    Yay! These look great! I am not going to let the folding and rolling intimidate me.
    If I am going to freeze them for later, do I do that before or after buttering? Thank you!

    • http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ Nicole Hunn

      Good, Laura! It’s just roll, fold, roll, fold, roll fold. It’s not a big deal at all, I promise! Good question—if you are going to freeze for later, freeze them before you brush with garlic butter. Then, right before baking from frozen, brush them with the garlic butter and bake.

  • Mare Masterson

    Hip hip hooray!!! Rock on Nicole, rock on!

    FYI, my BIL in Yorktown Heights, NY just got diagnosed with Celiac’s. Turning his wife, the graduate of the Culinary Institute, on to you! My SIL (his sister) usually brings stuffing and popovers to the T-Day meal at his house. I passed on your popover recipe to her and told her what sausage is GF and what bread to buy to prepare for stuffing for him.

    On another note, in April we have a big bash going on here in Tucson for a group I belong to. It is a dessert pot luck. A couple of us are doing whoopie pies for the bash. I am doing your whoopie pies and the other person is doing normal whoopie pies. But I know people in this organization that are paleo. Can you come up with a paleo whoopie pie? I am sure there are recipes out there, but I am asking you first because I trust you.

  • Jen from Revelstoke,BC, Canada

    I was inspired by your photos to make these to go with my prime rib soup tonight. I decided to make them last minute and they turned out AWESOME!!!!! The recipe was super simple and easy and the first bite stole my heart. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a really good biscuit. My husband couldn’t believe they were GF until he saw how many I ate. Thanks for the new staple!

  • Misbah

    How long do these last in the freezer?

  • Maria Henderson

    what does the powdered milk do? I live in a pretty small town and when I found some it was in LARGE quantities. Can I possibly make these without the powdered milk

    • Jenny

      I want to know the same thing! I don’t want to buy powdered milk since it isn’t something I use. Thanks! :)

  • Stephanie

    These are seriously possibly the tastiest things I’ve ever had in my life. I tried to convince my husband that they had gluten in them so that I could eat them all myself. He didn’t believe me.

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