Light and Flaky Vegan Biscuits
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour, plus more for sprinkling
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons (24 g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (56 g) vegan butter, chopped and chilled*
5 tablespoons (60 g) nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, in chunks, chilled*
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) unsweetened almond milk, chilled
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
*I really prefer Melt brand VeganButter sticks and Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, but see the “Ingredients and Substitutions” section for more information if you can’t use those products for any reason.
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, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the cold chunks of vegan butter and shortening and toss to coat. Place each piece of fat between your floured thumb and forefinger to flatten, working quickly so nothing melts. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the almost all of the milk (leaving behind about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and the vinegar, and mix until the dough begins to come together. If necessary to moisten all of the dough, add the remaining milk.
Press the dough together with your hands, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and dust it with a bit more flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a thick rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise, dust again lightly with flour, and roll the dough out again into a thick rectangle. Repeat the process once more or until the dough seems smoother, finally rolling out the dough into a rectangle that’s about 1-inch thick. With a floured, round 2 1/2-inch (or smaller) biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place them about 2-inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Gather and reroll the scraps, and cut out as many more rounds as possible, placing them on the baking sheet as well. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 5 minutes (or the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes) to chill until mostly firm. The raw rounds of dough can be frozen completely and then stored in an airtight zip-top bag in the freezer until ready to bake. Bake from frozen, adding about another 2 to 3 minutes to the baking time.
Place the baking sheet with the chilled rounds of dough on it in the preheated oven and bake until the biscuits are puffed, pale golden and a bit flaky-looking on top (about 18 minutes). Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. The biscuits will be a bit fragile until they’ve cooled completely.
Adapted from the Buttermilk Biscuits on page 104 of the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap Second Edition, by Nicole Hunn (Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Copyright © 2017).