Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Whole Grain Pecan Drop Biscuits

There is something about homemade biscuits that has always made my mouth water. Long before we were gluten-free, I made biscuits by rolling them out and cutting them. They sure were good, but became too time consuming for a busy family life.

Lamenting to my aunt one evening about making a really quick dinner, she suggested biscuits and eggs. The only problem was, I said, biscuits take too long. Why in the world wasn't I making drop biscuits (and in a muffin tin to make it easier!), she wondered. A really quick, easy and delicious drop biscuit recipe out of my Joy of Cooking? After that night, I never went back. Sure, I'd eat those great rolled and cut biscuits if others made them, but I would forever enjoy the simplicity - and taste - of drop biscuits.

And so it continues, even gluten-free. (I've been using Pamela's baking mix for them.) When I found out that biscuits would be our challenge for this month's Gluten Free Fatio Rally, I immediately knew I wanted to make drop biscuits, but with a whole-grain twist and the addition of pecans. A restaurant we loved before going gluten-free made the best (rolled and cut) pecan biscuits.

Many thanks to Gretchen of Kumquat blog for hosting this month's rally. Be sure to head over to her delicious sweet buttermilk biscuits recipe and also check out the recipes all of the other participants baked up for you this moth. Gretchen has all of them listed with links.

Logo designed by Anile Prakash

If you aren't familiar with the Gluten Free Ratio Rally, you can check out my rally page here, where I list all my other ratio rally recipes as well as the first rally month introduction/host post by Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl and the Chef. Baking and cooking with weight and ratio gives you independence in your kitchen that you can't imagine is possible until you try it for yourself.

I used Michael Ruhlman's ratio for biscuits in this recipe, adding a little more liquid for the drop biscuit factor. Ruhlman's biscuit ratio is 3:1:2: 3 parts flour: 1 part fat: 2 parts liquid.

One new thing I tried for this recipe is ground Salba (chia - Salba is just brand of chia I prefer) seeds. Usually when making recipes like this that don't contain a binder like egg, I might use a milled/ground flax slurry. I've been wanting to try ground chia, though, knowing how well chia sticks to everything when moistened, and Shauna's last rally post convinced me to try it. I'm so glad I did -- this is the way to go! And I always feel I need to make the slurry when using flax, but this isn't necessary when using the chia. I even tried it and it would have been a disaster to try to mix that sticky glob into the biscuit ingredients! I just added it into the dry ingredients and it worked like magic.

Can you see how tender these are?
When I first took these biscuits out of the oven, my hopes fell a little - they were cracked a little on top and must surely be hard and dry. I was delighted to be WRONG - the biscuits were delicious, tender and had a wonderful texture. We all loved them, and I hope you do, too.

(Happy New Year, by the way! I wished you all a happy one here, but just realized that this is my first post of 2012 - what a great way to start out the year with fellow gluten-free bloggers!)

Projected prep time: 15 minutes; Bake time: 20 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

3 oz. (84 g) brown rice flour
1 oz. (29 g) teff flour
1 oz. (29 g) sweet rice flour
1 oz. (29 g) millet flour
1 1/2 oz. (43 g) tapioca starch
1 1/2 oz. (43 g) potato starch
1/4 oz. (6 g or 1 tbsp.) ground Salba (chia) seeds
2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 oz. (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (2 oz. or 58 g) chopped pecans
*1 tsp. lemon juice or distilled white vinegar in cup to make:
*7 oz. milk (see above, or use soured milk)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease 12 regular-sized muffin tins.

Mix flours together with ground chia, baking powder and salt.

Place a teaspoon of lemon juice or distilled vinegar into cup and then enough milk to make 7 ounces. Let sit while you work the butter into the flour.

Cut or pinch butter into flour until crumbly. Mix in chopped pecans.

Make a well in the middle of the flour/butter/pecan mixture and stir the milk in until a dough is formed.

Drop spoonfuls into the muffin tins.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until done in the middle. Bake on top rack if using a gas oven.


Don't forget to check out Gretchen's sweet buttermilk biscuits and all of the other amazing biscuits baked up for the rally this month. Thanks again, Gretchen!


  1. These look great! I love using the muffin tins to form the shape, I totally should have thought of that for mine! Definitely excited to try these.

  2. Gotta get on that chia train. It certainly seems to make your biscuits look so moist and fluffy!

  3. Good thinking using muffin tins for drop biscuits. I heard the higher protein flours can result in a tough biscuit, but am super excited to see that yours turned out nice and tender. Will have to try it!

  4. i love love pecans! and the addition of the teff gave them such a pretty, nutty color. the texture looks perfect... wish i had one for breakfast!

  5. Lovely texture, I hadn't thought of pecans in biscuits. And a big thank you to your aunt for suggesting, it's nice when the family rallys around to help!

  6. YUM! The crumb looks incredible. You used all my favorite flours... and pecans! Sounds like a winning biscuit.

  7. Thank you, everyone! All of your biscuits look delicious as well!

  8. I thought of using a muffin tin... but with so many trials I switched gears for this rally. I will HAVE to try that for my other trials!!

    Do you use a coffee grinder for grinding your chia seeds?? I used mine and the seeds got gummed up all over the blade. Did I gind them too long... or?? I should have thought of using someting as a binder in my rolled and cut biscuits... thanks for the reminder!!

    Pecans are my favorite nut, I will HAVE to try these!! The look fabulous!

  9. I am so into these! I love that they're whole grain and that you have added extra nutritional power to them by using chia. I have thought about trying some flax or chia in my biscuits to see what that does to them.

    What a wonderful biscuit you've made. I'd happily eat them.

  10. Thank you! No, I don't grind the chia myself. I buy the ground Salba (and the whole Salba - I sprinkle it in everything, lol!)

    Amanda, thank you!

  11. very pretty! love the pecans and yay for no gums. it works well without, doesn't it?

  12. Lisa, thank you - and yes, it does!

  13. Mmmmm, pecans in biscuits. Well, pecans in just about anything. :) Thank you for sharing! (and Thank you to your aunt as well)

  14. The inside of these look heavenly! I haven't tried chia seeds yet, but definitely want to, as I don't use gums much anymore. Thanks for sharing these!

  15. Thank you Jonathon and Heather!

  16. I adore pecans so your recipe has jumped to the top of my must try list! These look so soft and delicious inside, I could admire them for hours!

  17. These look so yummy! I haven't had biscuits in such a long time-definitely going to make these. Love that they're drop biscuits....the only kind I've ever made. Great job!

    1. Thanks EA - drop biscuits are the easiest, aren't they?!

  18. I'll be looking forward for your other posts. Keep it up! Nice post! I'm so glad to get to visit this site. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative post. gluten free whole grain breads have no chemical additives, no preservatives, GMO Free, no milk and no egg.

  19. Whoah! this looks delicious. Well what can I say is that these is an interesting and very informative topic. Thanks for sharing your ideas, its not just entertaining but also gives your reader knowledge. Good blogs style too, Cheers!
    - The gluten free breads


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