Baking Biscuits

One of the greatest of summertime simple pleasures is strawberry shortcake.  Not those spongy cakes you sometimes see in the grocery store.  No, I’m talking about honest to goodness, homemade from scratch buttery biscuit variety shortcake.  Just writing this makes my mouth water.

Alas, my days of biscuit making ended years ago when I went gluten free.  I tried.  Oh, I tried.  Never did I find a suitable alternative.  While most of the time I don’t miss bread stuffs or have found suitable taste and texture alternatives, I have a lingering fondness for shortcake that catches me up every summer.  As August wanes, I thought this summer would be like the last, and the one before and the one before and….  UNTIL…

Fast forward 20 years (Have I been gluten free that long?  Really??).   I recently happened upon a delightful cookbook by home cook Carrie Vitt of Deliciously Organic.

I’ve been gluten-free for 20 years.  Okay.  I already said that.  Now, for health reasons (Who needs inflammation anyway?), I’ve decided to ramp up to being completely GRAIN-free.  That’s not just gluten-free but grain, all grain – no rice, or corn or gluten-free oats or those “alternatives” like quinoa and teff.  Nope.  NO, zip, nadda grain for me.

That’s where Carrie and her book, “the grain-free family table” (she uses all lower-case so cut me some editorial slack) come into play.  I was browsing my favorite Indy book store – Prairie Path Books – when I chanced upon this delightful collection of grain-free yummies.  So far everything I’ve made has been wonderful.

Today biscuits got their moment in the sun.  The recipe is incredibly simple.  Although it calls for a food processor, I went old-school and made them by hand.  What a delight to sink my hands into the dough.  It was like riding a bike.  The memories of working dough flooded back into my consciousness and the pleasure – divine.  There is no substitute for working dough by hand.  This is a drop biscuit recipe so they are basically foolproof.  Still, working the butter into the meal… I’m in heaven.

Almond meal based, the biscuits have a light, crumbly texture, the perfect pairing with cream and berries.  I tasted one fresh out of the oven with butter and jam.  Yum…

Not the same as the wheat-based biscuits of old, but a new discovery that opens the door to many delicious treats….

I envision them with rosemary (from my herb garden) over chicken in a winter pie, with sausages and eggs for breakfast…. I could go on but for now, with the taste of summer calling, I’m off to the market to forage for berries and cream….

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