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Biscuit Template with Dairy Free Substitutions

by Karen on January 4th, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits made with Multi Blend GF Flour Mix and Teff Flour

It can be difficult to know who to believe sometimes.

Our family recently learned an interesting lesson, but in order to tell that part of the story I have to go back in time a bit.

Eighteen years ago our daughter experienced flushed cheeks soon after eating a meal.  This seemed strange to me so I did a little reading and ultimately we went through a multi-elimination diet and discovered she reacted to corn and cow’s milk — we took those elements out of her diet (we also took her to an allergist who confirmed this with testing). 

Then a few years later our son was diagnosed with celiac disease.  I had heard that our daughter might outgrow her food allergies in time so we had her tested again by the allergist —he confirmed that indeed she had outgrown them.  So for the past 14 years our daughter has consumed those foods while avoiding gluten (she is also a biopsy-proven celiac and aside from a period in high school where she opted to consume gluten she has led a gluten free life since the age of 8).

As a college student she did some research on celiac disease and food allergies because she felt that something she was eating made her feel bad.  We decided to do the multiple elimination diet again and

guess what????

she discovered that the symptoms she experienced went away by eliminating corn and cow’s milk!

As a mother this is the point where you feel like a complete idiot—How would the past fourteen years have been different for her health if we had kept her on the dairy-free, corn-free and gluten-free diet?

I can’t help but think that avoiding corn and dairy in addition to gluten would have made a difference in her life on many levels and it makes me frustrated that we don’t seem to have better answers to these issues today.  We followed the doctors’ advice.  Granted it was advice that I sought out (trying to sidestep the complications of multiple food restrictions) to make my life easier as the cook!

Dairy free products are impressive!

Better late than never! Over the past month we have learned how to avoid corn, dairy, and gluten and I have to say we have been pleasantly surprised with the results.  Dairy-free sour cream, milk, cream cheese, and butter have been our saving grace.  The quality of these items has far surpassed my expectations too!

So as we rally again with the Gluten Free Ratio Rally bloggers for biscuits this month I will share with you some of these great products that are easily incorporated into biscuits.  These products use soy, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if soy were also a problem.  Since our daughter is only in her 20s she is careful to minimize her consumption overall with regards to soy based products. 

Over the holidays we used these substitutes for sour cream coffee cake, cookies, potato dishes, and appetizers.  While they changed the overall result a bit,  they still offered up some pretty darn good food.

We set the bar very high around here so to get that kind of accolade from me is really saying something.

Ruhlman’s Ratio Guide

The Ratio Rally bloggers want to help you bake easier using ratios, which is how restaurants adapt all of their recipes to feed a large crowd.  Once you know the ratio of a recipe you can experiment successfully.  Our Ruhlman’s ratio guide is 3:2:1 for flour : liquid : fat and my recipe comes pretty close to that ratio.  My goal was to use flours that you should have on hand if you want to make healthy gluten free baked goods.  If you use my Multi Blend mix  use about 130 g of that mix and 130 g of either teff or millet flour.

Gluten free/dairy free tips I learned:

1.  Approximately 1/3 of the flour in the recipe is starch which is a good rule of thumb. Feel free to sub in other healthy gluten free flours.  Right now I happen to like the combination of  almost equal parts of millet, sorghum, amaranth, and oat flour.   If I had teff on hand instead of amaranth I would have used that. My affinity to these flours is due to meeting the owner of Manini’s mixes for bread and pasta—more on that in a future post.

2.  Next time I make these dairy free I might add in a teaspoon of cider vinegar as a dough enhancer for a better rise.  (Typically we use buttermilk, if you look at the photo at the top of this post and compare it to the photo at the bottom you will see what I am talking about).

3.  The beauty of the dairy free biscuit is that those who don’t have to follow a dairy free diet can add a pat of butter to their biscuit at the table and everyone is happy.  But I would argue that these biscuits taste pretty darn buttery as is.

Biscuit recipe is available in Cooking Gluten-Free!  when ordering also request the DF version of Buttermilk Biscuits.

biscuit dough, folding dough


dairy free, gluten free biscuits

inside the dairy free, gluten free biscuit

 These products are widely available in natural food markets.  I found them at my local grocery store and also at Whole Foods.

dairy free sour cream


dairy free butter

Our fearless leader this month is Gretchen

and here are the rest of the links:

Amanda / Gluten Free Maui / Classic Biscuits & Gravy
Amie / The Healthy Apple / Wasabi Parsley Biscuits
Caleigh / Gluten Free[k] / American Style Biscuits
Caneel / Mama Me Gluten Free / Whole Grain Pecan Drop Biscuits
Charissa / Zest Bakery / Eggnog Biscuits with Grated Nutmeg
Erin / The Sensitive Epicure / Scallion Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
gretchen* / kumquat /sweet buttermilk biscuits
Heather / Discovering the Extraordinary / Almond Coconut Tea Biscuits
Jean / Gluten-Free Doctor Recipes / Jammers
Karen / Cooking Gluten-Free! / Biscuit Template with DF Substitutions
Lisa / Gluten Free Canteen / Fluffy Biscuits
Mary Fran / FrannyCakes / Espresso Orange Biscuits
Mrs. R / Honey from Flinty Rocks / Gobbler Cobbler
Rachel / The Crispy Cook / Hummus in a Biscuit
Silvana / Silvana’s Kitchen / Sausage-n-Cheddar Bialy Biscuits
TR / No One Likes Crumbley Cookies / Lemon Basil Biscuits

  1. I have to find some of that vegan sour cream immediately! Starting this year, my husband is going dairy-free (in addition to his already gluten-free and soy-free diet) so I am glad to see this post. The biscuits do look light and tender, the way they should be!

  2. Beautiful biscuits, and congrats on making them dairy free – they look awesome!

  3. thanks for sharing all that you’ve learned so far baking dairy-free. and so glad your daughter (and other dairy-free folks) can now enjoy some of those flaky, delicious biscuits.

  4. These look great! So fluffy!

  5. Karen permalink

    I am pretty sure the sour cream is soy based :(

  6. Look at the fluffiness, rise and how tender those biscuits at the top are! I’m impressed – and appreciate you telling the story here of the allergy journey.

  7. Your biscuits look great!! Thanks for the dairy free template too!

    I use Earth Balance in the red tub because it is soy free. We don’t have a problem but I do my best to avoid it wherever possible!

  8. I think my celiac disease was triggered in junior high, but we were all convinced it was a dairy issue (and it was partly). We’d never heard of celiac disease back then, and no doctor ever suggested it. The best I got from a doctor was “lactose intolerance.” So, for ten years I used the lactose pills, and drank soy milk or lactaid milk, and I still was often miserable. Finally, an elimination myself proved to be the thing I needed. Gluten.

    Doctors don’t know everything.

    However, I know that these biscuits look good. They are extremely fluffy. That’s super.

  9. Lisa @ GF Canteen permalink

    We’ve been trying to use way less dairy and I will have to check out the dairy free sour cream. Those look fabulous – lots of rise to them. And I’m a big fan of Authentic flours – use them almost exclusively. Hope your daughter is feeling better!

  10. These look wonderful, Karen! And thank you for sharing the story behind it. I often wonder how my life would have been different if I had eliminated gluten and dairy decades ago instead of just 4 1/2 years ago. But then again, maybe I wouldn’t appreciate and value good health and life as much as I do now if it wasn’t for all that suffering. If you ever have any questions, whether it’s about dairy-free products or being dairy-free period, please know that I am here. :)

  11. These look great! And thanks for sharing your story about dairy free stuff…I have friends who are dairy free, so I like to learn about baking that way.

  12. Kathy permalink

    Thank you for posting your resources. I am trying to figure out how much 1 cup multiblend would weigh, such as tapicoa may weigh 120 g.
    I wanted to make the teff/mulit blend biscuits. I thought I read use 130g of each, but it you add up the flour weight in the recipe, it doens’t equal the same. I am sure it is a simple answer, just having trouble figuring it out.
    Would appreciate feedback. Thank you again.

  13. Kathy permalink

    I remade the dough using the recipe stated, except I substituted palm shortening. Both doughs are chilling at the moment. The dough was sticky, wet. I am wondering if that is acceptable or I need to add more flour. How did the dough turn before chilling. THank you again for your time.

  14. Karen permalink

    Dough should not be sticky wet. Sprinkle more flour into the dough. When dough is wrapped in plastic wrap it should be easy for you to manipulate the dough without it sticking to the plastic wrap. Keep me posted on your success.

  15. Karen permalink

    one cup of my Multi Blend mix = 153g

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