I had an amazing experience recently. We took a little trip and decided to try a local, fast food type restaurant that we had never been to before. Bojangles Chicken and Biscuits seems to rule from Maryland southward. So different than KFC which is a northerner's understanding of what southern fried chicken is. Bojangles is way better. And being served by the friendly folks of the south makes it mentally tasty, if you know what I mean. Anyways, with the understanding that I was not in a GF zone, I got the #5 combo - 2 pieces of chicken, 1 biscuit with a side of dirty rice and a medium strawberry iced tea. The leg was the first to go and it was surprisingly tabasco-ey. A closer look revealed the layer of the heat under the crispy outer coating. Yum! I tried a bite of the biscuit. I knew this was something I would wind up regretting, since it was certainly not GF, but I wanted to try a little. Well, this was probably the best tasting biscuit I had ever eaten and I was hooked. Light and airy on the inside, brown and buttery on the outside. It was gone in minutes. This must be recreated in my GF world!
When I was growing up, my mom gave me the job of baking. She did all the cooking for us, and sometimes my father would pitch in as well. But I started getting fond of making cookies, cakes, frostings, desserts, pies, brownies, rolls, breads and biscuits. We had an old red and white cookbook that had fabulous biscuit recipes in it. The best one called for cream of tartar, which seemed like a weird name for an ingredient, but they always tasted the best. I loved them slathered with butter and doused with honey right after they came out of the oven. So good!
Going GF has imposed baking challenges, for sure. They can be overcome with persistence. The desire to make Bojangles biscuits drove me to face it head on and I did with a vengeance. Determined to bite into those buttery balls of fluffiness, I started to search for their recipe. Or at least the general direction of their recipe. It didn't take long to find several. All they are are buttermilk biscuits. Ok. I can do that. Self rising flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, crisco, buttermilk, butter. I got everything I needed to make a batch.
Make your own GF self-rising flour: 2 TBSP potato flour + enough white rice flour to make 1 cup (or use 1 cup of the King Arthur's GF flour), 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp Xanthan gum.
King Arthur's GF flour recipe: 6 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups potato starch, 1 cup tapioca flour or starch. Whisk together well and use what you need for recipes. Store in fridge.
Attempt #1 was a regular-flour batch so I could see if they were close. Well, not as light and airy but good and close enough. Then the GF flours were blended up - brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cornstarch - then baking powder and cream of tartar was added to make it self rising. Here we go! Attempt #2. The GF version. Mixed it all up. Kneaded together and shaped into rounds. Baked for 8 minutes then coated with melted butter before baking for the remaining 4 minutes.
3 cups self rising flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp confectioners sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil or shortening
1-1/4 cup almond milk with a splash of vinegar added
Melted butter (optional)
Mix dry ingredients together Use pastry blender or fork to cut oil into flour. Add milk and mix together quickly. Place on floured counter. Flatten and fold over a couple of times. Cut with biscuit cutter or slice into squares with a knife. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes, brush with butter and return into oven for 4-5 minutes.
If you don't need this many biscuits at once, mix the drys together, split it in half and put in a baggie for later. Mix with 1/2 of the remaining wet ingredients and bake up 1/2 a batch! This is what I do. It's like doubling the fun!
The pictures say enough to know that they were tasty. Especially when doused with honey right after they came out of the oven! Topped off with a big glass of almond milk = a perfect breakfast, IMHO. My hubby had one with egg and cheese inside. Way better than anything you would get in a drive thru. These will be made many more times in my house!
I still haven't mastered a decent fried chicken. There is a Bojangles in Pennsylvania. A mere 5 hour drive from my house. I have driven farther than that for less good reasons before. Can anyone say "day trip"?