If you are going to bake gluten-free, use an oven thermometer. This is a good tip for everyone who bakes, gluten-free or not. It was a revelation to me when I got one. My oven temperature can vary by season, time of day and phase of the moon. The thermometer has taken out the guess work. Overall, my results with everything are better and more consistent.
I have started to measure my flours by weight. Weighing the flours is the best way to ensure accuracy. Using measuring cups with gluten-free flours can be frustratingly inconsistent. Whole wheat flour is 140 grams per cup. Knowing this, I make sure each cup of my flour blend of whole grain flour and starches adds up to 140 grams and the results are great every time. Knowing the weights can make it easier to grind whole grains to make flour. 70 grams of whole millet is equal to 70 grams of ground millet whereas 1/3 cup whole millet equals 1/2 cup ground.
I find the whole grain flour blends that best mimic whole wheat flour are about 70% whole grain and 30% starch, although I have gone as high as 75% whole grain and 25% starch with good results. Whole grain flours are heavy and won't give as much rise, but they are more flavourful. The addition of the starch lightens the crumb and helps with binding.
The other thing I've learned is that you don't always need to add xanthan or guar gum. Anything where the gluten-full instructions say don't overmix, such as brownies, pancakes, muffins, quick breads and cookies, doesn't need a gum. I replace fats and eggs with other binding ingredients like fruit or starchy vegetable purees (pumpkin, sweet potato, apple sauce, mashed banana), or flax or chia seeds or nut butters. I have better results when the whole grain flour combination contains a flour with a lot of soluble fibre such as buckwheat, oat, chickpea, corn or teff. This helps to retain moisture and give some structure. Most of the gluten-free flours and starches I use are from Bob's Red Mill and Only Oats.
Finally, the batters or doughs for gluten-free baked goods are wetter than their gluten-full counterparts. The flours absorb liquids more slowly and need a little more time to hydrate. When you make these biscuits, your instincts will tell you to add more flour. Don't. If you keep adding flour, you will end up with dense, crumbly, pucks that are really dry and unpleasant to eat. Without gums or gluten, the tops will crack. I've gotten used to it.
This large recipe makes 12 to 16 biscuits depending on how thickly you press out the dough. I have given the recipe in both weight and volume measurements. Please note that the volume measurements are approximate. I scooped the flour out of the bag with the measuring cup rather than spooning it into the cup. If you measure by volume, your results may be different than mine.
12 to 16 biscuits
Measurements by Weight
280 grams gluten-free oat flour
70 grams gluten-free millet flour
70 grams gluten-free tapioca flour
18 grams gluten-free baking powder
pinch of salt
250 grams / 250 ml soy milk
20 grams / 20 ml apple cider vinegar
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato (I forgot to weigh this)
Measurements by Volume
2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup gluten-free millet flour (1/3 cup whole millet, ground = 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup gluten-free tapioca flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons gluten-free baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup soy milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
To your health and happiness,
Beans and Rice