Let’s give you a little background here: Baking and I used to get along famously. I absolutely loved to bake. We’re talking pies, cakes, cookies, and all sorts of fun pastries. When I would do some Le Creuset product demonstrations (speaking of, have you checked out our Le Creuset Giveaway?), I loved nothing more than showcasing how to make no-knead bread in the round French oven. I even went so far as to teach the kids at Camp Sunshine how to make pâte à choux one teen retreat weekend (which we turned into cheese puffs and mini eclairs as one should do). This was all back in the olden days, of course.
There is something inherently comforting about the smell of baked goods coming from a house. My grandpa (rest his soul) used to make a brown bread (using bacon grease as his fat!) which he kneaded by hand until he was too arthritic to do so (at which point he used the bread machine).
Enter Paleo, and things changed. I don’t know if it’s because I lack the patience to become my own version of America’s Test Kitchen (though I am beyond delighted to know that they are doing a gluten-free baking book next year), or because I just don’t have the same desire for baked goods, but for whatever reason, baked things just don’t call my name like they used to. And they used to call my name, LOTS.
You may notice that in our books and on our blog, we don’t include many baked goods recipes. It’s not because we don’t like them, because we do (at least every once in a while!). Truth of the matter is that we just don’t consume many baked goods because we know that–FOR US–it’s a very slippery slope and one bite often leads to a whole batch being devoured at once. Despite them being gluten-free or made with Paleo ingredients, we’d much prefer (and know it’s better for us) to devote our time and calories to recipes like our Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie or Creamy Tomato Soup or Chicken and Broccoli Casserole. That is just how we roll. Sure, every once in a while we do have a gluten-free baked good treat, and we enjoy it! If baked goods are in your life more frequently, power to you!
Baking within a gluten-free world…especially a Paleo world…is kind of tricky too, and I don’t often have the patience for it. I have SO MUCH respect for those who do great and amazing gluten-free treats recipes (like Shauna, Elana, Danielle, George, Bill & Hayley, etc.). When I want a gluten-free baked treat, these are some of the folks I turn to for inspiration and I’m thankful they devote their time and energies to testing, reformulating and writing great recipes! I will be the first to admit that I don’t have the patience to spend hours testing baked goods recipes. Sure, cupcakes and donuts and breads and even funnel cake all sound amazing, and sometimes I do miss them–which is why I’m so glad that there are so many great resources out there that do include such recipes! But especially right now–as my body is responsible for feeding a little cave baby about 98% of his daily calories–I’m pretty picky about what I choose to eat as I know it has a direct effect on him and me and our health. If I was making and testing baked goods all the time I’m pretty sure it would not be good for me or the baby or Charles (though for sure our house would smell amazing!), and my consumption of omega-6 fats would probably be pretty high. Oh and did I skip the part about how creating and doing loads of baking recipes complete with testing takes a lot of time, and I’d much rather throw some protein and veggies in a pan haphazardly, create some kind of one-dish quick and easy dinner, then play with my munchkin? With baking, you really can’t be haphazard. ESPECIALLY when doing gluten-free baking (where some of your ingredients have a higher price point than say all purpose flour).
All that said, before Scott entered the world, when we were working on Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods, I did tinker around a bit with our original biscuit recipe. In our first book, we included an almond and coconut flour based biscuit recipe that uses egg whites…and quite a few of them (6 to be exact)! We would frequently get e-mails asking what someone could use the yolks for (suggestions: freeze your yolks with a little salt, or make lots of custards, lemon bars, etc.). At any rate, this biscuits recipe 2.0 was one of the recipes that we left out of the new book. Not because we don’t like it, but because we had other brand-spanking-new recipes we wanted to share with you.
This recipe is nut-free, so is great for anyone who has a nut allergy, but we did opt for using some butter. I’ve not tried this with coconut oil as of yet, but I’d imagine you would get a somewhat similar result. The biscuit does have a slightly eggy flavor, but when coupled with some sausage and scrambled eggs to make your favorite breakfast sandwich, I don’t think you’d mind it much.
Are these perfect? Nope. Will they be just like those biscuits out of a can at your grocery store or at your favorite Southern bakery? Nope. Do these work when you want something gluten-free and biscuit-y? Yep. Do I call these Paleo biscuits? I suppose I could, but I’d rather just call them Biscuits. You can apply whatever label to them that you’d like.
- 4 large eggs, yolks and whites divided
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- (if you wanted a little sweetness in your biscuits, you could add in 1-2 Tablespoons of honey)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy and at least doubled in size. Mix in the yolks until no streaks remain.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.
- Using a fork or pastry cutter, mix the butter into the dry ingredients until you have pea-sized bits of butter.
- Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture, incorporating well (the batter will be rather wet, but the coconut flour will start to absorb some of the liquid. Do not add more coconut flour!).
- Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the biscuit comes out clean.
How do baked goods work in your lives? Every once-in-a-while? More frequently? Or when you do have a baked good, do you opt for the “real deal” and maybe have some consequences?