The First Time I Started Baking

The first time I started baking was shortly after I moved in with my first roommate who happened to be my boyfriend who is now my husband.  So, this was about 12 years ago.  We were living in a fairly nice apartment that was right next to a railroad in Tempe, Arizona.  It was exciting to move in together.  So, I tried to be a good domesticated house-girl friend and bake a lemon cake. Now, I am a smart girl, but I really thought that if I raise the heat higher the cake would cook faster in the oven. That’s right.  This logic made sense to me. My first lemon cake came out looking like a brownie.  I learned a lesson that day: You cannot mess with the temperature when making baked goods.

About 6 years after that, we moved to Yokota Airbase in Fussa, Tokyo, Japan.  I started baking for the first time…again. I tried to be a good military spouse and participated in a baked goods sale setup for the 374th Maintenance Squadron.  Now, I’m a smart girl, but I really thought I could easily make these cute little colorful puffs of wafer air known as macarons.  When my husband came home that day he found me in our kitchen covered in powdered sugar, food coloring  on everything, but the macarons, and I was sticky and stressed.  He even wittingly said, “I didn’t know it was possible to smell sugar.” I learned a lesson that day:  Organize and measure your ingredients beforehand when making baked goods.

Keeping these two lessons in mind I recently tried my hand at making a gluten-free biscuit using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit Mix.  I followed the instructions on the package.  Not surprisingly, the biscuits came out drier, crumbly, and more neutral in flavor than biscuits made with regular flour and lots of butter.  For some reason, I wasn’t satisfied with this result and decided to play with the recipe on the back of the package.  Instead of using cold butter, I thought it would be better to use a melted butter to add moisture to the mix. While the butter was melting I remembered how much I love the aroma and richer flavor of browned butter.

I then thought to add raw honey and coconut milk for more flavor and sweetness, but not overwhelming sweetness.  What I ended up with was a wetter biscuit mix to work with.  So, during the kneading process I kept a reserve of gluten-free flour on the side.  In this case, I used tapioca flour because its texture was similar to the packaged biscuit mix and neutral in flavor.  I added a handful at a time and kneaded until the biscuit mix no longer stuck to the counter.  Once the biscuits were baked the result was a softer, slightly fluffier, more risen, and flavorful biscuit!  It is easy to break apart if you want to add butter or jams in the middle and doesn’t crumble as easily.  I will probably tamper with this more, but for now it is satisfying.  Enjoy these Brown Butter and Coconut Milk Honey Biscuits and learn (and laugh) from my mistakes.


Get the recipe:  Brown Butter and Coconut Milk Honey Biscuits





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