If you've ever wondered how to make super-flaky gluten-free pastry that rises up instead of out and practically melts in your mouth, then today's your lucky day! And now that strawberries are bright red through and through, and bursting with some of the season's best flavors, there's no better way to celebrate than with gluten-free strawberry shortcakes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt, whisk to combine well.
Add the cold butter to the large bowl of dry ingredients and toss to coat the butter in the dry ingredients.
With clean hands, flatten each chunk of butter between your thumb and forefinger.
Tip: To make flaky pastry, you do not want to process the butter until it's the size of peas. If you have tiny pieces of butter it will most likely melt before it ever gets into the oven. The secret, then, is much larger chunks of butter. The flakiness is created when the cold chunks of butter hit the heat of the oven and swell, pushing out the flour all around.
Add the milk and mix with a spoon until the mixture begins to come together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured piece of unbleached parchment paper and press into a disk.
Place another piece of unbleached parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick.
Remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter.
Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough once again into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Once more, remove the top piece of parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with flour, and fold the dough over on itself like you would a business letter. Sprinkle the dough again lightly with flour, replace the parchment paper and roll out the dough, but this time into a disk about 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick.
Peel back the top piece of parchment paper, and, with a floured 2 -1/2 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough.
Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Gather and re-roll the scraps, cut out more rounds and place them on the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake the biscuits in the center of the preheated oven until puffy and pale golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Allow the biscuits to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the biscuits are baked and completely cooled, whip the heavy whipping cream on medium-high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a large bowl with a hand-held mixer) until soft peaks form.
Split each cooled biscuit in half horizontally, and spoon a generous amount of whipped cream on top of each bottom half. Top with a layer of strawberry slices, and cover with the top of the biscuit. Serve immediately.
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