Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people adopting gluten-free lifestyles for medical reasons or by personal choice. For those who love biscuits but need to avoid gluten, the availability of gluten-free biscuit options is an important consideration.
The Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet involves excluding foods that contain the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause adverse health effects and symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and fatigue.
According to a 2019 study, it is estimated that around 1% of people worldwide have celiac disease. However, gluten avoidance has expanded beyond those with diagnosed medical conditions. A 2018 poll found that 10% of American adults maintain a gluten-free diet.
The rising popularity of gluten-free eating has led to more availability of specialty products without gluten. Food manufacturers have developed gluten-free versions of common foods like bread, cookies, crackers and more.
Pillsbury’s Gluten-Free Offerings
When it comes to gluten-free baking mixes and doughs, Pillsbury is one of the major brands providing products. They offer gluten-free varieties of cake mixes, brownie mixes, bread mixes, pie crusts and more.
However, at this time, Pillsbury does not manufacture any gluten-free canned biscuit products. Their traditional canned biscuits contain wheat flour, which contains the gluten protein. The company’s website does not list any gluten-free biscuit products.
Pillsbury Gluten-Free Products
- Gluten Free Funfetti Premium Cake Mix
- Gluten Free Funfetti Premium Cupcake Mix
- Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix
- Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix
- Gluten Free Brownie Mix
- Gluten Free Pie Crust
- Gluten Free Bread Mix
While Pillsbury’s selection covers other gluten-free baking needs, those wishing for canned gluten-free biscuits will need to look to other brands. There are a number of companies producing quality gluten-free biscuits in refrigerated dough form, but the canned variety is still uncommon in the gluten-free market.
Are There Any Gluten-Free Canned Biscuit Options?
For those who rely on the convenience of canned biscuits for quick breakfasts or sides, going gluten-free may require adjusting cooking habits. Gluten-free canned biscuit options are still very limited.
One brand that does offer gluten-free canned biscuits is Better Batter. Their gluten-free biscuits contain a blend of gluten-free flours like brown rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato starch. Here is an overview of Better Batter’s product:
Better Batter Gluten-Free Canned Biscuits
- 8 gluten-free biscuits per can
- Shelf-stable, refrigerator not required
- Flaky, buttery taste
- Made in a dedicated gluten-free facility
- 140 calories per biscuit
Reviews suggest Better Batter provides a close simulation of traditional canned biscuits in terms of taste and texture. However, distribution is still limited, with the product not as widely available as mainstream brands.
There are a couple other small brands offering canned gluten-free biscuits, but none have the widespread availability of Pillsbury’s traditional products. For the majority of consumers, finding gluten-free canned biscuits may require relying on online ordering.
Gluten-Free Refrigerated Dough Alternatives
In the absence of ample canned options, those seeking speed and convenience for gluten-free biscuits can consider refrigerated dough products. Leading gluten-free brands like Kinnikinnick, Namaste Foods and Pamela’s all offer refrigerated biscuit dough.
Here is an overview of popular gluten-free refrigerated biscuit dough options:
Gluten-Free Refrigerated Biscuit Dough
|Kinnikinnick||Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
|Namaste Foods||Perfect Flaky Biscuits
Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
The convenience factor is slightly less than canned biscuits, since refrigerated dough requires a couple extra minutes of prep. However, keeping gluten-free biscuit dough in the refrigerator allows fresh biscuits in 10 minutes or less. Brands like Namaste Foods, Kinnikinnick and Pamela’s are widely available at major grocery retailers.
Make Your Own Gluten-Free Biscuits
For those with more time and the inclination to bake from scratch, homemade gluten-free biscuits are another option. There are many online recipes using gluten-free flour blends and ingredients like:
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour
- Tapioca starch or flour
- Baking powder
- Butter or oil
- Milk or buttermilk
- Baking soda
With the right recipe, homemade gluten-free biscuits can taste just as good as traditional varieties. Home baking allows for total control over ingredients for food sensitivities beyond gluten. Time-pressed cooks can also make larger batches of dough, keep it refrigerated, and bake fresh biscuits as needed.
Tips for Good Homemade Gluten-Free Biscuits
- Use butter for flakiness
- Don’t overwork the dough
- Cut straight down when shaping biscuits
- Bake at a high temperature
With practice, bakers can develop their own go-to gluten-free biscuit recipe suited to their dietary needs and preferences.
Are Gluten-Free Biscuits Healthier?
For those avoiding gluten for medical reasons, gluten-free biscuits are the healthier choice. But for others, gluten-free biscuits are not necessarily the healthier option compared to traditional biscuits.
Gluten-free flours like rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour are typically higher in carbohydrates than wheat flour. To compensate for the lack of gluten, gluten-free recipes often contain more fat and sugar.
According to Today’s Dietitian, studies have found that gluten-free versions of processed foods like cookies, crackers and breads can be lower in fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to standard wheat-based versions. However, freshly baked gluten-free goods made with whole food ingredients can provide good nutritional value.
Those adopting a gluten-free diet for reasons besides medical necessity should still consider the overall nutritional profile when selecting packaged gluten-free products.
Are Gluten-Free Biscuits More Expensive?
On average, gluten-free biscuits cost more than traditional wheat-based biscuits. Prices vary depending on the brand, but gluten-free biscuit products typically range from about $4-$6 per package, while a standard can of biscuits can cost $2-$3.
Companies attribute the higher costs to:
- Use of specialty gluten-free flours
- Dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facilities
- More expensive ingredients
- Lower consumer demand compared to conventional products
For shoppers, buying gluten-free does require being willing to pay a premium. However, as demand for quality gluten-free products increases, there is more competition in the market that may help lower prices. Buying gluten-free biscuits from mainstream brands can offer savings compared to smaller specialty producers.
Where Can I Find Gluten-Free Biscuits?
While availability has improved with the gluten-free movement, finding a variety of gluten-free biscuit choices still depends on shopping at the right retailers. Here are some of the best places to shop for gluten-free biscuits:
- Online – Large online retailers like Amazon offer the widest selection of brands for gluten-free biscuits, doughs and baking mixes. Gluten-free specialty sellers like Glutenfreemall.com also have a huge variety.
- Natural Food Markets – Stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods and Earth Fare have extensive gluten-free sections with options beyond what regular supermarkets carry.
- Walmart/Target – Major retailers are expanding their selections of specialty gluten-free products. Check larger supercenters for leading brands.
- Grocery Store Chains – Even conventional grocers are carrying more gluten-free items today. Chains like Kroger, Publix and Safeway have gluten-free biscuit dough options.
Calling ahead to stores can help identify locally available gluten-free biscuit brands and options as well. Many grocers are also willing to carry new products upon customer request.
Do Gluten-Free Biscuits Taste the Same?
Flaky, buttery biscuits are a treasured staple for many biscuit lovers. So an important question in going gluten-free is whether alternative biscuits can satisfy that craving in terms of taste and texture.
Opinions vary on how close gluten-free biscuits come to the real thing. Taste and texture frequently depend on the specific recipe and brand. Some gluten-free biscuits are crumbly and dry, while others have layers and a moistness closer to wheat-based biscuits. Here are some factors that can affect quality:
- Ingredients – Gluten-free flours, fats, leavening agents and dairy products all impact flavor and texture.
- Preparation – The mixing method and baking technique affect biscuit structure.
- Freshness – Like traditional biscuits, gluten-free biscuits are best freshly baked.
- Brand – Established gluten-free brands like Kinnikinnick generally offer better results than generic store brands.
Reviews indicate brands like Better Batter and Namaste Foods have come very close to perfecting gluten-free biscuits. However, biscuit connoisseurs sometimes note subtle differences from originals. With homemade biscuits, bakers can customize recipes over time to match their recollections of traditional biscuits.
Tips for Improving Gluten-Free Biscuit Texture
- Use butter for tenderness
- Don’t overmix – just combine until dough forms
- Chill dough before rolling and cutting
- Brush tops with butter or milk before baking
- Let biscuits cool slightly before eating
Some trial and error may be necessary to find your ideal gluten-free biscuit texture. Starting with highly rated recipes can minimize the adjustments needed.
For die-hard biscuit lovers avoiding gluten, Pillsbury’s lack of gluten-free canned biscuits is undoubtedly disappointing. However, there are an increasing number of pre-made gluten-free biscuit options available from specialty brands with quality taste and textures.
The alternatives require some extra planning compared to popping open a can, but refrigerated gluten-free doughs offer comparable convenience in making fresh biscuits quickly. And for total control over ingredients and taste, baking your own gluten-free biscuits from scratch may be worth the effort.
While the choices are still limited compared to traditional biscuits, avoiding gluten no longer means giving up enjoying the comfort of warm, delicious biscuits.