Amaranth Biscuits with Caramelized Onions and Parmesan

With the idea of healthier baking, I recently purchased a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Amaranth Flour, a gluten free flour. Originally from South America, its cultivation, appearance and uses are similar to grains. Because Amaranth flour has such a broad spectrum of amino acids, when it is combined with non-grain flours like wheat and corn, it makes a complete protein comparable to meat or fish. It is especially high in lysine, which is lacking in many grains. Because non-glutinous flours like Amaranth will not rise in yeast breads, they should only replace up to 30% of the glutinous flour in a recipes – any more than this and you run the risk of baking a bread brick.

These biscuits are my first attempt at baking with Amaranth flour. I served them as a side for a chicken and fruit salad. The entire plate of biscuits was rapidly consumed, so I’d say they’re a keeper.

Yield: 20-25 biscuits


1 large shallot or ½ large white onion, peeled and minced
Coarse-ground sea salt
1-2 tablespoons butter
Olive oil

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup amaranth flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon parsley, minced
4 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
Prepared onions (above)
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used coconut milk with 1 Tb vinegar)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, position a rack in the center of the oven, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized pan, sauté the onions over medium heat with a little olive oil and a pinch of sea salt until softened (about 5 minutes). Lower the heat to medium-low, stir in the butter and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium/large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, red pepper flakes and sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or two butter knives slicing in opposite directions). Gently stir in the cheese and the prepared onions. Pour in the buttermilk and fold until just combined. Do not overwork the dough.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Biscuits are done when golden brown on top and lightly browned on the bottom.

Best served warm, the cheese provides a crusty top and the onions keep the center chewy and delicious.


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