Gluten free baking is absolutely a NEW skill I am having to learn. You think you are a good baker, then have to go gluten free, and the learning journey begins all over again!!!!
I have adapted this recipe from Alison Graham’s Cornish Recipe (in the southwest of England) where they REALLY know how to make them!
I started by making my own container of All Purpose Gluten Free Flour. Yes, they sell gluten free flour blends, but as I am not supposed to have corn or potato either, I just made my own, since most on the market contain these ingredients.
My All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend
4 cups rice flour (I mixed white and brown)
3 cups tapioca flour
1 cup sorghum flour
Mix together in air tight container.
Gluten Free Scones
1.5 cups Gluten free flour blend (above)
2 level tsp (teaspoons) Xanthan gum (takes the place of gluten to bind ingredients together)
1 level tsp salt
4 Tbsp (tablespoon) sugar
3 tsp. gluten free baking powder
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (I used salted, so decreased the salt to 1/3 tsp.)
5-6 fluid ounces of milk (I used almond)
NOTE: If you decide to use a manufactured flour blend, then check to see if the xantham gum and baking powder have already been added.
Prepare a non stick baking sheet by dusting with flour, or line with parchment paper.
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. SIFT all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
3. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and when well whisked, gradually stir in the milk. Set aside.
4. Take a cold, half cup of butter, and cut into little pieces with a paring knife. Then use a pastry cutter to cut butter into the flour mixture. Then, use your fingers (to incorporate as much air as possible) until butter is well mixed in.
5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and gradually add the egg and milk, mixing to a soft dough with a spoon. Leave the very last Tablespoon of the milk & egg mixture to brush onto the tops of your scones before baking.
6. Leave the dough to “rest” for 5 minutes. Mixtures using gluten free flour tend to be rather “wet” to start with and this standing time makes it easier to roll out. (YES – why did no one tell me this before!!!)
7. Dust your rolling pin and board with flour and roll dough out to just under 1 inch thick. I cut out my scones with a tin can (that I had cut both ends off of) which was about 2 1/4 inches in diameter. I don’t think the size really matters though.
8. If the dough is too wet to roll out, you can always use an ice cream scoop, to scoop out mounds of the mixture and put them straight onto the baking tray.(apparently they taste good this way too) I just added more flour to my hands, and the board, and it was just fine. (Let me just say here, that this was the FIRST time I have had success rolling out gluten free dough – still so excited – by the way, I’m eating one of these yummy scones as I type. I think I’ve gained 5 pounds since yesterday!!!!)
9. Brush the top of the scones with the reserved egg and milk with a pastry brush.
10. Alison’s instructions said to bake for 10 – 12 minutes, but my gas oven is a bit slow, and they took 16 minutes for me. Just watch them. You don’t want the inside to be raw, but neither do you want the bottom to be TOO brown. Place on a wire rack to cool. Hide them from your family. (Just kidding).
11. Oh, yes, to eat, slice in half, put butter, jam, cream (or ALL THREE) on top. Really amazing! Let me know what YOU think please.
Extra ideas for the adventurous:
Shepherd’s Pie – I made a shepherd’s pie base, and while it was baking (in a 350 F oven) I made the scone recipe above. I rolled it to half the thickness (o.k. here I had to do it in strips, to keep it together) and place on top of the hot Shepherd’s pie base, put it back into a 450 degree F. oven for 20 minutes or until brown. Since I can’t have potato, this was a delicious option for me. I put grated mozarella on top of the crust too.
Alison also suggested using as a pie base, for a meat pie, but I have not tried that yet.
Storing – These scones keep well in the freezer in an airtight container for a month, and can be defrosted in the microwave quickly, if needed. I’m thinking a little butter, and heating them up in the toaster oven would be amazing.
Fruit Scones – Add 1/2 cup sultanas or currants to the dry ingre. before adding liquid.