Decent scones are a devil to find when you can’t eat gluten. Maybe I am unlucky, but I have yet to buy one that isn’t better described as a ‘rock cake’, or doesn’t disintegrate into a pile of crumbs as soon as you take a bite.
A wave of envy washes over me whenever I go past those delightfully quaint coffee shops advertising ‘Cream Teas’. The thought of soft, dense, slightly sweet scones, smothered in beautiful, sticky, fruity red jam and topped with a dollop of thick, rich, cold Cornish Clotted Cream is just too much to bear! Why, oh why is it soooo difficult to produce a decent gluten free home-baked scone for us?
I have wonderful childhood memories of holidays in Devon and Cornwall, where cream teas were almost compulsory and frequently left me so stuffed I could hardly move. Cream teas seem to usually comprise of two scones and a big dish each of jam and cream which is an enormous visual delight to a child. It was always a good challenge to try and finish it (rather than get a single portion and share), even if that meant groaning with fullnesss for the next hour. Children’s eyes are definitely bigger than their tummies!
With all that nostalgia and a definite hankering for a cream tea, I decided that this week I would do my best to ‘crack’ gluten free scones. I also know that I am not the only one who has been wanting to find a good gluten free scone. So J….. these are for you too!
It has taken a few ‘tweaks’ to get these truly ‘scone-like’……………….. Firm but soft, with a little bit of a crisp edge. Slightly creamy flavour with a hint of sweetness. Hold together well, even when cut in half and loaded with jam and cream.
As with all fresh scones, they are best eaten within a couple of days of baking, but they freeze well, so you can grab one (or two, or three, or four…………) whenever you fancy them. To be honest, I am really thrilled with them………………. Scones AND gluten free. Just perfect for that cream tea!
Gluten Free Scones (makes 14 scones)
120g potato flour
110g tapioca flour
30g buckwheat flour
50g GF oat flour (easy to make as in this post)
85g white rice flour
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
20g caster sugar
60g unsalted butter – cut into cubes
100 ml milk
80 ml soured cream
2 large eggs – beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4.
- Line a couple of baking sheets with baking paper.
- Weigh and mix together in a large bowl the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum, salt and sugar, ensuring any lumps are broken down.
- Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs.
- Beat together the milk, cream and eggs in a measuring jug or bowl.
- Gradually add the liquid to the dry mix, stirring until you have a smooth sticky dough. This dough will be too sticky to knead, but should be thick enough to hold its shape when it is rolled out. If the dough feels too dry, then add a little more milk, but only to a maximum of an additional 20 ml.
- Sprinkle a fine layer of rice flour onto the work surface and dollop the dough in a heap on top. Sprinkle a little flour on the top of the dough and then roll the dough out to approximately ¾ to 1 inch / 2 to 2½ cm even thickness.
- Using a medium sized cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place them on the prepared baking sheets a few centimetres apart.
- Bring any off-cuts of dough together and gently work to combine any ‘joins’, then re-roll and cut into rounds. Repeat until your dough is used.
- Remove any excess flour from the uncooked scones with a dry pastry brush, then gently brush a little cold milk on top to glaze.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until firm and golden. Then remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Serve with jam and cream, honey or your favourite spread.