I’ve had many failures as I’ve attempted to learn to cook gluten-free, corn free and soy free due to food allergies. I’ve learned from them all, and lived to tell the tale. Even better, I’m happy to share the recipes! I’ve always had success with these scones, and my flour mixture, they rise nicely, brown well, and have great flavor and texture.
First, a note on flour mixtures. If you don’t have gluten in your flour, you have to compensate by adding gums such as xanthan or guar gum, and mixing different textures of flour – gluten provides the structure for baked goods to rise, get fluffy, etc. I source my flours at local Asian and Indian markets, but if you’re cooking for someone with celiac disease, be totally safe and verifiably gluten free by buying Bob’s Red Mill products. Bob’s Red Mill tests and certifies that their gluten-free products have no detectable gluten, down to parts per million. If it’s just generic allergies, you have more wiggle room.
If you don’t want to mix your own, I’ve had good success with Tom Sawyer brand gluten-free flour. Note that it does contain gelatin, which makes it unsuitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Gluten-Free Flour Mixture – Gina’s special blend
2 lbs white rice flour
1 ½ lbs urad flour (a type of mung bean or lentil found in Indian markets, the flour is used to make dosas, a delicious pancake-y flatbread)
1 ½ lbs tapioca starch
1 oz xanthan gum
Dump in large bowl, and thoroughly stir to mix evenly. I like using a whisk
If you can’t find urad flour, or want to substitute because of cross contamination oncerns, you can use sorghum flour in the same amount (Bob’s Red Mill carries it). Use cup for cup in regular recipes, best for sweets and quick breads.
No Beans Gluten-Free Flour Mixture – Lissa’s special blend
4 cups white rice flour
2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups potato flour
1 cup tapioca flour
5 tsp. xantham gum
Same as above, dump in a big bowl, mix thoroughly, and use cup for cup for regular flour in recipes.
Now, for the scone recipe. The original recipe was found at the Gluten Free Gourmand, but I made some changes of my own in the following version. My family, who does not have to eat wheat free, eats these like they’re going out of style, hence my larger recipe:
Gina’s Version of Gluten Free Scones – makes 12-16 scones, depending on size
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, prep and set aside a large cookie sheet with parchment paper
4 cups gluten-free flour (I’ve only tested with my blend, your mileage may vary if using another)
¾ cup sugar + extra for dusting
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ sticks butter, unsalted, cold, cut into chunks
1 ½ cups cream
1 Tablespoon lemon extract (verify gluten free if needed, substitute 2 Tablespoons lemon zest if you like)
Combine dry ingredients and blend thoroughly. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or two knife method, til mixture has a kitty litter texture (minus the additional kitty litter bonuses, if you know what I mean). Try to keep this cold, if the butter gets soft and mushy, put the bowl in the fridge for a bit to chill.
In a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients thoroughly. Add to the dry ingredients and stir. This makes a really sticky, soft dough. Instead of attempting to roll it out, I just form vaguely scone-like shapes from portions of dough. To keep it from sticking, wet your hands in plain water, re-wetting as needed as you go along.
After the scones are formed and put on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, dust the tops with more granulated sugar.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes or so.
Using this recipe as a base, you can add in nuts or other delights like dried fruits, or chocolate chips. I usually add these as a last step, just before forming the scones, no more than 1 cup of each one. There’s a lot of room for experimentation.
Thanks to Lissa Jacobson for the alternate, and bean free, gluten-free flour mix! Please note that I am not sponsored by or given any consideration from the companies I mentioned in this post, I’ve just used their products and vouch for them for that reason.
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