Gluten Free Scones

To follow on from what I am now calling my "dietary requirement friendly cupcakes", I've worked out a gluten free scone recipe using gram flour. I like gram flour. It's not got that odd chalkiness of many GF flours, and as it's just one ingredient, doing the basic chemistry stuff behind the baking is easier.

That and it's way cheaper. You can just buy gram flour in the "world foods" section at any supermarket, often in a yellow and red pack, for reasons I have yet to fathom. Or from your nearest Indian or Middle Eastern market. I have also seen it sneaking into the free-from sections.

That's the set up, now for the recipe. I am working on making these as dietary requirement friendly as the above cupcakes, but for now they're just very good gluten free scones.


Ingredients

  • 225g gram flour
  • 55g butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 20g/55g sugar (depending on if you're making savoury or sweet scones, more on that below)
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp baking powder (check that it's gluten free as some aren't (tip from Rhiarti))
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50ml milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Your desired flavourings

MethodPreheat the oven to 220C/430F, 200C/390F fan assisted, gas mark 7. Grease and flour a baking tray ready to put the scones onto.


As with normal scone recipes; sieve the flour and rub in the butter. A fine tip for this kind of thing, that I would attribute if I could remember where I heard it, is to freeze your butter and then great it into the flour using the finest side of the grater. It then doesn't take much more to rub it into the flour.

Add the salt, sugar, bicarb and baking powder, and give it a mix. Baking powder is merely a mixture of bicarb and a dry acid. When a liquid is added, the bicarb and acid react, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that leaven the batter or dough. I'm not entirely sure why bicarb AND baking powder is required, but it works better than just one or the other.

Now add your flavours. I've made these both as sweet and savoury, and while sweet plain ones worked very nicely, the slightly nutty flavour of the gram flour compliments savoury flavours better than others. The last time I did these I used the lower quantity of sugar and a tablespoon of mixed herbs. They went down a treat.

A tablespoon or so of some herbs or spices, a good chunk of grated cheese, two big tablespoon of chutney, a handful of bacon lardons or dried fruits... don't worry too much about quantities.

Add the lemon juice, then the egg and mix it in, adding milk gradually until you have a firm and not too wet dough. Gram flour can take a little more pounding than normal wheat flour, but try not the knead it too much. You also want to be quick on getting them into the oven so that the bicarb can do its thing.

Pat the dough out to around 2cm thick and cut out with your desired size round or square cutter, or in wedges if you like. I find this a little stickier than wheat flour dough, so make sure your cutter is well floured (with gram!).

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until just starting to brown. Allow to cool and scoff! Or, serve... either way.

Not GF yourself? They freeze just fine. Keep a batch in the freezer and defrost a couple when a GF friend pops round. They'll love you.
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