Monday, February 8, 2010

Bette Hagman’s Scones, Modified

These gluten free scones are based on the recipe found in Bette Hagman’s cookbook, “The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread”. I do modify the recipe somewhat; the recipe lends itself well to tailoring the scones to taste. The flour mix used in this recipe is the author’s Gluten-Free Flour mix. Make up a batch of this mix to have on hand.

For 9 cups of the mix use the following:

Six cups of rice flour
Two cups of potato starch
One cup of tapioca flour

Mix the flours thoroughly and store in a cool place in an airtight container. Label the container so you know what’s in there.

The scones recipe is as follows:
2 cups gluten-free flour mix
1 rounded teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
3 teaspoons egg replacer (optional)
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt

5 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cold
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk

I skip the dried orange peel, cranberries and sliced almonds and substitute chocolate chips. You can also substitute dried apricots or raisins. I also skip the egg replacer and add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the wet ingredients instead. It’s cheaper and adds to the flavor.

For the butter, I use a non-hydrogenated, trans-fat free butter blend with no saturated fats. This reduces the high saturated fat content found in so many baked goods.

For the buttermilk, I add 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to vanilla flavored soy milk and stir. Allow it to stand for ten minutes and it’s just like buttermilk, but with fewer calories and no lactose.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk, including the sugar. You can use raw sugar, sugar substitute or white granular sugar. I prefer raw sugar.

Cut the cold butter into chunks and add it to the dry ingredients. Use a fork to break up the butter and mix it into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.

NOTE: With pastry, the butter and flour mix will coalesce, that is, come together when you press it with your fingers. This is a pastry mix. With gluten free flours, this happens, but the crumbly mix has larger, looser crumbles.

Stir in about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Nestles chocolate chips are gluten free.

Add the two eggs to the buttermilk or soy milk mix and stir. Add all but two tablespoons of the buttermilk to the newly formed pastry mix and stir until moistened. The pastry mix should now hold together; it becomes dough.

Place half the dough onto a sheet of wax paper and with your hands shape it into a rough disk. Place another piece of wax paper on top and slowly roll it out with a rolling pin to approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Now Ms. Hagman rolls out all her mixture at once to 1/2 inch thick and cuts the disk into eight wedges. I prefer round scones and I prefer working with the smaller amounts.

Once you’ve rolled out the dough, use a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out your scones. Place them onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If I’ve got it on hand, I line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Brush the tops of the round scones with the remaining buttermilk or soy milk mix. This gives the scones a nice shine and helps keep them moist during the baking process.

Set your timer for 18 minutes. Roll out and cut out your second batch and bake. Allow the scones to cool for a few minutes before serving.

The scones are light and sweet, and the taste is close to that of a chocolate chip cookie. Store them in a plastic bag or airtight container.

You can also freeze the scones dough if you want to cook these up in smaller batches. Just allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling it out.

In my next post, we’ll talk about how the process differs when baking gluten free compared to baking with wheat flour.

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