Last week we had friends over for afternoon tea and I felt an urge to bake scones. What could be nicer than some scones with jam, a little cream and a cuppa? (well on this occasion we had sangria!) These are gluten-free scones so I chat a bit about gluten-free baking and making these types of modifications for your recipes?
The first thing you may notice when running fingers through gluten-free (GF) flour is that has less body than gluten-containing flour. It’s lighter, soft and slippery.
Gluten is made up of 2 other proteins called gliadin and glutenin. When these proteins are mixed with fluid they combine forming gluten. Gluten gives the dough a stretchy quality and helps the dough to rise when it’s cooked by trapping air and expanding.
Because GF dough doesn’t contain gluten its texture is different when it’s mixed with the fluid. It’s more crumbly and may need more work to achieve a good consistency in baked goods.
*There are a lot of different GF flours available today. They have different qualities which will yield different results depending on what you’re using them for. Some flours include
All-purpose GF flour (a mixture of different GF flours)
I suggest trying a few different varieties (and mixing them) to understand some of their individual qualities.
ABOVE: The ingredients used in these gluten-free scones.
Baking with Gluten-Free Flour
From my experience, GF flour lends itself well to baking biscuits, cakes, scones, and pastry. These kinds of baked goods don’t rely as much on gluten compared to bread. In this instance, other ingredients can help form a nice crumb. Also, I find the lighter weight of GF flour lends well to a lighter cake texture.
Other recipe modifications
In this scone recipe, I used an All Purpose GF Flour which included (Rice, Tapioca and Potato flours). Switching flour wasn’t the only modification –>
An egg was added to increase the binding ability of the GF dough as I was concerned that without egg my dough may be too crumbly without it.
I added extra the butter for more moisture.
Here’s the end result, pretty happy and the kids loved them! Serve these beauties straight out of the oven warm with some lovely jam and cream (or your favourite scone topping).
Do you bake using gluten-free flour? How do you find it?
A simple scone recipe using gluten free flour
- 300 g (2 cups) All Purpose Gluten-free Flour,
- 3 tsp Baking Powder**
- 60 g Butter, softened and cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1/2 cup Milk, plus a little for basting
Pre-heat oven to 220◦C (425◦F).
Line an oven tray with some baking paper (parchment paper)
Sift flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl
Add butter into the flour mixture and rub the butter into the flour with fingertips
Add sugar and salt then mix to combine.
Add egg and milk, then gently fold these into the mixture.
Place the dough mixture onto a floured board and gently knead the mixture until all ingredients are combined.
Grab a rolling pin (or hands will do also) and flatten the dough so that it's about 1.5cm high.
Using a round cookie cutter or small jar (1 used a 6cm glass jar) cut the scones and place them on the lined oven tray.
Paint some milk or egg on the top of each scone.
Pop the scones into the oven for 12-15 minutes.
For best results, serve immediately with your favourite scone topping.
** Always check the label to ensure that this ingredient is gluten free.
Brown A, Understanding Food Principles & Preparation, 4th Ed, USA, Wadsworth, 2011.
The nutritional information found in this post is of a general nature only. If you need more specific information based on your unique situation please see an Accredited Practising Dietitian in your local area.
If following a strict gluten-free diet, always check labels to make sure that there are no traces of gluten introduced from processing.