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ArticleFood & Drink

Scones – the Greatest Of Afternoon Teas.

Can I eat a scone if I have dietary requirements? Given my gluten-free lifestyle, I thought not, but then...

Aug 18, 2022

Words: Mettle & Grace

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They are. It isn’t a question.

A traditional English afternoon tea must include a scone with jam and cream.

The real question is, can I eat a scone if I have dietary requirements? For the past seven or so years of my gluten-free lifestyle, I thought not.

I’ve watched the traditional wheat scone recipe being recreated many times over. Most of us will never really move away from the O.G. of scone recipes, the one from the bad-ass Country Women’s Association (CWA) Cookbook.

Others have perfected the technique of using the whey leftover from ricotta as the liquid in their scones, or even lemonade. I remember when Dad first tried it, we drifted off discussing all the possible soda flavours he could use the next time he made scones. We eventually settled on ginger beer scones topped with orange marmalade.

We don’t want to split up families, but tell us, do you layer it with jam then cream or cream then jam?!

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There are numerous scone experts discussing their tips online. For instance, you’ll hear that:

— Frozen or cold butter produces a better rise.

— Don’t overdo the mixing.

— Use pastry flour for lightness.

— Chill your shaped scones before baking.

Well, I’m pleased to finally share my gluten-free scone recipe with you, and I’ll do my best to showcase my ‘expert’ scone tips.

Firstly, you’ll notice that I prefer to create my own gluten-free flour blends for recipes. This creates a better result in comparison to substituting plain flour directly with a commercial gluten-free flour blend.

It is important to measure by weight when using gluten-free flours for better accuracy. All of the flours mentioned below can be found at major supermarkets. The sweet rice flour is sold as ‘Erawan Glutinous Rice Flour’ – this brand also supplies tapioca flour. Potato starch can be found under the brand ‘Tung Chun Potato Starch’. The health food aisle is where the xanthan gum will be located in quite a small bag.

The process of making gluten-free scones is relatively simple and very similar to wheat scones. How you top the scones at the end is really up to you! We don’t want to split up families, but tell us, do you layer it with jam then cream or cream then jam?! Are you a Devonshirist or a disciple of the Cornish scone-enjoying cult? Which approach really is the greatest?

For those of you with gluten- and dairy-free dietary requirements, you can use coconut yoghurt and plant-based milk in the scone recipe, then top your scone with jam and Loco Thickened Cream or Made With Plants Dairy Free Thickened Cream. The dairy-tolerant kids can debate between whipped cream, clotted cream and cream in a can, or the perhaps healthier folk may attempt thick Greek yoghurt…

So many options!

Gluten-Free Scones
(Makes six)

80g White rice flour
48g Cornflour
45g Brown rice flour
40g Tapioca flour
40g Sweet rice flour
8g Potato starch
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1 tbsp Baking powder
2 tbsp Sugar
5g Xanthan gum
60g Butter
1/3 cup Yoghurt
1/3 cup Milk of your choice
1 x Egg
(*additional rice flour + milk)

Preheat the oven to 200℃.

Combine dry ingredients together in the bowl of your kitchen mixer with the paddle attachment.

Add grated, cold butter to the bowl and blend until a fine breadcrumb-like texture forms. If you aren’t using your mixer, then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour mixture.

Add the yoghurt, milk and eggs to the bowl and mix to a light, fluffy dough – it won’t take long to come together. It’s okay to beat on high with the paddle attachment, it won’t damage the dough.

Sprinkle the bench lightly with white rice flour then gently roll out the scone dough to 3cm thick. Cut scones out with a round scone cutter. Place scones on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each scone with milk. Bake scones in the oven for 12 minutes.

Serve with jam and cream – any way you like!

I am incredibly appreciative of our Mettle + Grace gluten-free club who have been testing my recipes in preparation for our new eCookbook that will be released soon.

Until then, enjoy an abundance of scones and many cups of tea.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 23

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