It’s Spring Break here at Four Chickens, although you’d think it was Winter Break by the looks of the weather. Yesterday it was raining so hard I thought Noah was going to come by and offer me a ride. Yikes. Girlfriend has been taking a circus arts camp, so she’s been happy to be indoors, learning how to swing on the trapeze and to walk on a big ball.
Perfect stay-at-home-and-bake weather. We have several friends who are not only gluten-free (like me), but who are also dairy-free and egg-free. If you’ve ever had to bake with no egg, you know how hard it is to get things to taste and look “normal”. Yesterday I was thinking about these friends and decided to figure out a scone recipe that I could make with or without dairy–so I could have something for them. And I decided on scones because they traditionally do not need eggs.
I succeeded, thanks to Dorie Greenspan and Julia Child–two of my baking goddesses! These scones work beautifully with or without dairy. The vinegar mixed with an alternative milk is a great substitute for buttermilk.
adapted from Baking With Julia, by Dorie Greenspan
3 cups Jeanne’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (6 oz) cold butter (or dairy-free butter substitute)
1 cup buttermilk or milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar–I used apple cider vinegar
tapioca flour for dipping the biscuit cutter in
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the cold butter pieces and using your fingers, a pastry blender, or two knives, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal. Don’t worry about the larger nubs of butter–these add to the scones’ flakiness.
Slowly pour in the milk mixture–do this carefully, because you might not need it all. I used about 7/8s of the milk. The dough should be just barely wet. Use your hands to carefully mix in the last bits of flour. The dough should be extremely light and fluffy. Handle carefully.
Turn out only a floured board. Or a Silpat mat (a godsend for gluten-free bakers). I use tapioca flour to lightly flour the Silpat and the rolling pin. Lightly roll out until dough is about 1/2 inch thick (the dough is so light that you don’t want to “squish” it while you roll it). It won’t be that big. Using a biscuit cutter dipped into tapioca flour, carefully cut out rounds and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Don’t twist the cutter as it goes in and out of the dough–doing so squished the edges together in inhibits the rise of the scones. The number of scones recipe makes will depend on the size of the cutter you use.
Bake the scones for 17-20 minutes. They are done when they are lightly golden on the top. Cool briefly (or as long as you can stand it before devouring them).
These turned out light and flaky and delicious! Peach preserves is a delightful spread if you want even more deliciousness…
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