Friday 27 January 2012

Daring Bakers January 2012 Challenge: Gluten Free Lemon & Almond Scones

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

I was delighted when this months Daring Bakers challenge was revealed to be scones. I have always loved scones and eaten and baked them many times in recent years. However, since going gluten free over a year ago I had yet to try attempting to make gluten free scones. I have eaten gluten free scones a couple of times when they have been bought for me by well wishing friends from supermarkets and they have all been revolting. Most have been dry and hard, with the texture of cardboard and flavour not much better. One particular batch must have used so much baking powder to try and achieve a rise to the scone that it stripped the skin off the roof of my mouth, leaving it feeling sore and tender – yuk!

So it was with slight trepidation that I set about this challenge. I decided to base my recipe on one I’d seen in The Gluten Free Baker book by Hannah Miles. I liked the fact that they included some ground almonds and buttermilk which I was sure would help with the texture and flavour of the scone. I decided to add in some lemon zest as I think lemon and almond compliment each other wonderfully.

When shaping the dough I simply formed it into a round and cut this into triangles rather than cutting out circles. I always feel this gives a cleaner cut, resulting in a better rise.

Once baked, they looked and smelt very promising. A little craggy in appearance, but I like to think this gives them homemade appeal. They smelt so inviting that I couldn’t resist eating one warm, straight out the oven.

The scone was warm, soft and tender. Slightly crumbly, but light and delicate. Not dense or tough like some bought gluten free scones I’ve tried. As it was warm, the flavour of the almond and lemon really shone through and when eaten with a big blob of raspberry jam, it made the whole thing taste deliciously like a Bakewell tart. The scones light and soft texture taking place of the frangipane topping. Mmm so good!

Thanks Audax for choosing this months challenge and giving me the push to bake my own gluten free scones. Click here to see the Daring Bakers blogroll.

Gluten Free Lemon & Almond Scones
(Recipe adapted from The Gluten Free Baker by Hannah Miles)
100g white teff flour*
75g brown rice flour*
40g ground almonds
50g butter
125ml buttermilk
½ tsp xanthan gum
20g caster sugar
½ tsp almond extract
Zest of ½ lemon
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
Milk and caster sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 190C and have a baking tray to hand.
Place all the ingredients, except the buttermilk and butter into a large bowl and mix to combine.
Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mixture. Rub the butter through the flour using the tips of your fingers until it resembles fine crumbs.
Pour over most of the buttermilk and use a round bladed knife to work the milk into the flour to create a dough. When a dough is starting to form, tip the mixture out onto a work surface and use your hands to bring it together into a soft dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky. Add a little more buttermilk if needed.
Knead gently for a few seconds and then form into a round ball. Pat this down to create a thick circle, about 2.5cm/1inch thick.
Cut the dough round into 6 triangles and arrange on the baking tray.
Brush the tops (not the sides) with a little milk or buttermilk and scatter over a little caster sugar.
Bake for 17-20minutes until just lightly golden around the edges.
Leave to cool for one minute before transferring to a rack to cool slightly.
Serve while still warm with plenty of different jams (and cream if you like) for spreading.
Best eaten or frozen on day of baking.
Makes 6 scones

*If you can’t find brown rice or teff flours, you can use 175g of a plain gluten free flour mix, such as Doves Flour.


Audax said...

Full kudos to you for making a great gluten free scone (I know how hard it is make GF recipes) well done! Lovely photos as well. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Heather said...

Those look great!

Jo said...

I want to reach out and grab that bite smothered in jam, looks so good!

Anita said...

I'm so glad to hear you've made lovely tasting gluten free scones. Some of those bought ones sound terrible.

10 Reasons to Visit said...

Just stumbled across your blog - what luck! My sister, who's on a strictly GF diet, was just looking for a good scone recipe the other day. These look excellent. :)

Elle said...

Beautiful scones and I love the almond-lemon flavor combo, too, especially with raspberry jam. MMMM.

The Caked Crusader said...

Ooh - now those are proper sized scones!

Kitty said...

I missed the January bakers challenge.. My husband is GF These look absolutely delicious! I have some leftover almond paste, I might try out this recipe and experiment!