Tae Skahn-Dough and the Super Scone

This gluten-free scone is a winner in any competition, with multiple variations that give it a lot of flexibility. The only confusion is about how to pronounce it. Americans like to rhyme scone and cone, but in Scotland, where it was most likely created, it rhymes with con and John (or kwan for you martial arts types). But no matter how you say it, everyone agrees a scone is a perfect treat. They’re delicious and endlessly adaptable, appearing at breakfast, coffee break, and formal teas.

There are rock scones, cream scones, plain scones, and scones made with milk, buttermilk, or sour cream. With eggs, without eggs, you name it, there’s a variation and that’s not counting favorites like blueberry, lemon-poppy seed, chocolate and cranberry-walnut.

This recipe doesn’t use a gum like xanthan or guar because it’s not necessary in quick breads, though many gluten-free recipes call for one. I think they make the product taste gummy and kind of weird, so I rarely use them. Only yeast breads need the structural support that a gum provides and even then, you can substitute chia or flax seeds mixed with hot water to form a slurry that mimics the properties of the gums.

Gluten-free flours are an advantage when making quick breads, compared to wheat which requires a light touch and as little mixing as possible. That’s because mixing activates the gluten in wheat, which creates a tough texture. A good quick bread depends on how tender the crumb is. You can mix most gluten-free dough as much as you want and still get a delicate crumb. Be careful with dough that contain blueberries. They will taste great no matter how much you mix them, but the purple dough might be a little strange.

You will get better results if you weigh the flour instead of using a cup to measure it by volume. That’s because the volume of flour is different depending upon the humidity, the method used to measure it, how it’s stored and what type of flour you’re using. By the way, the article I linked to above states that an average cup of wheat flour weighs 4 1/4 ounces, but when I measure I usually get about 5 ounces in a cup. If you want to adapt a favorite recipe to use gluten-free flour, I suggest measuring a cup of wheat flour, then weighing it in grams on a digital scale. Do this several times to see what the average weight of a cup of flour is when you measure it, then use that number to calculate how many grams of flour are in the recipe you are converting. Most quick bread recipes will convert perfectly if you replace the wheat flour with the same weight of gluten-free flour. You may have to tinker a bit with the liquid.. Yeast doughs are a completely different matter, so stick to a recipe from a trusted source for best results if you want to bake that kind of bread.

Each gluten-free flour mix will taste different, which means part of adapting a recipe is deciding on the blend you like the best. I like to use almond flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch in a 70:30 mix of flour to starch (see below for exact proportions). The beauty of working with a gluten-free blend is that if one of the flours doesn’t agree with you, substitute an equal weight of another flour.

Keep the ingredients in the fridge or freezer until time to use them so that the butter stays firm. This make flaky layers in the finished scone.

Cream is a low-lactose food according to “Food Intolerance Management Plan”, by Sue Shepherd. Most people with lactose intolerance can handle about 4 grams of lactose per serving of food without experiencing problems (page 29). Cream has less than 1 gram of lactose per tablespoon. Since there’s 1 tablespoon of cream per serving in this recipe that’s less than a gram of lactose per muffin. As always, only eat what your body can tolerate, and only you know what that is.

Note:  Research now says that almonds should be limited to about 10 nuts per serving, so only eat a small serving of this. Ten nuts weigh about 12 grams. To calculate how much of this you can safely eat, divide the 150 grams of almond meal in the recipe by the 12 grams per allowed serving to get 12.5 servings total. The recipe makes 12 scones, so a safe serving is 1 scone.

Cream Scones

Makes 12 wedges, adapted from “How to Bake”

425 grams (3 2/3 cup) gluten-free flour mix (see below)
50 grams (1/3 cup or 80 ml) dextrose or 1/4 cup (60 ml) sugar
1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
72 grams (5 tablespoons or 75 ml) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) currants, raisins, blueberries, chocolate chips, or nuts
2 eggs
170 grams (3/4 cup or 180 ml) cream, regular or lactose-free
Extra cream to brush across tops of scones
1 tablespoon (15 ml) plain or cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on scones

Move the top oven rack to the middle and pre-heat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Cover a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil or parchment paper. Combine the flour, dextrose or sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. If you plan to add frozen blueberries to the dough, reserve a 1/4 cup of the flour mixture and toss the blueberries in it. Put the bowl with the blueberries into the freezer. Add the butter to the remaining flour and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse-grained meal. Don’t turn the dough into a paste: if you run your fingers through the flour you should feel small nubs of butter. If you are using a mix-in such as blueberries, currants or chocolate chips, stir it in so that it is evenly distributed in the flour. Put the bowl into the freezer for 5 minutes to harden the butter.

Put the cream and the eggs into a small bowl and mix until completely combined. Remove the flour bowl from the freezer and add the cream to it, stirring just until the mixture forms a dough. Dust a hard surface with sweet rice flour or a few tablespoons of the same flour mix that you used to make the dough. Dump the dough onto the work surface and divide it into three even pieces. It will be sticky, but don’t add any more flour or the scone will be too heavy. Dust your hands with some flour and gently shape the pieces of dough into 5 inch circles about an inch thick.

Transfer the circles to the prepared cookie sheet. Use a metal pancake turner if the dough is sticking to the work surface. Brush a tablespoon or so of heavy cream over the top of each circle, then sprinkle each one with either sugar or cinnamon sugar, depending upon your preference. Wet a long, sharp knife and use it to cut each of the circles into four pieces. There will be 12 triangles total. Don’t move them, as the final shape of the triangles will be nicer if they bake together. Put the cookie sheet into the oven and bake until the surface is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the scones to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Gluten-free Flour Blend

This makes enough for two batches of scones, plus a bit extra.

350 grams (12 ounces) superfine brown rice flour
350 grams (12 ounces) blanched almond flour
150 grams (5 ounces) potato starch
150 grams (5 ounces) tapioca flour

Mix the ingredients together in a stand mixer or whisk them together in a large bowl. Transfer the flour blend into a large glass jar or a plastic zip lock bag and store it in the fridge or freezer.

8 thoughts on “Tae Skahn-Dough and the Super Scone

  1. My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was once entirely right. This publish actually made my day. You can’t imagine just how much time I had spent looking for this info! Thanks!

    • I know what you mean. Finding information about this topic can be so frustrating- I spent a massive amount of time hunting it down, so I’m glad that you were able to benefit from it.

  2. Hello 🙂
    Loving your recipes…just sent your blog link to a friend.
    I’m about to ask something impossibly rude. Is it possible for you to add a Facebook Like button to your posts? So I can post them to my FB account? It’s where I store my recipes. FB only shows a bit of the recipe – it links back here to see the rest, If you’re a FB user you’ll know what I mean – it just shows the “preview”.

    • I’m so happy you like my blog! You’ve made my day. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m completely new to all of this. I’ll see if I can reset things so that you can share on Facebook.

  3. OK…..back again.
    If you hit “Comment” on a recipe/page you can “Share” the recipe/page to FB. But on your various categories (I’m on the Soup page) there are no comments allowed. You might have to re-set the setting on your admin page for the Soup page to “allow comments”, the same as it’s set for this page. It’ll allow people to make comments on the Soups etc as well!
    Sorry to drag you into the horror world of blog-admin. I see you have a basic template. But you have a great blog, and I’d like to lead other Fructmal/gluten people to it, as well as posting the links on my FB page of my favouites…

    • I think I’ve reset things so that you can share every page to Facebook. Let me know if it doesn’t work. I’m not on Facebook, so I can’t do a trial to see if it works.

  4. I have been helping a friend who is off sugar but is a major sugar addict and I have been baking some items with stevia. I noticed you only use dextrose. Is stevia acceptable for fructose malabsorption and how does dextrose affect your baking?

    • Stevia is fine for fructose malabsorbers. Dextrose works very well in baking, but it’s about a 1/3 less sweet than sugar by volume measurement. It weighs less than sugar, so you can usually get away with substituting the same weight of dextrose for the sugar in a recipe for baked goods. 200 grams of sugar and 200 grams of dextrose will have similar sweetening power. Dextrose works very well in baking, and is often used by commercial bakers because it helps maintain freshness. There are a couple of things that make using it in other products a bit more tricky- it has a cooling capacity, like mint, when you put it in cold things, so mixing it with stevia helps hide it. It also holds water, which can mess up the results with candy, puddings, etc. I think it works great with gluten-free baking because of this factor, since gluten-free grains can be dry. I’m still experimenting with using dextrose, so these are just my preliminary thoughts on using it.

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