Though initially it was overwhelming, I’ve tried to pay attention to what gluten-free flours bloggers and magazine writers are using and why they’re choosing to use those. Until now, I had not really felt comfortable experimenting much with gluten-free baking (beyond pre-made mixes) because when you cut out gluten, cow dairy, eggs, and soy, a lot of baking recipes go haywire. Before now, it had just been too soon after my diagnosis for me to have taken failures in stride. But I’m getting to the point now where I’m feeling a bit more adventurous. Tonight, I created a recipe for gluten-free, egg-free, cow-dairy-free bacon/cheese scones that worked. (The recipe worked!) The texture is reminiscent of glutenous scones—a bit crumbly, a bit dense, good with a drink—and the flavor is very pleasing. (And before my lovely and admirable veggie-head readers run from the idea of bacon scones, the basis of it should work for tasty vegan or vegetarian scones, as well–check it out.)
When I decided to make these up, I pulled out the majority of my many gluten-free flours from the freezer, looked them over, and considered which bloggers have raved about which flours. Then I just started mixing. I may have overcomplicated my recipe, and that’s okay—the point was for me to have fun and start using those $10-15 bags of flour instead of having them sit in my freezer, useless. Also, I figured an advanced mix might help cover any errors of any of the other additions to the mix!
If you’ve had a wheat allergy or multiple allergies or celiac diagnosis for a while now, and you’ve been reading about the flours, I encourage you to dip your toe in with some experimentation of your own. (The fact that Karina, with her amazing kitchen skills, blogs that she sometimes has multiple failures of recipes before coming up with great ones to share really helps my mindset, too.) I think it’s best not to experiment (at least at first, at least for me) with what will be your actual next meal, because if it goes wrong, that can feel really depressing. If this hadn’t worked last night, I would’ve had one less breakfast option this week–no big deal.
Egg replacer mix:
2 T. flax seed meal
6 T. water
2 T. seltzer water
2 tsp. olive oil
2/3 c. sorghum flour
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/2 c. potato starch flour
1 c. garbanzo bean flour
5 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
1/2 c. plain milk alternative (I used rice–I think hemp would also work well)
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix-ins for this type of scone:
1 scallion, chopped–green and white parts (I got out the scallions and then forgot to use them this time, but I will next time)
1.5-2 c. sheep and/or goat cheese (I used 1 T. pecorino, 1 c. mild, soft sheep cheese, and 1/2 c. sharp goat cheddar), grated
4 pieces of organic and/or pastured bacon, cooked & chopped
Other potential tasty additions: smoked paprika (I would definitely add this if I cut the bacon to make the dish vegetarian), chili powder, cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prep/chop/grate the ingredients.
In a small bowl or ramekin, scramble together the egg replacer components. Let the mixture sit 2 or more minutes.
Mix together the flours in a large bowl. If you’re like me, some might puff onto your body, so wear an apron and/or clothes you aren’t too worried about. (Or you could be careful, I guess.) When I was done mixing flours, my husband said the flour puffs and smears made me ‘look like a real baker.’
Using your hands, squish the egg replacer mix into the flour mix. Add the baking powder, milk, and salt, and mix well with your hands. The mixture should be a bit crumbly but able to hold together when squished. If it’s not, add a bit more milk alternative. (At this point, I said, with a wrinkled (flour-splattered) nose, “This dough smells really beany and kind-of odd.” My husband reminded me gluten-free stuff often bakes up very different from its dough.)
Squish in the scallions, cheese, and bacon using your hands. Spray a baking sheet with gluten-free cooking spray.
Form the dough into a round patty that’s about 1-1 1/2″ thick. Place the dough patty onto the baking sheet. Using a large knife or pizza slicer, slice the dough into eight wedges. Pull the wedges back so that they are apart by 1/2″ or so. Put the baking sheet in the oven.
Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. (Don’t base your baking time solely on my suggestion, because my apartment has an ancient oven that may vary in temperature at any time.) Serve immediately, or let them cool. The flavor should be fairly subtle at first bite but then a bit addictive. I ate one for breakfast this morning and then craved a second one afterward—a good sign, certainly.
I’m going to play around with this recipe to get fruity, sweet, vegan scones out of it next. If anyone tries out ways to improve or vary these, please let me know.