27 December 2009

Cream Scones

So I guess I’m on a quest for the best GF scone. Yesterday’s were made with only one whole egg and an egg white as we had run out of eggs. I also ran out of cream so I decided on a recipe that called for milk instead. This morning I couldn’t sleep so I got up early and having replenished the eggs and cream the day before, set about trying the recipe I really wanted to try from Rebecca Reilly’s Gluten-Free Baking. Although, being the sort who likes to tinker with recipes, I couldn’t resist incorporating some of the ingredients from the recipe I used the day before.

My cream scones turned out better than the classic scones, but it may have been because I had two eggs, etc. I still used Jule’s Gluten Free Flour but I added a quarter cup of hazelnut meal to 2 cups of Jule’s flour (which already has xanthan gum and Expandex in it) and then mostly followed the recipe for Raisin Cream Scones in Rebecca Reilly’s cookbook. I did use 5 tablespoons of butter vs. 4 because that is what yesterday’s recipe called for and I like butter. I also upped the baking powder to 1 tablespoon to match yesterday’s recipe.

The other reason I think these scones turned out better is that this recipe says to mix everything quickly with a fork, rather than use a stand mixer for one minute. I think the lighter handling of the dough resulted in a flakier scone. They were also baked at a higher temperature for less time, so they were less dry. They were also slightly sweeter than the others because of the hazelnut meal and the cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. Bottom line is that yesterday’s (see previous post) are more like biscuits and today’s were slightly more muffin-like, but not too much. My husband and I decided that we like both.

Karen, herself

26 December 2009

Gluten-free Scones

Yesterday I gave my friend a 5 lb. bag of Jules Gluten Free Flour for Christmas. She has tried and failed in the past to produce a gluten free scone that met her expectations. I knew she would try again with this flour and I was frankly worried. I was afraid she would try the flour on her scone recipe first and if it wasn’t good, she might give up on the flour. So I made them myself this morning. I have to say that, while they didn’t rise as much as I would have liked, they were otherwise great. I used the recipe in Annalise G. Roberts’ “Gluten-Free Baking Classics” and the results are shown here for you to judge...at least visually.

What made me the happiest was that the dough looked right and handled like a dream, not something you can always say about gluten-free baking.

Big sigh of happiness.

Karen, herself

25 December 2009

Gluten-free Christmas Eve

Yesterday on the Today Show, Joy Bauer (of the Joy Fit Club) took a question from a viewer asking what to bring to Christmas at someone’s home who was strictly gluten-free. Her answer took me back because when it came to desserts, she suggested that fruit was the best option, implying that all our favorite holiday desserts would be off-limits to the gluten-free (she also mentioned flourless chocolate cake or buying something ready made). So happy to say “Sorry, Joy, but you couldn’t be further from the truth!”

Not only can you enjoy gluten-free versions of all your holiday fare, but now it is more simple than ever, thanks to Jules Gluten Free Flour and her “almost normal” baking recipes. I heard Jules lecture at the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America’s conference in Seattle last summer and bought a bag of her flour ($20 for a 5 lb. bag, but worth it). The flour has Expandex modified tapioca starch and Xanthan gum already mixed in so you can use it just like all-purpose flour. I have been making Jule’s sandwich bread with it and my husband and I love it. At Thanksgiving I decided to try using it to make my piecrusts and I just substituted it for the all-purpose flour in the pate brisée recipe that came with my Cusinart years ago. The result was so good that you could serve it to the uninitiated and they would not know it wasn’t the usual gluten-laden thing. It was only slightly more tricky to work with, as it broke easier, but since the recipe has egg yolk in it, it pretty much held together. I used it for both pumpkin and pecan pies and we just did it again yesterday for pecan pie.

So be brave and try your old favorite recipes and if you want to make it simple, try Jule’s flour too. I plan to try French bread next. We’ll see. In the meantime, we are enjoying a totally gluten-free holiday with baked ham and cranberry-wine glaze, Julia Child’s Potato Gratin Dauphinois (pictured above and too delicious for words), spinach salad and pecan pie.

Happy holidays!

Karen, herself