Most of July has been too hot for baking, but this week brought cooler temperatures (along with some exciting thunderstorms). A while ago I signed up to bake something for an event at our Maine Audubon center, and though I got off to a bad start with Flying Apron's Gluten-free & Vegan Baking Book, I decided to try the scones. (Kittee swears by Flying Apron's scone recipe, and I trust her tastebuds.) If you don't own this pretty but inconsistent cookbook, you can find the recipe by going to Amazon and searching the look inside feature for Blueberry Cinnamon Scones. I made these twice (the #1 rule of gluten-free baking is always do a test run). The first time, I swapped the blueberries for raspberries and added some orange zest, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The dough was too wet to knead, so I added about ⅓ cup additional brown rice flour. The finished scones were tasty (the chickpea flavor bakes right out), but fragile. Fresh from the oven, their texture was crumbly, but by the next day they disintegrated if I even looked at them funny.
I added ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum to my second batch, and the results were perfect. These scones are crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, and they withstand gentle handling the way scones should.
Unless you like scones the size of your head, I recommend forming the dough into two 2-inch disks and slicing each of these into eighths, for 16 hand-sized scones. Bake smaller scones for 25 minutes. A drizzle of simple confectioner's sugar glaze makes these as fancy and a tasty as anything you'd find in the Starbucks pastry case. A dusting of turbinado sugar (before the scones go in the oven) would also be nice.
For the first time in a long time, I baked something gluten-free that's good enough to serve to normal people! It feels good.