Full disclosure. This is not a low-carb recipe. It is, however, very difficult to find good gluten-free eggless baked goods and therefore, every now and then, even I break the rules.
Can I just say that I am amazed at the different results that I get when I bake with various gluten-free flour mixes. So far, I’ve limited my exploration to the commercial mixes available. I have not ventured into mixing my own gluten-free flour.
I’ve seen many scone recipes that have eggs. Growing up in Australia, my Nanna made scones all the time and I never saw an egg anywhere near the recipe. I made a conscious effort to recreate a gluten-free version of the scone of my childhood rather than delve into other recipes. That said, I tested 4 scone recipes last weekend for a Downton Abbey Tea Party that I hosted. I decided to publish the recipe that I used with very detailed notes on the flour blend and recipe combination that was the winner (and why).
The first recipe I made was based on a recipe for lemonade scones and I used Trader Joe’s baking mix. The end product was like biting into a sea of baking soda. The dryness of the scone sucked all the moisture out of my mouth and I felt like I had been entered into a Weetbix eating contest. The second recipe I made was the same lemonade scone but I used the Cup4cup gluten-free flour instead of the Trader Joe’s flour mix. This was better, but still lacked the height and fluffiness of a real scone. The third recipe I tried was a traditional scone recipe that called for rubbing the butter into the flour before adding the milk. For this one, I simply substituted Cup4cup flour for the normal flour in the recipe.. This was ok, but again wasn’t anything special to write home about.
The final recipe was the winner! I based this on a gluten-free scone recipe, but was intrigued by the fact that it used both gluten-free flour mix plus additional rice flour. I think another key to success is the use of almond meal. I sifted the ingredients, but soon realized that the almond meal is too big to go through the mesh in the sifter. When I wrote down the recipe, I decided to suggest that you simply add that almond meal after sifting the other ingredients. The other important thing to note is that the recipe calls for cream and milk, rather than using butter and milk. I think this was yet another key to success. A trick I learned growing up was to stir the mixture with a knife. This does not introduce any heat into the dough and also helps keep the dough soft and tender.
Please do let me know what you think if you make these. These rose relatively well and were nice and fluffy. In addition, they had the right texture and just a tiny bit of “bite” from the almond meal. All in all, a great success! I’m happy to have found an option to bring back childhood memories. I also had several people comment that they couldn’t tell the difference between these and a scone made with regular flour. And that is the biggest compliment of all.
Gluten-free Australian Scones
- 1 cup gluten-free plain flour (I used the blue bag version of Cup4cup. You can find it at Williams Sonoma and various other places. It’s expensive but seriously worth it). Plus additional to dust the cutting board.
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder. Make sure that you buy a good brand that doesn’t have any additional additives.
- ¼ cup almond meal
- A good pinch of sea salt
- 2 oz heavy whipping cream
- 4 oz whole milk, plus a little extra for brushing
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Grab a large glass bowl, flour sifter, cutting board, and a knife. Put the flours, baking powder, and salt into the flour sifter over the bowl. Sift the ingredients into the bowl. Add the almond meal and mix well. Make a well in the center and pour in the cream and milk. Mix with the knife until the dough comes together. Dump the dough out on a lightly floured cutting board and use a lightly floured round cutter to cut rounds out of the dough. Put the cut-out rounds onto the lined baking tray, making sure that they are slightly touching. Lightly brush the tops with milk.
Bake for 10-14 minutes until slightly browned and slightly hollow sounding when you tap their tops. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly. These are best eaten warm or within a few hours of baking. Cut the scones in half and serve with your favorite strawberry or raspberry jam and whipped cream.