I am not a morning person! In fact, I’ve been known to hit the snooze button for a good 45 minutes in the morning, until my poor fiancé is ready to throw the alarm clock (or me) out the window. If I could, I’d sleep in until the sun was high in the sky each day…however, as a teacher, staying in bed until 10:00 am is definitely not in the cards.
So, each day I continue to drag myself out of bed, all the while listening to my body scream, “No! No! No! It’s still dark outside!”
Needless to say, I need a quick breakfast in the morning. Definitely can’t think of skipping it, because if I haven’t bit into breakfast, I’m liable to bite your head off. These scones fit the bill perfectly- throw one in the microwave to warm it up, let the top get a little crispy in the toaster oven, and there you have it, a delicious, healthy breakfast that can be eaten in just a few minutes flat before rushing out the door.
I was diagnosed with celiac in 1991. I had just turned 13 years old, and was falling further and further below the growth curve (to this day, most of my students who are in the fourth grade or higher are taller than me). A series of torturous, trial-and-error hospital visits finally led us to celiac sprue (though I was really fortunate, and it was only seven months from the first test to the diagnosis). Let me tell you, the few gluten-free food items that were available at the time, well—to call them terrible might be too much of a compliment. Pasta noodles that looked, felt, and tasted like tapeworms…products that resembled not so much crackers as pieces of styrofoam…“pancakes” that hadn’t earned the right to be called by that name…
To be honest, I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast for much of junior high and high school. I think I skipped it most days. Fortunately, as I headed towards high school graduation, my mom and I started to wander into the world of gluten-free baking, and we discovered this scone recipe. The original recipe came from a booklet published by the Gluten-Free Pantry, and called for a significant amount of their French Bread and Pizza Mix. Over the years, I’ve taken out most to all of the GFP mix (sorry, guys—I love your products, but they’re not exactly easy on the pocketbook, you know?) and replaced it with mostly whole-grain flours, resulting in a healthier, more filling scone.
When I went off to college, 1500 miles from home, my mom baked a batch of these scones every weekend, and every Monday, my dad shipped them by 2-day air to ensure that they’d arrive in Boston, still fresh and delicious. Now that’s love.
adapted from a Gluten-Free Pantry recipe
1/3 cup toasted nuts
1 to 1½ cups dried fruit (whatever kinds you like- let your imagination run wild!)
1/3 cup dried currants (this doesn’t count towards your 1 to 1½ cups above)
½ cup Perky’s Nutty Rice Cereal
1 tbsp. grated citrus zest (lemon, orange, or lime)
1½ cups brown rice flour
½ cup sorghum flour
¾ cup Gluten-Free Pantry French Bread and Pizza Mix OR ¾ cup Bette Hagman’s Gluten-Free Mix* plus 1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tbsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground ginger
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. butter
½ cups yogurt (if your yogurt isn’t flavored, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract or other flavoring)
3 egg whites
3 tbsp. citrus juice (lemon, orange, or lime)
1½ tbsp. vegetable oil
*Bette Hagman’s Gluten Free Mix Recipe is available in her books, but you can probably find it online as well.
1. Chop nuts and any larger pieces of dried fruit, such as apricots or plums.
2. Mix nuts, dried fruit (including currants), Perky’s, and fruit zest.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together your flours, baking powder, baking soda, and ginger. Add brown sugar. Mix, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar.
4. Cut in butter, with either a pastry blender or food processor.
5. In a third bowl, whisk together the yogurt, egg whites, citrus juice, and oil.
6. Add it to the flour mixture and stir to blend. Stir in the fruit/nut mixture.
7. Spoon the batter onto a well-greased baking sheet. You can make your scones as big or as little as you’d like.
8. Bake in a preheated 400º oven for 18-20 minutes, rotating 180º halfway through baking. Scones are done when the tops are golden brown.
9. Cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
1. Use finely-grated fruit zest- the flavor distributes itself better.
2. Just a reminder for anyone who might be new to GF baking- the GFP French Bread and Pizza mix contains guar gum, so it already has its stretch factor. Bette Hagman’s flour blend doesn’t contain anything but flour, so you need to add xanthan gum. The scones taste funny and are more crumbly without it.
3. If you’d like to cut back the amount of sugar in the recipe, don’t pack the brown sugar- just spoon it into the measuring cup as you would for white sugar.
4. Use a good brand of yogurt- it makes a huge difference! My favorite is the maple flavored cream top yogurt from Brown Cow- the scones come out creamy and delicious. But a close second places goes to any yogurt from Cascade Fresh, simply because they care enough to mark their yogurt packaging with those two magic words- “gluten free.”
5. Your scones will spread more or less depending on the thickness of your yogurt. The scones pictured stayed in such nice little mounds that I truly worried I had done something wrong, because my scones usually spread into each other during baking. I think they didn’t spread this time because I used Cascade Fresh yogurt, which is significantly thicker than most yogurts you buy. Oh, and I may have gone a little bit overboard with the dried fruit.
6. You can also throw other ingredients in- I’ve mashed up bananas and put them in, and when we had some pumpkin left over at Thanksgiving, we made pumpkin-cranberry scones. Delicious! Just decrease your yogurt slightly when you add another wet ingredient.
7. These scones freeze well, but eat them within 2 weeks for the best flavor.
Note: This post was contributed by our guest author, Kristina Kofski.