Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cranberry Orange Scones

Cranberry Orange Scones (Vegan, GF)
It's been a long time since I made scones -- almost 18 months! That's far too long, and it makes me a bit sad (okay, so really only a year since I made any type of scone). This basic recipe is one of my favorites, and now I've modified it to be vegan in addition to making it gluten-free.

When I first posted the basis for this recipe,I hadn't been eating GF for very long. I used Bob's Red Mill flour, and was incredibly excited when the recipe turned out edible. Now, I'm more confident in baking GF and I experimented with the flours some. Generally, if you're creating your own GF blend a 70:30 (flours to starches) ratio works pretty well. This recipe hits that pretty close, though it's a bit higher on starches, which causes the scones to be reminiscent of sweet English tea biscuits.

If you're already baking GF, there's a good chance you have these flours in your pantry. If not, you can find them online (like anything else) or in most grocery stores, on the baking aisle. Xantham gum might be the tricky thing to find (and I actually don't love using it -- you're welcome to try the recipe without it. It works, but is a bit more crumbly.) and this too is pretty readily available now.

Scones remind me of breakfast with friends in the Midwest. The last time I made these, I created a glaze for the top using citrus juice and powdered sugar. I don't have powdered sugar on hand and it didn't seem worth buying for just this recipe, but if you want a slightly sweeter scone, I recommend it.

Cranberry Orange Scones
1/2 cup sweet white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup soy milk combined with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice to produce "soy buttermilk"
1 tablespoon flax seed mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water

Optional Quick Cranberry Sauce (you can use sauce leftover from another project or meal too!)
6 ounces fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. 
 If you don't have leftover cranberry sauce, combine all ingredients from the Optional Quick Cranberry Sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the scones.
In a mixing bowl, sift together flousr, xantham gum, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. In another bowl, combine  soy buttermilk and flax seed mixture, then  beat lightly with a fork. Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough. 
Turn out onto a lightly floured board (I used a little bit of sweet rice flour) and knead a few times to make sure the dough isn't too sticky -- it should hold together without sticking to your hands, but it shouldn't crack around the edges either. Roll or pat out into a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 8 large or 12 small squares. On half the squares, spread a thin amount of cranberry sauce(amount will depend on the size square you’re using and how much jam you want. I make small squares and use about 1 tablespoon sauce per finished scone). Place the remaining, squares on top to make a “sandwich.” Place scones on prepared baking sheet. and bake at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, until they just begin to turn golden. 
Up Close, Golden Brown and Ready to Eat!

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