18 July 2013

Gluten-Free Scones - Made with Buttermilk Powder

Mmm ... just pulled a batch of scones out of the oven to have with a nice cup of Earl Grey for my elevenses today. Of course, I usually have elevenses around nine or ten o'clock since I start my day so early!

These scones are gluten-free because I'm going gluten-free for the month of July. I have a freezer full of different gluten-free flours and starches, and this combination is one I especially like for scones. There is only the slightest difference in texture from my regular scones, a difference so slight most people don't even notice it at all. 

I make what I call my Classic Scones when I happen to have buttermilk on hand. But more often, because I hate buying a quart of buttermilk and having most of it go to waste, I always keep a supply of buttermilk powder (Organic Valley Buttermilk Blend) in the pantry. It makes scones that are every bit as good as those made with fresh buttermilk. 

For an afternoon tea party, I serve scones with three accompaniments: raspberry or strawberry jam, lemon curd and clotted cream. For elevenses, I have them plain; the orange zest and dried fruit are embellishment enough. Do you have a favorite scone or other treat to go along with a cup of tea or coffee? 

Update 08/02/18: For a tutorial, complete with step-by-step photos, go to Classic Scones - Traditional Scones - A Tutorial.

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Scones

(Makes 16 scones)

3/4 packed cup (3.125 ounces/90 grams) sorghum flour
3/4 packed cup potato starch
1/2 packed cup (2.125 ounces/60 grams) tapioca flour
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda                  
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Zest of one orange
1/2 cup currants or other chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup water 
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C / Gas Mark 6). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. (I use a 14x16-inch nonstick insulated cookie sheet.)

2 In a wide 2-quart bowl whisk together the flours,* xanthan gum, sugar, buttermilk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With your fingers or a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the cold butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in orange zest and dried fruit to coat and separate.

* While you're measuring out the three flours/starches, measure out and whisk together 2 tablespoons each sorghum flour and potato starch and 4 teaspoons tapioca flour to use for shaping the scones. Use a bit of it to sprinkle lightly in two 6-inch rounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

3 In small bowl, combine water, egg* and vanilla; pour into dry mixture and gently mix until just combined. Right in the bowl, divide the dough into two portions.

* If you prefer to glaze the tops of your scones, beat the egg lightly and reserve one tablespoon to mix with a teaspoon of water to brush on just the tops of the scones right before baking. I prefer to brush the tops with a little milk.  

4 Scrape the two portions of dough onto the floured parchment and, with floured (gluten-free, of course) hands, gently pat the dough into two 6-inch rounds. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Pull the wedges away from the center and separate them to about an inch apart. A small offset spatula dipped in flour works well for this.  

5 Brush just the tops of the scones with either the egg glaze or a little milk. Bake about 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Note: Scones may be frozen, double-wrapped, for up to one month. Thaw at room temperature, wrapped. To reheat room temperature scones, wrap loosely in foil and heat at 300°F (150°C / Gas Mark 2) for 10 minutes.



Unknown said...

Hi Jean! These scones look amazing! How is your gluten free challenge coming along?

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Zahra! I can't quite believe it, but I've had no problem! Went out to dinner this week to two of my favorite restaurants, both with really excellent bread, and I just sat there watching my friends eating the bread without it even bothering me.

TONY said...

A lovely pair of scones you have there Jean. They have got my taste buds going.
They remind me of the two triangular shaped rocks called Gull Rocks, sticking out of the sea at Holywell Bay on the north Cornish Coast.


See what I mean!!!
All the best,

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, thanks! And thanks for the link. I've not heard of Gull Rocks and will enjoy checking that out.

Grant said...

Heya Jean, I've never been one for the gluten free experience as I seem to tolerate it very well and most of the gluten free experiences in the past have been not great in the texture stakes. But your scones look fantastic! And I have friends who do have really bad gluten intolerance, so I'll forward the recipe on to them and see if I can cajole them into sharing one of the scones with me :-)

smiles, Grant

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Grant! I hope your GF friends will try them and leave a comment letting me know how they turned out. They can check my Recipes index page for lots of other GF recipes.

yummychunklet said...

Buttermilk powder...interesting idea!

Amy said...

I agree with you, I hate wasting most of the un-use carton of buttermilk when ever a recipe calls for just a small amount. I've got to give the buttermilk powder a try. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, chunklet! (I love that word!) I've used buttermilk powder in lots of things and always been happy with the results.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Amy, I think you'll like it! You don't mix it up, you just add it to the dry ingredients.

Angie's Recipes said...

I have never used powdered buttermilk..it's so much more convenient. These scones look marvelous with some homemade jam.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thanks. Yes, having the buttermilk powder in the pantry at all times is very convenient.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

My favorite scone is buried in a pound of chocolate chip cookie dough surrounded by Saunders hot fudge and swirled with blackberry syrup sprinkled with toffee bits and butterscotch nuggets. Do you think I should sprinkle some sugar on it? Another great glimpse into the sane and pragmatic virtual cookbook Delightful Repast – thank you very much. Did not know there was powdered buttermilk. This is going to get a try in my next batch of pecan corn fritters!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Wow! I must say pecan corn fritters sound good to me - provided they're not embellished with chocolate and cookie dough!

LANA said...

I don't have a problem with gluten but those scones look so good I would try them anyway!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Lana! And keep them in mind for when one of your friends or relatives turns out to be gluten sensitive. Seems like every time I turn around someone I know is!

TONY said...


"Do i think I should sprinkle some sugar on it?"

I had this "gut," feeling your concoction was mmissing something. Without a doubt add some sugar to it!!!!!!!

With that little lot you have created a sort of culinary bomb any food terrorist would be proud of. Imagine the bloated creatures you might create with that!!!!

Love your sense of humour Thomas. It's almost an,"English," sense of humour.
I think we need to organise a march for all those who love sweet things. Lets stand up for the revolution Thomas, "Right on man..." (Well perhaps all the suager addicts might be able to stagger or roll rather than,march.)

PS personally i don't have sugar on anything. just like your revolutionary zeal Thomas.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, you're both funny guys!

Sasha Coben Photography said...

These look great! If I happen to have buttermilk on hand how would I sub the milk for the powder? Would I still only use 3T of milk? Would I take out some of the water? Thanks so much, can't wait to try!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sasha, thanks! And great question - if you have regular fluid buttermilk on hand, just leave out the buttermilk powder and use 1/2 cup buttermilk in place of the 1/2 cup water.

Yenta Mary said...

I get hungry every time I come to visit! And this time, I want to put on some lace gloves and a pretty hat and sip tea while eating scones ... :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaaww, thanks, Mary! And don't you love the pretty cup and saucer my friend gave me?

Charles said...

Great job Jean, they look really good! Seems like you're doing very well in your GF month! Too bad there's no photo of *inside* the scones... I'd have loved to see how the crumb looked!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Charles, and what a great idea! Maybe next time I make them I'll get a shot of the crumb for you.

Sippity Sup said...

Maybe you know the answer. What's the difference between a scone and a biscuit? GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Greg, there isn't all that much difference between the two. But American biscuits typically don't have sugar or egg or dried fruit. You wouldn't want to put cream gravy on a scone!

Unknown said...

Mmmmm... those scones look amazing!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenn! I do love a good scone!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Oh! Thank you! I love scones, but have yet to find a gluten free recipe. I'm going to try these this weekend. Since wheat makes it hard for me to breathe {!!} I've not had a great scone for years. Thank you again!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lidy, I hope you'll like them as much as my gluten-free friends do. I have a whole GF category on my Recipes index page of recipes I've developed for my GF friends, online and off.