As planned on the menu this week we had soup and scones for tea.. planned and everything. This weekly planning thing really is helping as is feeling less sick than have been recent months, we will see if it continues as I get bigger.. for those who haven't caught on I'm past halfway of a pregnancy.
I've been thinking about posting the recipe for the scones for a while and at least one person expressed interest this week so I will put the whole thing at the bottom of this post. It is based on one from Delia Smith and as her recipe was originally half the size I make you could easily cut it down again should you wish to but we eat most fo a batch this size in a sitting between four of us and it's nice to have a few for the next day. They are very easy to make and best eaten warm with butter, as you can see from the picture we tend to go overboard on the amount of butter, my excuse is they were a bit cold so it hadn't melted as much as normal :) They rewarm quite well in a microwave for the next day too.
The soup ended up being pumpkin as I had half a one to finish up. This year has been really bad over here for things like pumpkin and squash as there was really bad rain and flooding mid summer.. with a lot less sun when it was wanted to ripen things. Other vegs did well I'm told such as beans however, next year we have all that to come with the new allotment. It was a bit bland once cooked probably because it was only pumpkin, onion, smoked garlic and stock but it tasted quite nice once I upped the amount of pepper and added a splash of cream :) I also added a little bacon as a garnish.
Back to the scones. The original recipe calls for half self raising flour and half wholewheat but obviously I can't use those so over the years the mix I've come to settle on is half a general purpose fairly nutrual GF mix and half Gram flour. This gives a nice flavour and good colour as without the gram flour they can look a little bleached. For general purpose I used Dove Farm, though of course you can use your own mix. I must admit to having a bit of a fondness for Dove Farm, their flours gave me hope at a time when everything else purpose made for a GF diet seemed substandard and gritty tasting.. The grittyness was a really problem for me early on, which is less evident now. I think it was from using rice flour that wasn't ground very fine but many of the early products over here were like that.
I seem to be making a habit of missing out the Xanthan gum from recipes at the moment and while this recipe does work without it adding a bit does help them rise a bit better I think.
A short story from the first year I was Gluten free, how many years ago that was I'm not sure but it was a few. Back then the supermarkets hadn't started doing free-from ranges but our local one did stock a few bits including Dove Farm plain flour and a flour from someone else I think Orgran, which is over five pounds a box. The Dove Farm one was much more reasonable price wise so we had used it a few times. Come christmas we decide to try and make a few bits like cake ourselves and went to buy flour but they had removed the small gluten free section to have more seasonal products and the only flour they had left was the more expensive one. We tried using it to make white sauce and it came out like wallpaper paste. I think that was one of the real low points for me. Luckily in this country it is now possible to get plenty of better products even if you have to use mail order so I hope no-one else has that problem this year. To be fair to Orgran they may well have changed the mix by now as many manufacturers have learnt a lot over the last few years and at least they were trying back then.
Gram flour Cheese Scones
(adapted from Wholewheat cheese-crusted scones in Delia Smith's Complete cookery course.)
6oz Gluten free general purpose flour mix
6 oz Gram flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp GF baking powder
4 tsp Xanthan gum
2 pinches of cayenne pepper
2 oz butter (room temp)
1 tsp mustard (Delia uses mustard powder, the old tin of colmans I had included wheat flour in the ingredients list but one line it seems to just list mustard flour now in which case you can use it)
6 oz grated cheddar cheese (or similar strongly flavoured hard cheese)
4 -6 tbsp milk
2 large eggs
extra milk to brush tops and a little more cayenne if you like them to have a kick.
Preheat oven to gas mark 7, 425F or 220C
Shift and mix the flours, salt, cayenne, baking powder, Xanthan gum plus mustard if you have a powder rather than a wet mix all into a big bowl.
Cut the butter into small pieces and rub in with your fingers till the mixture is crumbly.
Mix in most of the cheese, keeping back a little to use on the tops later.
In a separate bowl beat together the eggs and 4 tbsp of milk. Mix in the mustard if it is a made up variety. Add to the main bowl and mix until you have a soft dough. You may need to add a little more milk depending on the size of the eggs.
Roll out on a floured surface to a bit less than an inch then cut out rounds with a cutter. I vary how big I make them but about 2 inches or so is a nice size. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with milk then sprinkle with a little cheese plus more cayenne pepper if you like.
Bake for 15-20 mins towards the top of the oven unless you have a convection oven where it matters less. transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool till warm... eat with butter or more cheese or both!
I have also made these with half the cheddar and half small pieces of feta plus some chopped sundried tomatoes which is a nice combination.