The Home Economics Bit
Did you know?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, *oats, barley and rye. Gluten plays a key role in baking because it gives bakes elasticity and flexibility, which allows dough to stretch and rise in the oven. Gluten also acts as a binding agent so it holds baked goods together and prevents crumbling.
For those of us following a gluten free diet, therefore, an alternative binder must be used in gluten free baking. Xanthan gum is an effective alternative that is gluten free, and is a key ingredient in most of my gluten free bakes. Xanthan gum also helps to improve the texture of gluten free bakes, and gives some elasticity which allows gluten free baked goods to rise in the oven.
*Although oats themselves are gluten free, they are often processed in the same facility as wheat, barley and rye. This can cause oats to become contaminated with gluten. Oats labelled gluten free are oats that have been processed in a gluten free facility, so there is no risk of gluten contamination.
According to www.coeliac.org.uk oats contain avenin, which is a protein similar to gluten. Research has shown that most people with coeliac disease can tolerate gluten free oats no problem, but a very small number of people with coeliac disease may still be sensitive to gluten free oat products.
Gluten Free Buttermilk Scones
- 450 g gluten free self raising flour plus extra for dusting
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp bread soda
- 100 g hard butter cubed
- 80 g caster sugar
- 235 ml buttermilk
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
- Sieve the flour into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs (or use a food processor).
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the salt and sugar.
- In a separate bowl/measuring jug, mix together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture.
- Use a knife to quickly mix together to form a dough – take care not to overmix.
- Tip onto a floured surface and lightly knead (bring together with your hands) a couple of times.
- Press out gently to about 4cm thick and cut out rounds with a 7cm or 8cm *scone cutter.
- Re-shape the trimmings, until all the dough is used.
- Place the scones on to a lightly floured flat baking tray. Add a splash of milk into the buttermilk bowl/jug, and use this to glaze the top of each scone.
- Bake for 14-15 mins until golden and well risen.