Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Millet Scones: GFree Rally

If you are not familiar with the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally yet, here's the low down. We are a group of GF bloggers recruited and coerced by Gluten-Free Girl, Shauna, on a mission to prove that basic baking recipes can be directed applied to delicious gluten-free conversions. The caveats are the most basic in pastry fundamentals: 1. recipes are most accurate in weight, and easily modified in this format; and 2. pastry recipes can be simplified by a simple ratio, i.e., the lowest common denominator of the primary ingredients being flour(s), fats (butter, oil, etc.), liquid (water, milk, etc.) and eggs (substitutes if needed). Funny enough, I have been doing exactly this while in culinary school and converting all my culinary labs and projects to be gluten-free. It was the first time I had seen recipes in weight as opposed to volume. Eureka! As a scientist, that made complete logical sense. To use volumes in the lab with accuracy and precision for proper lab procedures for desired experimental results, the density (weight divided by volume, e.g., grams/milliliter) has to be taken in mathematical consideration. Otherwise, the experiment is bond for failure. The same is true in the kitchen. I know I do not want to do the math to take densities in consideration. I view weighing my ingredients as the lazy way of baking. Really, I do. I just put a sack of ingredients on my scale, tare it (zero out) and start scooping out until the number on the scale display reaches my target weight. No second guessing, "do I have this exactly at the line?" or "was I supposed to stir, sift, etc. that flour/starch before scooping?" Easy is good. The hardest, finding a scale that you like. My favorite is the OXO that displays negative weights, as the technique I mentioned earlier. It is durable and super easy to use.

This month our challenge was scones. Lauren of Celiac Teen hosted and picked our scones theme. How utterly proper and a bit British of you, Lauren. Maybe just a bit excited about the royal wedding? Who isn't? For a bit of scone recipe background: Michael Rulhman does not cover scones in his "Ratio" book; so I based my scone recipe on the scone recipe from "Professional Baking" by Gisslen written for Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Schools. I decided to keep it very simple and focus on the flavor and texture of the flours and starches used. Add some character with turbinado sugar (natural brown sugar, AKA, Sugar In The Raw) coated on the outside before baking. Any dried fruits can be added (150 grams) to this recipe that you would like such as cranberries, craisins, raisins, currents, blueberries, cherries, even apricots or figs. If using larger dried fruits, chop into 1/2 inch pieces before adding at the end. To really punch up the flavor, citrus zest could be used sparingly. Yum, now thinking about it, a great flavor combo would be dried blueberries with pink grapefruit zest. The flavor options are limitless, especially when choosing your primary flour, too. I chose millet as my gluten-free flour of flavor because I love the delicate sweet cereal flavor it gives. Scones are traditionally cut into rounds in Britain but into triangles in the United States. British tea scones are usually moister and tenderer than American scones. By whatever inherent reason, this recipe gives a very moist, tender, and light scone than the traditional scones (gluten-filled) usually found in the USA. This is a good thing.

  • 100 grams millet flour
  • 100 grams brown rice flour
  • 50 grams sweet rice flour
  • 50 grams tapioca flour / starch
  • 45 grams sugar
  • 4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 22 grams (2 tablespoons) baking powder
  • 130 grams shortening or 1 stick (113 grams) butter, room temperature
  • 52 grams eggs, slightly beaten (1 large egg), room temperature
  • 150 grams milk, room temperature
  • a generous amount of turbinado sugar / Sugar In The Raw to finish.
Mixing: Biscuit Method. Chill dough after mixing if it is too soft to make up.
  1. Scale (weigh) all ingredients accurately.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl, using a whisk, fork, spoon, etc.
  3. Cut in the shortening, using the paddle attachment or the pastry you prefer, cut in the fat by hand, using a pastry blender or your fingers. Continue until the mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal.
  4. Combine the liquid ingredients.
  5. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix just until the ingredients soft dough is formed. Do not overmix.
  6. Bring the dough to the bench/counter and knead it lightly by pressing it out half. Rotate the dough 90 degrees between folds. (If too soft to work with here, form into rough log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until hardened.)
  7. Repeat this procedure 6 to 10 times, or for about 30 seconds. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Dust with extra tapioca flour/starch if too sticky.
Makeup Variations:
  • Form dough into a long rectangle, flatten to 1 inch thick by about 4-5 inches wide. Cut into even triangle pieces using a bench scraper or knife.
  • Coat each triangle with a generous amount of turbinado sugar.
  • Place on parchment paper-lined sheet pans.
375F for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown

Store in an airtight container. Best eaten within 2 days.

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure

Check out what the rest of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally did with their take on scones:
Amie | The Healthy Apple | Chocolate Chip n' Rice Crispy 'Muffin' Scones
Brooke | B & the boy! | Coconut Scones with Pineapple Curd
Britt | GF in the City | Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
Caleigh | Gluten-Free[k] | Carrot Raisin Scones with a Cinnamon Glaze
Caneel | Mama Me Gluten Free | Savory Jalapeno Cheese Scones 
Caroline | The G-Spot | Jam on top, or cream on top?
Charissa | Zest Bakery | Aamaretto Soaked Cherry and Almond Scones
Claire | Gluten Freedom | Strawberry Banana Scones with Lemon-Almond Glaze
Gretchen | Kumquat | Maple Oat Nut Scones
Irvin | Eat the Love | Green Garlic, Bacon and Thyme Scones with White Pepper Maple Glaze
Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living | Coconut Pineapple Scones
Jenn | Jenn Cuisine | Apple Banana and Currant Scones
Karen | Cooking Gluten-Free | Oat Scones with Currants
Kate | Katealice Cookbook | Cinnamon Fruit Scones
Lauren | Celiac Teen | Multigrain Cream Scones
Lisa | With Style and Grace | Lavender and Earl Grey Lemon Scones
Lisa | Gluten-Free Canteen | Bisconies
Marla | Family Fresh Cooking | Avocado Scones
Meaghan | The Wicked Good Vegan | Simple Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam
Melanie | Mindful Food | Hazelnut Cream Scones with Blackberry Jam
Meredith | Gluten Free Betty | Cinnamon Raisin Scones
Morri | Meals with Morri | Yerba Mate Chai Scones
Mrs. R | Honey from Flinty Rocks | Classic “Cream” Scones & Almond Fig Scones
Peter and Kelli | No Gluten, No Problem | Mesquite Scones
Sea | Book of Yum | Classic British Currant Scones
Shauna | Gluten-Free Girl & The Chef | Currant Scones
Silvana | Silvana's Kitchen | Pecan Streusel Scones
T.R. | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies | Cinnamon Pecan Scones
Tara | A Baking Life | Crystallized Ginger Cream Scones
Wendy | La Phemme Phoodie | Red Velvet Scones
Winnie |Healthy Green Kitchen | Coconut Raisin Scones


Jeanette said...

What a nice basic scone recipe that is so versatile! Loving this Gluten-Free Ratio Rally!

Caneel said...

I love the way you explain the ratio baking from a scientific and culinary perspective - what a great post! And these scones sound and look wonderful. I love the turbinado sugar on them, as well. I'll have to try these!

Winnie said...

Love your recipe! I adore millet but don't use millet flour very much...need to change that!

Jenn said...

Great post Erin, what an awesome classic scone recipe that can be adapted in so many ways!

marla said...

I have never baked with millet flour but I adore brown rice flour. Fun to be in the rally with you, your scones look wonderful!

Tara Barker said...

Great recipe! I love basic, solid recipes that adapt well to infinite variations. Yours look so festive encrusted with sugar!

sea said...

Lovely post. Raw sugar is my favorite garnishing sugar. Yummy and beautiful too! I can't wait for next month.


brooke said...

What a lovely, simple scone recipe. The sugar on top is better than icing!