I’ve been on a Great British Baking Show binge lately, and I just finished the last season on Netflix. Jonesing for a fix, I decided to bake some scones. That’s easier said than done, though, when you’re me. I’m lucky enough to be allergic not just to dairy and eggs, but gluten as well. It’s pretty easy to find gluten-free recipes and vegan recipes, but combining the two is tricky. Gluten-free baking relies heavily on egg to make up for the missing gluten proteins, and vice versa for vegan bakes. Removing both is pretty limiting and results in frequent mishaps, but it’s doable for most things with some simple updates and adjusted expectations. If you’re looking for super light and fluffy gluten-free and vegan baked goods, you might be out of luck.
Through a bunch of trial and error (and copying my wife who is way better at this than I am), I believe I’ve got a good system for gluten-freeing and veganizing baked goods. In general, there are a couple things to remember even when following an existing vegan + gluten-free recipe:
- Choosing the right flour mixture is key. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal, and you’ll typically need a mix. The Namaste brand Organic Perfect Flour Blend works great for most things, but its slightly bread-y flavor isn’t perfect for everything. I use it for most things (including this recipe), and it generally works great. I’ve got another post in the works where I’ll share some tips and tricks for selecting a gluten-free flour mix, so stay tuned.
- Adjust your expectations, and know that some things just aren’t going to work. Gluten-free and vegan baking is great for dense foods. Without the gluten and egg proteins necessary to create and maintain structure after baking, most things will collapse and result in a super gummy dough. As a result, there’s a lot of experimentation to get the right ratios. That doesn’t mean you can’t make fluffier things, just that it’s harder and there are limits.
- If it doesn’t work, try and try again. Baking is both an art and a science, and I’ve found that gluten-free + vegan baking is finicky. If a recipe doesn’t quite work for you, try experimenting with the amount of flour or liquid in your dough.
All that said, let’s talk scones. I found a great vegan blueberry scone recipe by Alisa Fleming at godairyfree.org, and I modified it just a bit to be gluten-free. No major changes – scones are often dense already, so they work well for a gluten-free modification. My biggest change was to add lemon and a bit of cinnamon. Lemon + blueberry and cinnamon sugar are delicious, and the original recipe lacked both combinations. Gotta fix that.
Anyway. Give it a shot and leave a comment letting me know how it went.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 8 scones
- 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour (I strongly recommend the Namaste brand Organic Perfect Flour Blend, as it works great for nearly everything)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ cup frozen wild blueberries or ¼ cup dried wild blueberries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk (make sure it’s in a can and not a drinking milk, for example Thai Kitchen’s organic unsweetened coconut milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- (optional) cinnamon + sugar blend (equal parts) to sprinkle on top
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and lightly dust it with flour.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
- Add the blueberries and toss lightly to coat, breaking up any berry clumps.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla.
- Slowly pour in 3/4 cup of coconut milk, and stir as you go. Add more coconut milk if needed until you have a dough that is workable but not too wet or sticky. It will probably still be crumbly, and that’s OK. It’s better to be too dry and crumbly than too wet, otherwise you’ll end up with a gummy blob inside.
- Divide the dough in half, place each half on the prepared baking sheet, and form them into 1 inch high circles.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and preheat your oven to 425ºF.
- Once your dough is hard enough to easily cut with a knife, slice each circle into quadrants and pull the wedges about an inch apart to give them some space. If they easily stick to your knife or the parchment, put them back in the freezer for a bit longer.
- Optionally, brush the wedges with a bit of coconut milk and sprinkle with your cinnamon sugar blend. This will give it a nice crisp on top and add way more deliciousness.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned, then cool for 5 minutes and enjoy 🙂