Before I get into this post, I would ask that if you haven’t read my last post on what you can do to save small farms and the local food movement, please read it! Important legislation is about to be passed that will allow the FDA to have greater control over the ability to execute raids, seize products and force recalls on small farms and artisan food producers. The bill can be used to strategically drive small producers out of business all in the name of food safety! So please read the post and see what you can do to help!

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When I first announced that I was doing a gluten-free experiment, I got a lot of emails and facebook inquiries about baking gluten-free. People wanted to know if I was going to un-lock the secrets to gluten free baking. Many in this world are addicted to bread and baked goods, and so it is a reasonable first reaction – how will you bake if you are gluten-free?

For me, I have never been a huge eater of bread, and have been eating gluten-free about 80% of the time over the past year. The other 20% accounts for the occasional times we go out to eat, or when I was making sourdough spelt pizza dough once a week, or enjoying a sprouted wheat roll a few times a month. So although I do enjoy a croissant or a crepe once in a while or crave a sandwich sometimes, bread is not a staple of my diet. However, I am married to someone who has very different needs than I do – growing up in Italy, a day with pizza, pasta AND bread, is just not a good day. Without some good carbs at every meal, my husband feels tired. So I had to find a way to fulfill his needs while at the same time being able to eat some too if I wanted to because honestly, I don’t have time to bake 2 different types of bread each week.

Creating a gluten-free bread that can satisfy someone who is used to artisan Italian bread, is a difficult task. Anyone who has ever baked a sourdough or yeast bread knows that there is an art and a science to it. Introduce gluten-free flours to the mix, and it becomes even more of a project. For anyone who doesn’t know, gluten is the agent in wheat that makes bread and pizza dough stretchy and elastic. This creates that fluffy and wonderful texture present in artisan bread baking.

I am not ready to tackle gluten-free sourdough baking just yet because it is just too complicated and too much of a commitment in time and ingredients, until I make my decision, on whether or not gluten free is going to be a way of life for me. I am still on the fence about it. After almost 2 months of GF eating, I haven’t noticed much difference in the issues I was hoping to make a difference, and many of the gluten-free flours are giving me problems. As I write this I am beset with stomach pains.  I also am not happy that many of the gluten free flours are full of starches that convert to sugar quickly – rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, etc. Nor am I comfortable with all the gums – guar and xanthan that seem to be a part of every gluten free baking mix. I am however excited to announce that I have found a fantastic source for gluten-free sourdough baking, and I will be sharing that source soon and likely trying my hand at it as well because I will tell you, this is artisan style bread! It is truly revolutionary!

Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to start with something simple – scones. Scones are very versatile, because you can make them sweet or savory. They are a little more “bready” than my normal bread substitute, oat cakes and therefore, a nice change of pace. I used the recipe here from the back of the Bob’s Red Mill Sorghum Flour package as inspiration, but adapted it to fit in with my soaking flour methods. The soaking in yogurt, buttermilk or kefir allows enzymes and other friendly organisms to break down the phytic acid, an organic acid found in all grains (and legumes) that may make the digestion of grains (and legumes) harder for some people, like me!

I made a sweet version, and then a savory version using oat flour and oats. These were the best gluten-free baking attempts I have made to date, when it comes to “bread”. It is nice for a quick breakfast or great with a cup of tea as an afternoon snack. Whether gluten-free or not, I think you will enjoy these scones!

“Sweet Version”

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cup sorghum flour
½ cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup of plain yogurt
1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
4 TBS maple sugar
4 TBS butter cut into ½ inch slices
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 tbs milk

“Savory Version”

1 cup gf oat flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup sorghum or tapioca flour
2/3 cup of plain yogurt
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
4 TBS butter cut into ½ inch slices

METHOD:

In a medium bowl combine flours and yogurt, let sit on counter overnight (you can skip the overnight step if you are not into soaking, and can just can combine ingredients in the food processor immediately).

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In food processor combine flours and other dry ingredients. Pulse on and off to combine ingredients. Add butter and pulse 15-20 times until dough resembles large curds. Scrape dough into a bowl and fold in the chocolate chips, if making the sweet version. Pat the dough onto the baking sheet into an 8-inch circle ¾ inch thick. You can brush the top with 2 TBS of milk, if desired. Bake 12- 15 minutes or until lightly brown. Cut into 6-8 wedges.