Monday, August 29, 2011

Scottish Inspired Walnut Scones

It has been months since I've had a chance to sit down and blog about food, much less life on the side. If you follow me on Facebook, you would have caught glimpses of what I've been up to in the kitchen. Unfortunately, glimpses were all I could afford with as busy as this summer ended up being. Our family didn't go anywhere, but there were classes and gardening and just me keeping the family fed in general that kept me away from my blog. Being pregnant with our third child certainly didn't help, but I must say that this pregnancy has been pretty routine and nothing major to speak of except for lack of energy. I will get to being gluten free and pregnant in another post, but for now I wanted to share a recipe I played with just the other day that turned out great.

I've been playing with adding walnuts to most anything I bake lately. Mostly for the added nutrition, but also for the taste and texture it adds to bake goods. I usually grind mine up until it is pretty well mincemeat and add this to the dry flour mixture. I like the texture that it adds to baked goods, not to mention that it is easier for my kids to get the added nutrition. When there are chunks of walnut, I can't get them to touch the cookie or muffin and I can't say that I blame them. We all have textures we shy away from and I guess this is one I'm guilty of as well.

About a year ago, I went looking for a traditional scone recipe. I had heard that scones were originally made from oat flour and I wanted to try my hand at it in a gluten free fashion. I did find one that worked really well in being converted over to gluten free and I love using that whenever I need a quick bread or snack food.

The one thing that I have been having trouble with eating this pregnancy is oats, gluten free and all. I've backed off completely for now, but I'm hoping that after baby is born that I will be able to eat oats again. So this recipe has both an oat free and an oat option. With the walnuts it ended up with a great nutty flavor that wasn't overbearing and the outer crust is just a tad crispier than usual. I love eating this with fruit spread or honey, but that is entirely up to the eater to decide. I hope you enjoy this easy recipe as much as I do, and its good for you too.

Scottish Inspired Walnut Scones

Ingredients: (by volume)

1 cup/235ml walnut pieces-ground fine in food processor
1 cup/235ml of brown rice flour-milled (in a coffee grinder)
1/2 cup/120ml potato starch (not flour)
1 cup/235ml of gluten free oats*-milled
1/4 cup/60ml brown sugar
3 tsp/15ml cream of tartar
1 tsp/5ml baking soda
1 tsp/5ml guar gum
1/4 tsp/1ml salt

1/3 cup/80ml light oil
1/3 cup/80ml applesauce
1/3 cup/80ml non-dairy beverage of choice (I use hemp milk)

1 tablespoon/15ml flax seed-milled
3 tablespoons/45ml hot water

1/2 cup/120ml raisins (optional)


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix flax seed meal and hot water in a small bowl and set aside to be added with the other wet ingredients.

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until small, but don't run it too long or you'll have very tasty walnut butter.

Add in all the dry ingredients into the food processor (or bowl) with the walnuts and mix well.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend until well combined. The dough will be VERY sticky.

Optional: Mix in raisins (currants or dried cherries would be great too).

Turn out onto a floured 9” pie plate and shape into a 3/4 inch thick circle. Cut into 8-10 wedges, using a pizza cutter or knife. Transfer to a greased baking sheet.

Another option if you have a baking stone: Once the stone is preheated, place all the dough in the center of the stone, wet your hands slightly before shaping the dough into a 9" round circle, being careful not to touch the stone as it is hot. Cut the dough with a pizza cutter before placing it in the preheated oven.

Bake 12 minutes or until light brown. Cut them apart on lines already defined before baking and separate the pieces. Bake for 3-5 minutes more depending on how well done the inside is. Place on a cooling rake to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.

Serve warm. They can be prepared a day or two ahead or stored in the freezer for later. Enjoy.

*For an oat free option, I used dried unsweetened okara that I had left over from making tofu. (I lightly salted it and dried it in the dehydrator for about 12-15 hours at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.)

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