With Valentines around the corner, making everything in heart shapes is such a novelty isn’t it? It was actually Evie who pioneered this particular heart shaped move. I was all set to make traditional scones but she pulled out the heart shaped cutter, and started ploughing ahead with the dough. Turns out her creative eye is much better than mine as they looked so much sweeter with a little added love.
I’ve been meaning to try a new scone recipe for a while, as I do find gluten free scones really tricky to get right – always too flat, to dry, too crumbly, too – everything a scone shouldn’t be. For these ones I followed a Becky Excell recipe, switching it up to make it dairy free and adding sultanas (of course). The two tricks (which I realised two batches later) is firstly to use self raising flour instead of plain for some extra rise (I also added an extra teaspoon of baking powder) and secondly not to flatten the dough too much. Keep them really big and tall. Like seriously… REALLY tall. This way when you bake them they’ll stay fairly big and soft instead of coming out of the oven flat as a pancake and rock hard so that you can’t even get a knife through them without them crumbling into a thousand pieces.
The last thing I’d advise is to eat while they’re fresh. Straight out of the oven they were soft, fluffy and perfectly scone like. A day later still ok but a bit more crumbly and by day 2/3 they were becoming a bit harder to cut through.
Still, they’re probably the best gluten free scones I’ve managed so I’ll be baking them again for sure. And if you’re not gluten free then you don’t need to worry about any of the above and get can stuck straight into your no doubt perfectly risen, soft, fluffy scones immediately! Win – win!
Gluten and Dairy Free Heart Shaped Scones
(adapted from a Becky Excell recipe)
What you’ll need
340g Gluten free self raising flour (you can use regular all purpose flour if you’re not GF)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
85g dairy free margarine (a hard block is best and of course just use butter if not DF)
4 tablespoons sugar (if making sweet scones, omit for savoury)
175ml almond milk (or regular milk if not DF)
3 teaspoons lemon juice
a handful of sultanas (depending on how fruity you like them)
an egg to brush the top (use almond milk if making these vegan)
How it’s done
1. Preheat your oven and place a baking tray lined with baking paper in to warm up
2. Add your flour and baking powder to a large bowl, and cube your butter/marg before rubbing together with your fingers, until it resembles breadcrumbs
3. Add in your sugar and your sultanas
4. Warm your milk slightly then add lemon juice. Don’t worry if it curdles slightly – this is supposed to happen
5. Make a well in the middle of your flour mix and pour the milk into it
6. Slowly fold the flour into the milk using either your hands or a spoon until a dough forms. Don’t overwork the dough as you want to keep as much air in as possible to make sure they rise.
7. Flour your worktop and then fold the dough over a couple of times before forming a rough rounded shape, aiming to keep the dough as high as possible.
8. Using a heart shaped cutter, press into the dough and bring your heart shaped scones to set aside. Keep going until all the dough is finished (you may have to re-fold a few times but try and keep as much air in as possible)
9. When you’ve cut all your scones (I think I got around 8 per batch), place them on the hot baking tray that’s been warming in the oven and brush with a little whisked egg (or dairy free milk if you’re making these vegan)
10. Pop them in the oven for around 10-15 mins until they are golden brown on the top but not yet turning at the corners (that way they should still be fluffy inside)
Tuck in straight away with your filling of choice. I’m not sure if this is the right place to start the jam first or cream first debate, but let’s just say it’s jam first ok? ALWAYS jam first.
A simple and easy little bake for Valentines, or any day of the week really. Do let me know if you give them a try.