Gluten-Free Currant Scones
Why This Recipe Works
Even the best traditional bakeshops often come up short when they attempt to make gluten-free scones—the results are usually gritty, crumbly, and pale. We set out to make a light and tender scone with a buttery flavor and gentle sweetness. To fix the crumbly texture we found that a two-part solution worked best. A small amount of xanthan gum acted as a binding agent and provided the structure and stability we were missing, while an egg added additional structure along with moisture and elasticity. For scones with a light, not dense, texture, we added a full tablespoon of baking powder, and to eliminate grittiness we found that resting the dough for 30 minutes before shaping the scones hydrated the flour and softened its texture. The resting step also helped thicken the wet dough a bit and made it easier to shape. For our dairy component, we noticed that scones made with milk or cream spread way too much, and the dough was difficult to work with. Switching to thicker sour cream solved those problems. To achieve a golden crust and a nice rise, scones are typically baked at a high temperature, but we struggled to get a nice color on the tops of the scones without burning the bottoms. Lowering the oven temperature seemed like a natural solution, but we needed to bake them so long that they dried out. We had better luck preheating the oven at a high temperature and dropping it down slightly when putting the scones in the oven. We also found that using a second baking sheet as insulation kept the bottoms from burning. Make sure to preheat your oven before you make the dough. Other types of dried fruit, such as cranberries, apricots, or raisins, can be chopped fine and substituted for the currants if desired.