It’s a cold, gloomy day in Sydney today. Perfect baking weather! I’ve been playing around with this recipe for a while, and I think I’ve finally nailed it. These scones have the comforting density and softness of a traditional scone, with a subtle buttermilk flavour. They make an awesome afternoon tea, or are great to dip into soup.
You may wonder, why bother with fake buttermilk? The main reason is that it act as as a leavening agent, improving the texture of the scone. This is particularly important when baking with gluten free flours. A higher protein milk is ideal, as the milk needs protein to curdle. I generally use soy, but you can use oat, rice, or a nut based milk, depending on what is safe for you. You can use coconut, but it will not curdle. However, the coconut milk will add richness, and the acidity from the vinegar will still work as a leavening agent.
1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour blend (doesn’t matter which type)
1 1/2 cups of sorghum flour
1 tbsp of baking powder
2 tsp of xanthan gum
1 tbsp of sugar
6 tbsp of dairy free margarine
1 cup of dairy free milk
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 210 degrees
Add vinegar to the milk, and leave for 10 minutes. The milk will thicken and seperate – totally normal!
Combine the the flour, packing powder, xanthan gum and sugar in a large bowl.
Rub the margarine into the flour, until it resembles bread crumbs (you can use your fingers, or a kitchen aid for this).
Add in the milk mixture, and combine to make a soft dough. If the dough sticks to your fingers, add a little more flour.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 2cm.
Cut out the scones with a cookie cutter. A 7cm cookie cutter will make about 12 scones.
Place scones on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 6 minutes, then turn and bake for another 6 minutes.
This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week, an initiative of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia. Food Allergy Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about food allergies, to reduce the risks of life threatening reactions, and help manage emergency situations when they occur.
As many of you would know, my gorgeous little girl, Sylvia, is at risk of anaphylaxis from a variety of foods. In my daughters case, it is dairy, peanuts, treenuts, lentils, chickpeas, lupin, green peas and pork.
What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a very serious and life threatening allergic reaction. It can happen within minute of being exposed to an allergen, or can be delayed, occurring several hours after ingestion.
Symptoms may include:
Facial swelling, including swelling of the lips and eyes
Reddening of the skin
Hives appearing on the skin
Abdominal discomfort or pain
Strained or noisy breathing
Inability to talk, or hoarseness
Wheezing or coughing
Drop in blood pressure
Pale and floppy (young children)
Treatment require immediate administering of an Adrenalin Autoinjector, and a call to 000 for an ambulance.
Food allergies are stressful for the families of kids with allergies (and for adults with allergies – it’s not just children!). It’s a scary prospect to know that seemingly normal foods, are essentially poison for some people. The current statistics in Australia, are that 1 in 10 children currently have a food allergy. The rates of diagnosis are increasing, so its something all of us need to be conscious of. Chances are, someone you know, your children’s friends, their classmates or siblings will have a serious food allergy.
Lots of people are uncomfortable with school wide bans of particular foods, like peanut butter. I get that food bans are a pain. Truly, I do. Food bans are a permanent situation at our house! I don’t expect that everyone ban all of the foods that Sylvia is allergic to. It is a very hard diet to follow. But if your school requests that you don’t send certain foods, please respect that. The reality is, peanut butter is the HIGHEST cause of food allergy related deaths. Its also messy, sticks to surfaces, and creates a high risk of cross contamination. There’s a very good reason why schools ask parents not to send peanut butter to school! That said, there are lots of foods that can cause anaphylaxis. My daughters most serious reaction was to lentils!
There are lots of other important ways to keep people with food allergies safe, that don’t involve banning foods.
How can you help keep children with allergies safe?
Teach your children not to share food.
Always wash hands after eating
Avoid letting children run around with food, especially at the park, play centres etc. This is where my daughter has had most of her reactions.
Don’t offer food to young children
Don’t offer food as rewards
Be aware of the signs of a serious allergic reaction, and get help if you recognise them.
We are off the the allergy specialist and dietician next week. It will be a tough day, involving at least 50 skin prick tests for Sylvia. She will be in pain, covered in hives, and utterly miserable. We are hoping and praying that her results will improve. Food allergies can be a really tough gig, as a parent, and definitely for Sylvia, who rarely complains (but still looks longingly at all the cakes she cannot eat at parties). So I will take this moment to also give a big shout out to all of the people who make an effort to include her when we visit, to my best mate who always goes out of her way to accommodate us, to the people we love who’ve done anaphylaxis training, and to our family, who have adjusted all of the menus when we get together so that Sylvia can be safe. It means a lot.