Gluten Free Baking & Living – Free to Try ‘At Home’ Course

logoHaving spent the past few days painting our living room, I felt like the urge to do something a bit more relaxing last night.

Having started to accumulate a few gluten free recipes, I decided to have a go at Gluten Free Baking & Living’s Cheese Scones recipe, which is free to download from their website.

If you don’t know much about Gluten Free Baking & Living, here’s their story:

Deborah and I have always shared a great joy in growing and cooking great things for each other to eat. Food and eating is so much more than just fuel, it can bring joy, delight, comfort, warmth, health. The wrong food, we are now realising to our cost, brings serious ill health. Above all, food and sharing it is about fun, love and caring for each other, your family and friends.

When we started to eat gluten free, we were very disappointed by what we found in the free-from aisles in the supermarkets. It seemed that GF products from the big manufacturers copied the worst of what was available mainstream. Things were often too sweet, nutritionally poor with little to differentiate between brands. It was only when we started going to the coeliac food fairs we discovered the legion of small scale bakers, butchers, brewers and food stockists offering top quality, tasty produce.

In many ways, having to live gluten free has echoes of a time when it was entirely natural to make everything from scratch yourself. It is something that we largely did anyway so it wasn’t a big jump for us to simply ignore the supermarkets and make cakes and bread ourselves.

Requests from Deborah’s Nutritional Therapy clients also drove us towards developing our courses. She had been providing menu tips and recipes to support her advice but was being asked for something more practical. Some typical comments were:

”I feel a stranger in my own kitchen” commenting on her failure to make GF flours work.

“I tried to book a baking course but as soon as I said I couldn’t eat eggs they didn’t want to know”

Our daughters, all 4, were/ are enthusiastic consumers of our new GF lifestyle. The first family Christmas since 2006 to gather the whole tribe together along with the more recently added partners and grandchildren saw a completely gluten free feast of goose with stuffings, sauce and gravies along with GF mince pies, Christmas cake and pudding. You really should run a baking course they said.

It was an idea we had been playing with and discussing. It suddenly seemed to have some legs, we gathered some friends for a practice run through, booked a space at the Leeds Coeliac Society Food Fair at the end of January and launched ourselves on to an unsuspecting public. We ran our 1st course to a small group in February. The Wirral and York Coeliac  Food Fairs followed a tiny advert in Crossed Grain and we were off on what felt like a runaway train.

Gluten Free Baking & Living now run ‘Go to’ courses, ‘At home’ courses (Gluten Free Baking Academy), a magazine and recipes all of which are accessible through their website! 🙂

I’d heard a lot about the brand through social media, but as their ‘Go to’ courses are a little too far for me to travel to (Harrogate, London and Wirral), I thought I’d try the scones recipe to see if it was worth me purchasing the online recipes (the remaining three courses are £7.50 each or £10 for the course bundle).

example recipe

The step by step text and photo approach to this recipe is brilliant for bakers like myself, I like to see exactly what I should be doing at each stage to know that I’m doing it right, or indeed wrong!

The ingredients and equipment are all clearly shown at the start of the recipe and although I did follow the recipe to the book, I did omit salt from my scones, but this is down to personal choice.

The ingredients are: buttermilk, gluten free self-raising flour, gluten free baking powder, gram flour, salt, poppy seeds, cheese, butter and xantham gum. All of these items I found to be readily available in my local supermarket.

The only slightly confusing aspect was that my buttermilk was in grams instead of millilitres, but Google helped me solve that issue! 🙂

I progressed through the recipe and it was pleasing to see that my photos mirrored those on the recipe.

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As I approached the end of the recipe in what certainly seemed to be a short period of time, it was great to see the scones take shape and I managed to get eight out of the mixture instead of six! Yay!

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The scones only took 20 minutes in the oven, although I did give mine a few minutes longer until they were a little browner. The smell emanating from the oven was just amazing!

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As you can see, they came out of the oven looking amazing and I certainly wasn’t going to wait until they cooled down to try one…..

I quickly cut one in half and added some butter which quickly melted into the scone. Mmmm!

It really was amazing. It had wonderful texture and the poppy seeds looked and tasted great. These wouldn’t have been something I’d have thought about adding, but they were a great inclusion. Of course, the cheese topped it off perfectly, literally!

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As a result of successfully making these amazing scones using the very straightforward and wonderfully designed recipe, I will definitely be buying the other courses, but if I am visiting either London, Harrogate or Wirral, I’d love to attend one of the ‘Go to’ courses as well, as it would be great to meet the founders of the brand as well as some fellow gluten free bakers! 🙂

If you’d like to find out more about Gluten Free Living & Baking you can visit their website, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Have you tried any of the recipes or been to one of the courses? What did you think? Would you recommend them? I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below! 🙂

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