My husband and I (no, not that one) were having our usual late afternoon dilemma about what to have for dinner. It was freezing cold, we had the woodburner going and neither of us wanted to move to the kitchen, which is much colder as it’s in the flat-roofed extension. I began musing about dumplings. I haven’t had them for years. On the whole, I don’t go much for starchy foods and I’d rather fill up on fresh veg, salad, fruit or hummus than on bread, pancakes, pizza base etc. But today, I was besotted with the idea of casserole and dumplings.
However, as the beady-eyed ones among you will have noticed, this recipe is for scones not dumplings: I chickened out from putting them in the casserole as it was the first time I’d tried making them since becoming vegan and gluten-free, and I didn’t want to risk ruining the casserole if they didn’t turn out well. So I made the mixture into scones and cooked them separately, but I’m confident – well, sort of – that they will work as dumplings, too. Just make the recipe with a little less liquid to make them firmer and roll into balls or cut into thinner scones and layer over the top of the casserole (I haven’t tried that yet).
You will also notice that I titled the recipe Cheese and Herb scones, when I specify cumin in the ingredients list, but you can use whatever herb or spice you want. I chose cumin as that was what I put in the black bean casserole they would be accompanying.
I used a mixture of flours, I’m sure any combination would work providing the majority of it is Self-Raising. I like to add different organic glutenfree flours to the commercial SR flour to provide more nutrients. I discovered chestnut flour a year or so ago when I bought it just to try it, and I added it to bread recipes and Carrot, Apple & Spice Cakes with Cashew Frosting.
It works well and has a sweet taste. I use it sparingly to make it last. I also added some Tiger Nut Powder*, which is very fine tiger nut flour, it’s also a little sweet and gives some texture too. But as I said, you can make up your own mix.
The recipe suggests rice milk because it’s thin and doesn’t have a strong flavour, I wanted them to be as light as possible.
These scones have protein, healthy fats, calcium, b vitamins and minerals, no refined sugar or jam in sight!
(vegan, gluten-free, organic where possible, quantities are approximate)
5oz G/F SR Flour
2oz Chestnut Flour
1oz Tiger Nut Powder
1 Heaped Tsp G/F Baking Powder
2oz Solid Coconut Oil, soft enough to rub into the flour
2 Tbsps Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1 Tsp Dried Cumin
1 Tbsp Ground Golden Linseeds
Pink Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper to taste
1 Chia Egg (1 Tbsp Chia Seeds mixed with 3 Tbsps Water and left to stand for 10-15 minutes)**
Enough rice milk to make the mixture bind together and still be a bit sticky.
Sieve the flours and baking powder into a bowl
Add nutritional yeast flakes, golden linseeds, salt and pepper and mix in
Add coconut oil and mix in well with finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs, it takes a while but it’s worth taking the time
In a well in the middle, add chia egg and a little rice milk
Stir it together with a round-bladed knife to begin with and then get in there with your fingers and work all the mixture together, adding a little rice milk at a time until it all comes together in a ball
Knead a little until it is smooth and will roll, but it needs to be a little sticky too
Spread a fine layer of flour on a board and a rolling pin
Gently press and turn until your dough is a nice round, about an inch high or a little more – too thin and they will be dry and crunchy
Use either a cutter or a cup to cut out approx. 6 round scones or a knife to make triangle wedges
Lightly grease a baking tray, brush a little milk on the tops, and cook at approx. 200C for about 10-12 minutes, until risen and splitting, golden on top but a little soft in the middle
Cool them a little on a wire grid
Eat warm as they are, or with a savoury spread or vegan cheese. We’ve had them with a black bean, cumin and winter veg casserole and Ginger-Spiced Squash & Apple Soup
They were tasty, moist and very filling.
Copyright: Chris McGowan