Back from our latest summer adventure, this time with blueberry biscuits! I meant to post these before we left, but of course work and sloth intervened and here we are. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But with blueberry biscuits, aka scooones, just in time to catch those little globes of delight in season.
One of the first things I’ve noticed as a formerly “successful” person who now works in a bakery is that the average person really wishes they could work with their hands. A twinge of jealousy entered a friend’s voice as he imagined a sense of accomplishment for having actually made something at work. Yep. That’s a real thing. And here’s the skinny on doing work that matters:
Dear friends…you can do real work, too. Seriously. I’m living in the revelation that guilty obligation to use my degree is not a good reason to chase a career. I love interacting with people and I love spreadsheets, but I do not love office politics or feeling chained to my desk. This article, “On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs,” by David Graeber, an LSE anthropologist, has been back in circulation recently and is worth your time. I revisit it whenever I’m on the job hunt to get my priorities straight.
But in addition to meaningful work, I’m really leaning into the idea of mindful, intentional relaxation as well. A friend back home mentioned that my Instagram life looks like a hoot–we’re always going somewhere fun or eating something delicious. Is that my real life? I had to think for a minute. You know what…because we’ve been making a point of prioritizing the things that bring joy or beauty, it actually is. Wow.
For instance, I just took a whole week off work. Despite my anxiety over logistics, everything went swimmingly and I have no regrets about the tiny paycheck on the horizon next month. Instead of earning a few hundred bucks, we spent time with family, hiked, boated, rode in fast cars, watched horse races, admired art, caught a Mariners’ game, celebrated a birthday, picked blueberries, and came home refreshed.
One of the biggest lessons coalescing in this season of life is that work and play are of equal value for human flourishing. It’s an axiom you believe is probably true in those soulless times of work-work-work, but come to revere as dogma the moment you give yourself the chance to actually practice it.
I think that’s why I like baking here with you so much. I get to play around with flavors and textures and inspiration, get creative with limited resources in styling and shooting, and then write about it. Then sometimes people read what I wrote and bake what I’ve baked…amazing!
In the spirit of meaningful play, I’ve got a recipe here for gluten-free blueberry biscuits. As an insight into my recipe-writing process, this is written in grams and you will need a scale. (I hope by now that my volume measurements–a rounded cup of this, scant 3 Tablespoons of that–are obnoxious enough that you have purchased a scale, yes?) A dependable ratio can help ground your creative process and ensure that your playing around actually yields results. In this case, scones are 1-3-2, butter, flour, liquid. With this in mind, I used butter, a 60% whole grain flour blend, and a mixture of eggs and half-and-half for the liquid.
My childhood scone recipe has resisted successful gluten-free conversion, but these blueberry biscuits? Craggy yet tender, traversed by purple rivulets of exploded berry juice and crowned with crunchy sugar, they passed the test. As long as you maintain the 1-3-2 ratio, substitute away and you’ll still get something scone-like. Nifty, eh? Live your best life and make a batch for breakfast this week, even (or especially?) if it makes you late for work.
- 80g cold butter, cut into cubes
- 240g gluten-free flour blend*
- 1/2 teaspoon guar gum (if your blend doesn't already have a binder)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 60g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 eggs, whisked, plus ~90g half-and-half to equal 160g total
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- extra sugar for sprinkling on top
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone liner and set aside. Whisk together flour mix, salt, sugar, baking powder, and guar gum, if using. Toss butter cubes in flour mixture and then cut in with a pastry blender until butter lumps are the size of peas. (I prefer to stop blending a little before you would for pie dough--buttery pockets are the best!)
- Add eggs and half-and-half and mix until flour is incorporated. Gently stir in blueberries.
- Spoon batter into 9 scone-sized mounds on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and freeze the whole tray for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F. When it's preheated, remove the tray from the freezer and bake 18-20 minutes, until scones are beginning to brown on bottoms and edges. Remove and cool 5 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack.
- Scones are best eaten the day you bake them, but store any leftovers in an airtight container on the counter for a day afterwards.
- 90g (scant 1 cup) tapioca starch,
- 100g (2/3 cup) millet flour,
- 50g (rounded 1/3 cup) sorghum flour