One of the best things about being a food blogger is getting the chance to meet local food producers who care so deeply about their product. Last week I had the utmost pleasure to meet Kate Bolton, founder of Ma Bolton, and to hear about her passion, her experiments and her resulting gluten free range of products.
Ma Bolton was born from a need to eliminate gluten from Kate’s diet and the refusal of having to settle for the existing range of bland, nutritionally deficient and often full of sugar gluten free products available to her. It led her on a 9 year quest which included in depth research into the gluten free flours available and their properties, as well as extensive experiments in her own kitchen.
What resulted is a range of flour mixes that allow people to create delicious gluten free bakes in their own kitchen – from cakes to pizza and even pastry – something often sadly relinquished when discovering a gluten allergy. Her research was so extensive that she has also created a range of vegan flours (as well as a huge knowledge of dairy free and vegan cooking). (Edited to add: Kate’s flour has been so well commended, it received a Great Taste award in 2017).
Kate runs a range of workshops to compliment her mixes – where she helps people in the techniques needed for gluten free baking (and in some cases dairy free/vegan too). In these sessions, she takes you through a range of tips to create certain dishes and also helps explain principles and techniques to allow you the ability to explore a whole wealth of food alternatives – a culinary lifeline to those with sometimes quite restricting allergies or intolerances to certain food types. A full range of the workshops can be found here but she is very happy to run bespoke private parties too so do contact her if you had something in mind.
Kate has also rusted up a range of seasonal syrups and jams with all sorts of home grown and delicious flavours – like salted caramel, gingerbread and rhubarb syrups and her well-known ‘Marmargin’ Marmalade laced with juniper berries.
You can buy the Ma Bolton pastry mixes from Kate direct, or they can be purchased from health food shops across East Dorset (Discount Health Shops in Winton, Westbourne and Poole and the Bay Tree Health Shops in Christchurch and Ferndown). You can also find Ma Bolton stalls in a number of local farmer markets like Westbourne, Wimborne and Wareham.
Kate has kindly given me a gluten free cheese scone recipe to share with you which is completely gluten free and wonderfully delicious. I have baked with these mixes myself and I highly recommend them if you are ever in need of some gluten free bakes.
Ma Bolton's Gluten Free Cheese Scones
- 1 Pack of Ma Bolton gluten free savoury pastry mix.
- 100g Butter
- 1tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 egg
- Milk made up to 150ml (see note in method)
- 100g grated mature cheese
- 2tsp vinegar
- 1tsp salt
- Step 1 Preheat oven to gas7/220c/425F.
- Step 2 Place flour, salt, baking powder in bowl. Rub in butter until breadcrumb consistency.
- Step 3 Add grated cheese and mix in.
- Step 4 Put egg in a measuring jug and add milk to make up to 150ml. Add vinegar and whisk (this may curdle the milk but that’s ok!).
- Step 5 Add wet ingredients to crumb mix and mix together to form a (wet) dough.
- Step 6 Place dough on a floured pastry mat and with your hands press dough out gently until it is about 3.5 cm depth (don’t over work). Cut out rounds with a cutter (do not twist cutter when cutting).
- Step 7 Brush tops with milk sprinkle a little cheese on top and bake for 15 mins or until risen and golden.
Header picture and the picture of Kate used with permission from Kate Bolton.