Scones

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Yes I have been busy this past weekend 🙂

A friend of mine who is as obsessed with the Kitchen as I am recommended a recipe for scones so I tried it. The result was a slightly sweet tasty scone that could even be eaten on its own without a spread of any sort. In my previous experiences with scones I have always found them to be quite dry or bland in taste and always needing some sort of spread. It makes sense of course to have a spread since scones are a type of bread. However beyond having them as a substitute for bread they didn’t particularly interest me.

After reading this article on how to make the perfect scones I realized why the standard scone is always bland and dry. Here are a few tips I picked up from the article:

  1. Keep your ingredients cold. Temperature is critical to buttery, flakey scones. Start with very cold butter—it should chip when you cut it into chunks and your liquids should be ice cold. Before you start, measure your milk or water and put it in the freezer for ten minutes. Consider chilling your mixing bowl before mixing. I would let the ingredients stand at room temp, a habit obtained from cake baking.
  2. Don’t work your dough too much. Mix only until the ingredients come together into a combined mass.
  3. Use a folding technique. For flakey, layered scones, use a folding technique. Roll the dough out to about 3/8-inch thick. Fold the dough in half and in half again and again. Roll the dough out to about 3/4-inch thick before cutting the scones.
  4. Don’t over-bake your scones. Over-baking for even a minute or two will dry your scones out. As soon as the edges begin to turn brown, remove them from the oven. Immediately, place the scones on a wire rack—the hot pan will continue to dry the scones.

The recipe (originally from All Recipes) is as follows and includes the adjustments made by my baking buddy 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar/brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dried currants/raisins/chocolate chips or nothing
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yoghurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Freeze butter before hand and grate the required amount and add to mixture. Stir in the currants. Mix together 1/2 cup milk and sour cream in a measuring cup. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients, and stir gently until just combined. Overworking the dough results in terrible scones!
  3. With floured hands, pat scone dough into balls 2 to 3 inches across, depending on what size you want. Place onto a greased baking sheet, and flatten lightly. Let the scones barely touch each other. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash. If desired you can then dust with a sugar and cinnamon mix. Let them rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the tops are golden brown, not deep brown. Break each scone apart, or slice in half. Serve with butter or clotted cream and a selection of jams – or even plain. Remember to take the scones out and remove from the pan as soon as they are done to prevent drying.
The great thing about these scones is that they are an incredibly good base that you can get really experimental with. You can add grated cheese, bits of frozen fruit (blueberries etc), orange zest, bits of ham, garlic powder etc. The combinations are endless!
If you find them too sweet (though I didn’t), you can reduce the sugar.
I unfortunately made the mistake of leaving the scones in the baking tray after they were ready so they got very dry and hard at the bottom but otherwise they tasted awesome. The scones lasted less than a day, my flat mates couldn’t stop munching them. I shall have to double the recipe next time!
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