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Making a decent scone
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Making a decent scone Reply with quote

Now, I bet most of you mastered scones a long time ago. But you may have had moms and grannies to teach you.

The first scone I ever had was at Camp Robin Hood when I was about 8 or 9. I'd never had anything like it and I was instantly in love. I told my mom all about them but she was a utilitarian and habitual cook at best (sorry, mom, it's true...) and you can trust me that scones were not available at local bakeries in Poughkeepsie, NY. So all I had was that memory to hold dear. ...for a long time.

When I got older and began baking you bet I tried to make scones. The results, happily, I was able to forget. I tried again, tho, when I'd mastered bread and come to appreciate the importance of the right kind of flour and a technique that prevented the formation of gluten. Still, nothing worth talking about. ...except that I did develop a profound respect for some strong-armed and skilled woman who made scones a couple times a week for a hundred or so kids who had poison ivy and short-sheeting someone's bed on their minds.

Just the other day, and entirely by accident, I made the scones I had been holding dear in my memory for 50 years. It was a variation on a Nancy Silverton recipe, so how bad could that be?, but the real breakthrough was that I had no butter in my fridge. I had to use frozen butter. Now, frozen butter will not slice thin. As the knife moves through the mass the pieces break into shards. So they worked up into a meal super fast. And they were still hard as I worked the shaggy, floury mess into something I could knead and shape. And what came out of the oven was something I can honestly say, I had waited a lifetime for.

Probably, you all are masters of this simple delight but if you need a recipe here's the ones I made last week. And then there's a link to the recipe I made for Rachel to take back to school with her this morning.


Lemon Scones
Makes: 12 scones

• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup sugar or Splenda blend
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel, about 1 lemon
• 11 tablespoons butter, frozen and broken into tiny bits
• 3/4 cup heavy cream, plus additional for the tops of the scones
• fresh lemon juice, (as needed)

Preheat oven to 400°F. These brown nicely with convection heat. Lightly butter baking sheet.

Blend flour, sugar, baking powder and lemon peel in processor or bowl.

Add butter and cut in using on/off turns or using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to large bowl.

Make well in center; add 3/4 cup cream. Using fork, stir until just moist adding lemon juice if necessary to make a workable dough. Transfer dough to floured surface and gently knead until smooth, about 8 turns.

Divide dough in half; pat each portion into 3/4-inch-thick round. Cut each round into 6 wedges and transfer to prepared baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Brush tops with remaining 2 tablespoons cream.

Bake scones until light brown, about 18 minutes.

Notes:
• These are adapted from a Nancy Silverton recipe for ginger scones.
• Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven before serving.


http://joyofbaking.com/SconesLemonGinger.html
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woodstocker



Joined: 08 Dec 2005
Posts: 224
Location: kingston, ny

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainey, if you're looking for another recipe source, I've used The Baking Book by Linda Collister for years, and only once did they come out flat- entirely my fault b/c I overworked the dough in the processor. Of course, you can do it by hand, in which case, I've never had a problem. I almost always add chopped walnuts and currants. I've also found that if you add the nuts and currants (golden raisins work very well too) in with the flour when you pulse the dry ingredients, the texture of the final scone is actually quite yummy. Denser and much more nutty, they were great with double cream and preserves. Although anything is better with double cream and preserves in my book. Very Happy

Now that I think about it, if one was trying to make a savory scone for soup or some such, pulsing the nuts w/ the dry ingredients would make for a much more hearty accompaniment.

If anyone would like the recipe I will gladly post it.
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
Posts: 827
Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats Rainey on your scones!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing that is a thing of beauty!

I love to make scones - unfortunately there are not many good recipes for whole grain scones. Crying or Very sad And this dratted low glycemic thing gets me everytime...

But I do think the key is the coldest butter you can manage. I have also used frozen butter in a pinch! Sometimes I make scones to bring to school when it's my snack day. In that case, I mix the butter into the dry ingredients the night before and leave it in the frige overnight. Then I add the wet ingredients the next morning. I've found that that makes an incredibly flaky scone as well.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flat wasn't my prob, woodstoker. Being leaden was. But your thoughts on processing the nuts make me think that it could be interesting to substitute almond meal for some of the flour. Maybe with dried cherries.

Now that I've got some success under my belt I have so much experimenting to do.

Donna- I've often done muffins in stages so I could just mix the wet & dry in the morning and have them hot for brekkies. Never considered that with scones but I can see that that would make them quick, simple and flaky too. Good, creative thinking!

Here's a recipe for whole wheat scones: http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_wholemeal.htm The white flour isn't necessary for gluten so I suppose you could substitute something else. Maybe some almond meal...

Here's another not made with white flour at all: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/wholemealyoghurtandf_1982.shtml
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Donna



Joined: 14 Oct 2005
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Location: Oakland, CA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Rainey! Sam will be a happy man! I was making the youghurt cake to take to a dinner party this weekend and he said "Can't you use whole wheat flour for that?" I declined... He ate it, but he is deeply, DEEPLY opposed to white flour!

Thanks for these recipes! I have snack duty this Friday and I will try one of them out! I already have ideas about "augmenting"! (dried cherries instead of raisins, orange juice & cranberries or savory with cheese and herbs)
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monkey



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Location: in the kitchen with a large bar of chocolate

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rainey, you are psychic! i have been yearning for a good scone recipe.

the last "never fail" recipe was a painful experience. even the birds in my garden were not interested in the crumbs.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

monkey- I've enjoyed your efforts so much I hope one of those recipes suits the craving. Try the lemon-ginger ones.
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Making a decent scone Reply with quote

Rainey wrote:
When I got older and began baking you bet I tried to make scones. The results, happily, I was able to forget.


Rainey, you have no idea how happy you have made me to know that you too (once) had trouble with scones. They are supposed to be the easiest thing in the world to make but my first few attempts were woeful.

I have since managed to make two batches of scones that have worked out (that's two out of a hundred- but I refuse to give up) the one that turned out best was a recipe is for date scones and comes out of the Breakfast Lunch Tea Rose bakery cookbook. It may use wholewheat flour Donna, I will check and if it does I will post it because they are seriously good.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emily- I hope you'll try the frozen butter. Slice off bits as thin as you can and it will work up so fast and flakey.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that you use really cold butter....

I was always taught to use room temp (or just below, ie cool not melted) butter and to cube it. Then to use an old fashioned flat blade knife to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

This was how they made the scones in country NSW and at the Women's Institute. My Great Aunt and my Mum both did it this way and I actually have the knife that my Great Aunt used, which of course is what I use for making scones or any other delicacy that requires butter cut into the flour.

The one thing that had to be icy cold in the recipe was the liquid.

Has anyone made lemonade scones? I love them and they come up so light and fluffy. I know that Madame makes gorgeous lemonade scones...
Wink Maybe she will share her recipe as mine is in storage in Australia.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debbie--

What is "old-fashioned flat blade knife" ? I use a half-circle shaped thing with wires, which hurts my hand, to get butter distributed into pastry (NOT my favorite chore!)
Freezing and "shaving" sounds great!

Also Debbie, "Women's Institute"?--sounds scary..
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a pastry blender too. Freely. For muffins as well as pastry. And I much prefer it to a food processor. You have so much more control.

Look for one that has blades rather than wires. ;>
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw someone on TV grate frozen butter for a pastry crust. It looked easy enough - I think they used a box grater, but I don't know why a quick food processor wouldn't work. The trick would be to work quickly so that the butter wouldn't melt or soften too much. I'd be ready to grate (should take only a few seconds), then quickly return the shavings to the freezer for a few minutes before cutting it into the flour.

I plan to make scones this weekend (your recipe, Rainey), so I'll try the grating method and see how it goes.
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jenyfari



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was in the states (I am from Australia) I went to McDonalds for breakfast and the biscuits that I had were what we in Australia would call scones.

What you are describing in this post is what I would call a scone as well.

In Australia what we call a biscuit is what those in the States would call a cookie.

So what is the difference between a biscuit and a scone?
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jenyfari



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was in the states (I am from Australia) I went to McDonalds for breakfast and the biscuits that I had were what we in Australia would call scones.

What you are describing in this post is what I would call a scone as well.

In Australia what we call a biscuit is what those in the States would call a cookie.

So what is the difference between a biscuit and a scone?
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