Friday, May 8, 2009

Scones

I make no claims for the authenticity of these scones. They do not date from my long sojourn in the UK; no wizened auld grannie gave me her cherished family recipe. In fact, I started making these scones in high school, when I simply dreamed of all things British and never believed I would ever cross that pond. I think that the recipe comes from some sort of Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. These scones taste like none I've ever had in the States or in Britain, but I do like them quite a lot.

This last time I made them, I used the food processor. Because I had doubled the batch the processor was quite full and I had to run the motor much more than I would have thought (pulsing just wasn't cutting through the butter). The end result was pretty close to what I've made by hand, so I would probably use the shortcut again. If I don't double the recipe, I only get about 9 scones--I must like them thicker than the original recipe calls for, as I'm sure it is a recipe for a dozen. The following is the doubled recipe.

INGREDIENTS
3 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 TBSP baking powder
6 TBSP sugar (3/8 c.)
2/3 tsp salt (or 3/4 tsp if you can't be bothered looking for a third teaspoon measure)
2/3 c. unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch chunks (11-ish TBSP)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 to 3/4 c. heavy cream or whole milk

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a baking tray (I put Silpat on mine)
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined
  3. Add the butter and coat with flour
  4. Pulse in the food processor until the mixture resembles small peas
  5. Keeping the motor running, add the beaten eggs through the feeding tube
  6. Start by adding 1/2 c. of milk while the motor is running
  7. Stop processor and remove lid to check on texture of dough--it should form a ball in your hand but not be sticky to the touch. Add more milk as needed
  8. Remove dough from food processor and knead lightly to make a ball of dough
  9. Let dough rest for ten minutes
  10. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into circles. According to some cooking show I saw in Britain, it's good to avoid twisting the cutter because twisting the dough might impeded the rising process. (Alternatively, you can roll the dough into a circle and cut into triangles, though you should separate the triangles to bake individually or else the middle won't cook well)
  11. Put scones on prepared tray; brush with egg wash if you choose (I rarely bother)
  12. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown
  13. Remove from oven and serve while warm

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