Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scones - A Beginning

Continuing my Granny-themed posts, I have scones on the brain at the moment and am determined to find the perfect, foolproof scones. I don't know if I can necessarily come up with one that is foolproof, because I think this is something that sort of depends on how your baking mojo is going on the day...But mine was going pretty good on this particular day and the first scone recipe I tried turned out great! Well, sort of.

This is also another of the recipes I found amongst my Mum's scraps of paper in her cookbooks. Apparently it was given to her by a family friend, along with anothing recipe for cheese scones. My Mum has her own recipe for pumpkin scones-I don't know why but that woman has a way with pumpkin, they are truly fantastic. This will remind me to beg her for that recipe as well.

These scones were very interesting. The recipe was super easy and I appreciated the fact that there wasn't too much butter in them. They rose nicely and had a wonderful crisp golden exterior while still being moist inside. They were SO nice freshly baked with my hand-stirred raspberry & apple jam and some of the leftover double cream I had from my pea & ham tart. But scones are always best straight out of the oven. The test is whether or not they are good the next morning.

Plain Scones
2 cups self-raising flour (or plain flour with 4 tsp baking powder)
a pinch of salt
30g butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
extra milk for glazing

Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C (200 fan forced). Sift flour, baking powder & salt. Add chopped butter and rub in lightly.

Make a well in the centre. Add almost all of the combined milk and water (I did this very gradually, stirring it in until I felt it had the right level of moisture. This is a total judgement call, I ended up using about 2/3-3/4 cup of my water/milk mixture). Knead dough lightly until smooth. I tried to do as little kneading as possible.

Roll out dough to a 1-2cm thickness. Cut dough into rounds using a cutter or a lightly floured cup. Try to get as many rounds as you can out of this first go, the more you roll your extra bits of dough together, the tougher the scones will be. I only rolled out my dough twice and just formed rounds with any of the extra dough scraps using my hands. Glaze with milk and bake for 10-15 minutes until brown. Mine were just cooked through after 15 minutes, but I made mine slightly bigger than the recipe calls for and I do have a disagreeable oven.

The final product was somewhere in between the buttery crunchy biscuit scones of the QVB tea room and the light bready scones from Berrima. They were fairly airy and bread-like but they had a nice hard crunch on the outside. These were at their best straight out of the oven and slathered with jam and cream. We also tried it with some lime curd leftover from my tart, and with orange marmalade. But you can't beat raspberry jam.

The next morning they weren't so crash hot. I tried them room temperature, heated for 20 seconds in the microwave, and sliced up & toasted. Toasted was the best. The outside had lost the most of the golden crunch and aroma that it had when it was fresh and the inside was a lot denser. So I will soldier on and keep trying other recipes and tweak and adjust until I am satisfied.

This recipe was super easy, I whipped these up in about half an hour and could easily see myself doing these first thing in the morning. So if I consider this to be the first of many scone attempts to come, I will be a harsh judge and give it the following ratings:
Exterior: 3.5/5
Interior: 2.5/5

Fresh: 4/5

Next day: 2/5

Overall: 3/5

On a side note, I have other food memories to share, but no recipes. One because it was a massive fail due to my lack of common sense. I was so excited to try out my newly purchased madeleine tray that I rushed through the recipe and got lumps of flour through the mixture, then I somehow FORGOT that madeleines are supposed to rise and completely overfilled the moulds. Oh well. I've made them properly before, so I know I can do it again! These were half a batch of ginger flavoured madeleines and the other half were matcha flavoured :) They still tasted really good!

I also recently spent hours admiring the recipes on Chocolate & Zucchini and decided to try out her zucchini and mushroom crumble. I was a bit lazy and did the whole thing in one big dish but it still turned out well and the crumble was fantastic! Yum. Trying to decide what to do with the leftover crumble mixture now.
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  1. WOWWWW your scones look PRO!!
    your making my feel like scones!!! Digging the photo of the dough mmmm.

    your an awesome cook! wish everything i cooked turned out picture perfect. Mine seems to turn out like a blob of gunk lol

  2. Aww thanks!! :D Trust me, everything I cook doesn't turn out perfect, but you know-try try try again! The first time I tried to make scones a few years ago they were like big ugly rocks, it was a disaster!


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