Sunday, November 18, 2007

in search of the perfect scone

If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving go back to the drawing board and try again. The last of yesterday's not-scones were polished off this morning, so I decided a second attempt was in order this afternoon.

If you haven't already guessed from my haphazard approach to measurements, I'm more of a cook than a baker. I'm perfectly capable of following a recipe to the letter, but prefer it when I don't have to. When I bake, "mad scientist experiment" is the description that comes to mind.

I tried to strike a compromise between the biscuit recipe and my standard scone recipe yesterday. Today I made the scones almost exactly the way I usually would, but used the biscuit technique. The results were better, though the name is still awkward.

Closer-But-Still-Not-Quite Scones

(Based on a biscuit recipe from Orangette. Makes about 15 scones. They go stale quickly, so you'll want to have other people around to eat them.)

Preheat the oven to 450F. Oil a cake tin. Get out a large mixing bowl.

Dump three cups of self-raising flour and a quarter-teaspoon of salt into the mixing bowl. Take half a stick of chilled butter and cut it into small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in one cup of currants or raisins.

Measure out two cups of whole milk plain yogurt (I recommend Stonyfield Farms) and stir in half a cup of milk. Crack in one egg. Add this to the dry ingredients, and stir until the mixture comes together in a very wet, very sticky dough.

Dump a cup of plain flour into another bowl. Use a quarter-cup measure or an ice-cream scoop to portion out lumps of the dough; dust them in flour, and pack them into the cake tin. Brush the tops with milk. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm with butter and jam.

(Photo credit goes to Tom, a friend who's in town for the weekend. Tom is a Fine Arts major with an interest in photojournalism. He is capable of operating a digital camera. You can see more of his work here.)

1 comment:

Ann said...

I love scones... and I have not yet managed to make them the way I want them to taste-- which is to say, like the scones I had for tea at the Ritz in London. I'm still working on it, though and I will not be defeated!