Friday, January 27, 2012

JANUARY, 2012 CHALLENGE: Back to Basics:Scones (a.k.a. Biscuits)

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers' host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

"Scones (biscuits) contain only a small number of ingredients they are fast to make, quick to bake, only cost cents per batch and most importantly are super FUN to eat. In England and Australia scones are eaten with jam and butter usually with cups of tea or coffee mostly as a sweet snack, while in North America they are usually eaten with meals as a savoury side."

Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)

Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) sconesRecipe can be doubled

1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour

2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder

¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt

2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk

optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones


1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.

2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)

3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.

4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)

6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.

7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.

8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.

9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

I made a plain one which my sisters and I ate with Pineapple-Ginger Jam while drinking hot tea and watching Downton Abbey :)
I also experimented with a dried Garlic & Herb salt free seasoning. The scones came out flecked with spots and tasted great with home-made pesto!

Thank you for the recipe Audax, it was simple and resulted in great tasting scones! Don't forget to visit the other Daring Bakers' scones!


Aarthi said...

Awesome Recipe...Bookmarked


Audax said...

So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe so much and your scones look so cute. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Renata said...

Beautiful Scones! That jam sounds like a delicious accompaniment and the garlic one is calling my name! Great job!

shaz said...

Great work! Pineapple ginger jam and homemade pesto - such amazing accompaniments to the scones. Yummo :)

Sarah said...

Yum - Pineapple Ginger jam and biscuits! I'm glad you had a fun night with your sisters and enjoyed another successful challenge.

Suz said...

Downton Abbey is great comfort telly. The perfect accompaniment to scones and jam! I love love love the sound of pineapple and ginger jam & your scones look so light and fluffy. Great job!

shelley c. said...

Scones, pineapple ginger jam and Downton Abbey with your sister sounds like a lovely way to spend an evening! :) Both of your varieties look and sound delicious. Great work!

twistedkitchen said...

Looks yummy!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

Awesome recipe! Wow,, i am stunned by the look of the scones and the photos! Amazing

Lisa said...

Your scones look fantastoic, and I love the savory dehydrated garlic ones! I want the recipe for the pineapple-ginger jam! What a way to relax, scones, jam, TV..Ahh..that is the life!

Stitch1Peta said...

These look so good. It was a fun challenge wasn't it.

Cakelaw said...

Scones with pineapple ginger jam sound fabulous to me!

Monica said...

Lovely savoury flavours there :) Now I'm hungry again...

heather villars said...

Looks delicious! I love the pesto idea!

maha said...

Just looks awesome......very nice pics..... yum n delicious!