Tea is served. With scones, confiture de questche (plum preserve) and clotted …ahem… yogurt.
Why scones ? Because :
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!
Go there to see the other daring bakers’ scones and incredible research on the techniques that Audax made for us.
First I made 2 : plain scones for “cream tea” decorated with rose petals, and short scones.
In the following posts, you will see variations I tried :
veggie (lard) biscuits,
oat (olive oil) scones, coconut (milk, cream, flakes) scones
I followed the recipe using yogurt “buttermilk”. It seems there is no buttermilk nor sour milk sold in this country. They don’t need, as they have “calpis“.
I strained a yogurt, the liquid is to make the scones, the “cream” to eat on them. We can buy Japanese clotted cream in department stores.
That’s not the first time I made scones, not the hundredth time… I have no British origins, for what we know, but all gourmandes of the world now that quick cake. To make them quickly with minimal mess I do it all on a tray. I cut the butter into the flour with a heavy knife. Mix it all and spread on the same surface. With the hands I form a crepe ? a bannock ? and cut out scones. Then clean the tray and knife while they are in the oven.
The plain scones according to the recipe below. I had to lower quickly the temperature of the oven to 200 C. Otherwise they would have melted then burnt. That may depends on the oven.
“Short scones” are short-bread scones, softy short-bread. No baking powder nor soda nor eggs. Don’t kneed nor folded them, otherwise they would become too hard. Make balls of soft moist dough, and bake gently 180 C.
(the rose scones)
If you want a flaky scone, that’s perfect. Follow the recipe at the end.
(the short scones)
Today they are not as good as usually. Baking them with the others was not great. They still taste great. There is not the least interference of a baking powder taste.
Served with my home-made Christmas tea that has fully developped its flavors.
Recipe from Audax (source and longest explanation)
Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
Recipe 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.