Growing up on a steady diet of Enid Blyton’s books, I can at least say that I have heard/read about scones. Reading (no sorry….devouring!!) her stories, I was exposed to many exotic- sounding (to me) foods- treacle puddings, ginger beer, sausages, jam tarts to name a few. And of course….scones! These were invariably served with tea. I could only imagine what these looked and tasted like.
When I started baking, it never struck me that I could also make scones. That is till now, when the Tuesdays with Dorie group decided to bake buttermilk scones.
Scone are also surprisingly easy and quick to make. These came together in 10 minutes!!
The secret to a good scone is to handle the dough as less as possible. As Jamie Oliver puts it “brilliant scones are about having the confidence to do as little as possible”.
For these scones:
I made half the recipe and used 1 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I also used the zest of an orange.
For the buttermilk, I used 1/2 cup – 2 tbsps of home-made yogurt and 2 tbsps water.
We had a choice with the shaping- either rolled or wedges. I just patted them into a circle and cut them into 6 wedges (next time will make 8 to get smaller servings) as that needed minimal effort and no worrying about scrap dough (I’m plain lazy and if there is an easier way, why not?). You could also cut them into the classic round shape with a cookie cutter.
I placed them close together to bake so they rose higher. After 15 minutes, I moved them apart so that the sides could crisp up.
The baking time was way off for my oven…..I baked them for 20 minutes and then placed them under the oven broiler/grill for a couple of minutes to brown on top. In the original recipe the baking time is 10-12 minutes.
The acid test…..will they live up to my imagination? Or….? My first bite and I was hooked. The crust was crisp and flaky and the interior soft. The taste of the orange zest was subtle but came through. Slathered with MORE butter and strawberry jam! What was there not to like??
Next time though, I will try different additions- nuts, dried fruits, maybe even chocolate chips. I have a strong feeling that scones and I are going to get on friendlier terms and they will be a regular feature in my house:-).
The Tuesdays with Dorie group is currently baking from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking with Julia” which was published as an accompaniment to the hugely successful American television serial of the same name. The contributing baker is Marrion Cunningham.
You can find the recipe for these Buttermilk Scones on page 210-211 of the book or follow this video where Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Julia Child demonstrate how to make them.
If you are not eating them immediately, wrap them airtight and freeze them once they are baked and cooled.
Defrost them to bring them to room temperature, in their wrappers. Unwrap and reheat on baking sheet for 5 minutes in a 180C/350F oven.
If you want, you can freeze the cut scones before baking. Place the frozen dough into a 180C/350F oven for 25 minutes or till golden.