So this would be the last recipe for scones month, I must say this had been a real treat doing scones of different kinds. Some of you might think one would get rather sick with eating scones after that but heck no….I love it just the same and I will continue to explore different recipes to this beloved tea time treat!
For the last posting of scones, I’d thought I’d share some tips and truths (TT) I’d call it about making scones. Some from my own personal experience, some I got from the net and I went and proved whether it was doable or not, but nevertheless, there are some basic rules that apply to scones. What is the ultimate goal when people make scones? It’s to have it risen sky-high right? Well, I’m going to give you some help on that as well as some other tips to ensure you won’t fail at making scones.
TT #1 – All ingredients need to be cold.
Well, as you can see from the first scone recipe I made, I did not use cold butter but room temp but altered the method and the scones still came out great. But I do suppose if you are doing it the traditional way of rubbing butter into the flour, it is best to use cold butter. The butter helps with the rising and fluffiness of the scone.
TT #2 – Don’t twist your round cutter.
I think this rings true because you don’t want the edges to get sealed up. If you’re using a knife to cut the scones, cut in one motion and don’t slice back and forth.
TT #3 – Cut the scones at least an inch thick.
This my personal tip, I think it’s a bit too much to ask if you cut the scone out 2cm thick and expect to rise up more than an inch when baking.
TT #4 – Don’t overwork the dough.
This is very important. Once you have achieve the texture good enough to shape out, just roll it it out flat, cut, glaze and get it into the oven. Scones don’t need to be kneaded like bread.
TT #5 – You don’t always need to use self-raising flour.
Just make sure when you’re using baking powder or baking soda with other types of flour, they’re still within the expiration date.
TT #6 – Liquids can vary.
I like using buttermilk for my scones but that is not hardcore must for all scones. Some recipes call for just milk or cream.
TT #7 – When baking, arrange the scones so they just touch each other on the side.
The point it that when the scone rises, it will ‘leverage’ each other into rising at the same time. Well, I’m skeptical about this tip, because for one thing, what if there is a scone that is rising well is laid next to the one that is not rising, won’t it drag down the rising scone? The opposite can also happen.
TT #8 – Fold the dough into several layers to get that flaky thickness.
This is a good tip, much like how puff pastry works. Although you don’t fold it into as many layers as puff pastry, this will help give the scone a boost in rising and then you can see those lovely layers on the sides.
TT #9 – You don’t always have to eggwash your scone.
This is not necessary for every scone recipe but when it’s suitable I would not go without it, I just love the shiny, amber look on top of my freshly baked scones.
Most importantly, and I know this is going to sound cliche, keep practising! Once you get the hang of it I promise you, you won’t feel like dragging your feet everytime you want homemade, fresh baked scones.
DRIED APRICOTS AND WALNUT SCONES RECIPE
(makes about 16 small scones or 9 large ones)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup buttermilk (more or less)
1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon buttermilk for glazing
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Sieve and mix the dry ingredients together; the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
2. Rub the butter into the flour mixture or use a food processor until the mixture represents a semi-wet sandy mixture.
3. Mix in the dried apricots and chopped nuts.
4. Carefully pour in the buttermilk a little at a time working your dough to become a ball stuck together. You might need more or less liquid, just make sure the mixture is not wet and too sticky.
5. On a floured surface, shape the dough into a inch thick square.
6. Cut it into 16 smaller squares or you can go with 9 large squares. I seem to like cutting my scone now because you don’t end up with that odd bits and pieces.
7. Place the scones on a lined tray, glaze the top with the egg-buttermilk mix.
8. Bake for about 20-30 mins till the inside comes out clean when tested with a skewer but still slightly soft at the centre.
9. Eat while it’s still warm.