What better way to start your New Year baking challenges than baking scones. The quick but tricky savory perfect Evening Tea accompaniment. Though my scones were ready on time, the post got delayed by a day....but better late than never !!
So many times I've come across Scone recipes in my baking books but somehow they always took the back burner and I never had the chance to try my hand on these wonderful light puffy cookies !!??? Bread !!??? Well I'd say a distant cousin of the dinner roll.....only easier, more versatile !!
Though traditionally they are a great pair with your cuppa chai but I think they'll do great even with soups on a cold winter evening !! Wow !!
They are simple and quick.....once you get the hang of it...it will always be your savior when you have unexpected guests !! Total time taken was 25 minutes (including baking time).
I'm glad that Daring Bakers' once again motivated me to break my baking mind blocks and move away from cakes to newer territories.
Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers' host.... Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (aka biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchen !!
The original scone was round and flat, usually the size of a medium size plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle (or girdle, in Scots), then cut into triangle-like quadrants for serving. Today, many would call the large round cake a bannock, and call the quadrants scones
When baking powder became available to the masses, scones began to be the oven-baked, well-leavened items we know today. Modern scones are widely available in British and Irish bakeries, grocery stores, and supermarkets.
The baking of scones at home is often closely tied to heritage baking. They tend to be made from family recipes rather than recipe books, since it is often a family member who holds the "best" and most-treasured recipe.
Cheese 'n' Chives Scones
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 tsp (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
½ tsp of Baking Soda
½ tsp Sifted Mustard Powder
¼ tsp sifted Cayenne Pepper
½ cup (60 g) grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsps Finely chopped Chives
¼ tsp (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tbsps (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
Approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
Optional 1 tbsp 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.) Addthe sifted baking soda, mustard powder, cayenne peppers and chives.
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.
You could serve them with a cream cheese dip or butter or any relish of your choice !!
Happy Baking !!