One of the food blogs that I subscribe to is called Indulgence after workout. It contains heaps of reviews of desserts in Singapore, which I find useful because I do not eat desserts very often, and when I do, I want something good and worth going off Paleo for. In March, the blog reviewed scones from a couple of hotels, which in turn motivated me to try baking some scones myself.
The receipe I chose to work with was Peter Reinhart's Biscuit Scones from Crust and Crumb. It is a simple receipe and what I like about scones is that there are no huge resting / proofing periods. You just need to keep an eye on the temperature of the dough, to make sure it remains cold up to the point that you put it in the oven. If it starts getting warm, put it in the fridge for awhile before working on it again. And do put it in the fridge for awhile before baking.
What came out of the oven were golden, buttery, slightly sweet morsels that had a slightly hard-crispy exterior and cakey-crumbly interior. One of my taste testers described the texture of the insides as being a cross between a muffin and bread. Paired with hot, sweet, milky tea, the scones from this receipe make for a luxurious tea-time treat. Just warm them up, and they are ready to be eaten.
(Note: I do not think that cream and jam need to be added to these scones as on their own, they already taste sweet and have enough fat. Does anyone have a good receipe for more English, bread-ish scones though, the type you add cream and jam to?)
Receipe adapted from Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb
Ingredients (Makes 6 to 8 scones)
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/1/2 cups unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
1 large egg for egg wash
3 tbsp coarse sugar
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl.
2. Cut the butter into quarter-size pieces, and add it to the flour mixture. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter, 2 forks, or your fingers until the mixture has the texture of coarse cornmeal.
3. Stir in the buttermilk just until the ingredients gather and form a ball of dough, using more buttermilk, if needed.
4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly dust the work surface with flour. Turn the dough out and press it into a disk about 1 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Cut the disk into 6 to 8 wedges and place them on the prepared pan.
5. Enclose the pan in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Beat the egg thoroughly and brush it on the top of each scone. Lightly dust with coarse sugar if desired.
7. Bake the scones for 10 minutes, and then lower the heat to 375 degrees F. Rotate the pan front to back, to ensure even browning, and bake the scones for about 10 minutes more, or till they are golden brown.
8. Transfer the scones to a rack, and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.