Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Scones they're not that hard

I went a bit scone mad at the weekend. I had a craving for some warm mellow stodgyness and decided to learn how to make scones myself. I discovered that it's incredibly easy to do, much easier than making bread or pastry.

I had a look in the old dusty Delia book and also found this recipe on the BBC website. I'm not going to bother putting the full quantities and method up here so check the link for guidelines if you want to make them. I'm not a fan of long drawn out methodical recipes. That's not how I roll.

A scone essentially is butter, self raising flour, caster sugar and milk. The butter is rubbed into the flour until it looks breadcrumby then the sugar is mixed in. I also added some sultanas, salt and a teaspoon of baking powder to help the raising. Milk is added a bit at a time while mixing it in with a knife or spoon then you can then get your hands in there and give it all a good mix.

The scone mixture should be quite soft and wetter than bread dough. Have a look at this Youtube video to get an idea for the consistency but don't pay too much attention to the recipe and the cooking method as the scones the lady makes look a bit giant and gruesome. I prefer my scones a bit smaller.

Once you've got your dough it has to be cut into scones. This part of the process can affect how the scones rise. The video shows a good way to form the dough and cut the scones out. You do not want to roll the mixture it's better to form the dough with your hands before cutting. Make sure you don't push it flatter than 1 inch. To cut use a pastry cutter and push straight down with one movement. Don't twist because if you do the scones will rise with a kink. However as you're making them yourself you are bound to knock and twist them accidentally as you push them out of the cutter and it's these happy accidents that will make them rise to look all pretty and homemade.

They don't take long to cook about 10-15 minutes in a hot oven. Put them on a cooling rack but eat them as soon as they are hot enough to touch as it was while at this stage I had my scone epiphany.

When you buy scones from the shop not only are they expensive they also have to be heated to get the desired butter melting heat. You can either toast your store bought scones of stick them in the oven. Either way you are going to dry your scones out and they've already sat in a shop for a few days. When you bake your own scones however you can eat the fresh from the oven. This means their own heat melts the butter into them. They are fresh and delicious, stodgy and light all at the same time.

I had these with some cream and damson jam.

As one batch was not enough to satiate my scone fever so I made some more but this time without sugar or sultanas but with cheddar cheese.

These went perfect with my signature breakfast dish: creamy and decent scrambled eggs. That reminds me actually I better post them up soon as there's too many people in this world eating badly made scrambled eggs.

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