Friday, January 27, 2012

Daring Bakers: Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)


After two months of absence from the Daring Bakers' I didn't want to miss another one, especially a challenge hosted by one of our most active and helpful members, Audax Artifex.

He chose basic scones as the challenge, also known as biscuits in North America; that's something I didn't know, as I always thought a scone is a scone everywhere. Apparently what North Americans call scones are known as rock cakes in England and Australia.

I like them both, and usually we eat them for breakfast. Something you can really manage to bake in the morning, since they are so quick to make. They were really tasty and I even managed to get original clotted cream from England.


Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!



Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
makes about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones


140 g flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
30 g frozen grated butter
approximately 120 ml (½ cup) cold milk
optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones


Preheat oven to very hot 240°C (475°F).

Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)

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.

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!

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.)

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.

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 color on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.

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 colored on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.

Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.


Enjoy and Guten Appetit!


5 comments:

Audax said...

You got real clotted cream lucky you and your scones look so tasty and dainty. Well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

lisamichele said...

Welcome back to Daring Bakers! Oh, how I love clotted cream and jam on a biscuit. I can't stop staring and wanting. Beautifully done and beautiful photos!

Renata said...

Superb photos! Really mouthwatering!

MyFudo™ said...

Wanted to start working on more baking...bread, biscuits, scones. I am in search of great recipes. Thanks for the post. This one is a must try!

chef_d said...

Gorgeous pictures, the scones look perfect and delicious!

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