2009/04/08

Raisin scones

scones, raisins, raisin scones, Food For Tots, food for toddlers

Scone is a small British quickbread of Scottish origin. The original scone was round and flat, usually the size of a small plate. It was made with unleavened oats and baked on a griddle, then cut into triangle-like quadrants for serving. Today, scones sold commercially are usually round in shape but homemade scones have taken into various shapes: triangles, rounds and squares.

What is a good scone?


I can’t agree more to Regan Daley’s from Fine Cooking on his definition of good scone. He wrote in his article “Truly Tender Scones” that a good scone is a beautiful balance of opposites: rich but light, tender but sturdy, satisfyingly sweet but not overly so. He also emphasized that the key to master the technique for scone dough is to mix as little yet as thoroughly as you can.... even novice bakers can get used to the feel of the dough without sacrificing tenderness.

Recently, my family members are “addicted” to scones. This includes my mother-in-law who doesn’t have a sweet tooth. But it is not easy though to find good scones around our neighbourhood bakeries. We did come across one that sells reasonably good scones that are to our liking. However, its scones are always sold out early. Because of this, I decided to bake my own scones. To my surprise, it is easier than I had imagined. It only requires a few simple ingredients and the method is easy enough to follow. No kneading is required. However, there is one thing you need to be extra careful, i.e. you must understand the technique in preparing the dough. Even then, it should not put anyone off as a novice baker like me had passed my first attempt with "flying colours"!
As forewarned, the making of good scones lies in the technique itself. If you are one who is looking for stress-releasing recipes, this one is surely not your type. Unlike the making of pizza and fish paste, this following recipe requires you to handle the dough as gentle as possible. The lesser you work at it, the more tender the scones will become. Doesn't this sound great to all the novice bakers!

Recipe adapted and modified from Mitong’s blog (originated from Farmgirl’s Cranberry Christmas Scones) and technique adapted from House of Annie’s blog (originated from Fine Cooking Magazine)


Yields: 10 large or 12 small scones

Ingredients:
2¼ cup unbleached/ plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda (I substitute it with ½ tsp baking powder)
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup (110g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes (½ inch )
¾ cup raisins (can be substituted with dried currants) - soaked with 2 tbsp of hot water for 5 mins, squeezed away the water
¾ cup yogurt mixture (3 tbsp yogurt + some fresh milk + ½ egg) or ¾ cup buttermilk

Egg wash:
½ egg + 1 tbsp milk – beat well with a fork

Methods:
(A) Mixing of ingredients
1) Preheat oven to 200ÂșC. Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
2) In a large mixing bowl, add in flour, baking powder and baking soda and whisk until mix well. Sieve 2-3 times (see Note a)
3) Add in sugar and salt. Mix well.
4) Add in butter cubes. Use a pastry blender (see photo below), table knife, fork or tips of fingers to cut butter into the flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbles. (see Note b)
5) Add in raisins and stir gently until well combined.
6) Beat yogurt, milk and egg until well combined. Gently fold the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly just until no dry flour is visible (see Note c & d). The dough will be wet and sticky.

(B) Shaping the dough
1) Sprinkle flour lightly on both the dough and the work top. Turn the dough out and roughly work it into a ball. Press the ball down into a rectangular shape. Sprinkle some flour if the dough is still wet.
2) Fold the dough like the way you fold a business envelope (in 3rd, 1st first right fold to center, then left fold to center). It is alright if the dough is still quite shaggy and loose at this stage.
3) Then press the dough down to form either a circle or a rectangular.
For circle, cut it into 8 large or 16 small triangle scones.
For rectangular, cut it into 10 large or 12 small squares. Push the edges roughly to shape it into a round scone. You can also use a cookie cutter or an upside-down juice glass to cut out the scones.
4) Dip the top lightly on the egg wash and then brush it with the remaining egg wash again. Place them on a baking tray, spacing them about 4cm apart.
5) Bake for 15 – 20 mins (depending on the shape and size of your scones) until golden brown on top. Turn the baking tray over if the scones are not evenly baked. Let it cool on a rack and serve warm. Alternatively, let it cool completely and store in an airtight container or keep in the freezer.
6) How to eat scones? Cut the scones into half and spread butter/ cream/ jam onto it. And, it is best enjoyed together with a cup of coffee or tea!

Note:
a) To avoid any bitter taste that can be caused by the large amount of baking powder used in the recipe, it is important that the flour and baking powder are blended well and sieved for several times.
b) It is advisable to use a pastry blender (see photos below) to cut the butter as it releases less heat to avoid melting the butter when mixing of ingredients.
c) Do not knead or overwork the dough. The less you work it, the tenderer and flakier it will be. Do not pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients all in one go. Add in little by little and stop once a loose dough is formed. You need not finish using all the yogurt mixture.
d) Quality of butter is important to give your scones a more buttery flavour. I suggest that you select a premium brand such as Luprak in making your scones. It definitely makes a difference in the taste.




28 comments:

Pam said...

Yum. I am sure my children would gobble these up.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks good. I love scones.

Cynthia said...

I too love scones.

Craftpassion said...

I like scones but not the one with strong baking soda taste. I have tasted quite a few in Cameron Highland and there is a cafe at Tanah Rata which I found is the best. The one at Boh Tea Farm is not bad too,may be it is the beautiful greenery scenery that add a little spice into it.

Elin said...

Nice scones..my piggy gal would love this especially now she is into baking :))

Thanks for the info on scones.

noobcook said...

Looks so good! Your photos are lovely, love the colours =)

Pearl said...

oh those scones look nom - for children and adults!

Food For Tots said...

Pam: Same for my son too! Guess all kids are the same when it comes to scones. ;)

LCOM: Tks. Do your kids luv scones too?

Cynthia: Something that both of us can't resist. Hehehe!

Craftpassion: This is why I ignored the baking soda. FYI, I have not been to CH. Will check it out if I go there one day. Tks for the info.

Elin: I am sure they can master the technique for scone dough easily.

Noobcook: Tks! Tks! Tks! LOL!

Pearl: Tks!!!!!!

Dora said...

Looks good! I want some for my breakfast tomo! ;)

Have a nice weekend.

New Kid on the Blog said...

Typical English tea must have... :) Right???

beachlover said...

look good to me but I never bake one yet! must try your recipe one day soon!

rickdog said...

Find more Raisin scones in my recipe blog search:
HERE

tigerfish said...

Your photos are lovely. Give me some good marmalade and a soothing tea...what a wonderful afternoon tea I can have. *dreaming*

Food For Tots said...

Dora: Sure, come over! Have a nice weekend to you too! Tks for the award. I'm so flattered!

NKOTB: Tks for the idea! I will go to get buy some English teas of these days. ;)

Richdog: Tks for dropping by and the search link. :)

Beachlover: Something great that is not to be missed for your family!!!!

Tigerfish: Tks. I luv marmalade too! You are always welcome to drop by for a cup of tea cum scones. ;)

My Taste Heaven said...

Always love to have scones. Just had good scones at David Brown's at Penang Hill. But I think yours are very tempting to me too!!!

Bits of Taste said...

Hi, this is so lovely and looks so delicious! I am tempted to make some! Bravo!

Maya said...

Scones and tea - would be gone in a minute around here!

lisaiscooking said...

Your scones look fantastic! We're big fans of scones in my house, and I'll have to try these.

Food For Tots said...

My Taste Heaven: Tks for visiting my blog. I have not been to Pg Hill for many years. Guess there must be a lot of changes. I must check out the scone at David Brown in my coming trip.

Alice (BOT): Dun wait anymore. Go to buy the ingredients now!

Maya: It happens to me too! Hahaha!

Big Boys Oven said...

wih! this is gorgeous, I like mibne with clog cream . . . . south london!

shavedicesundays said...

Looking forward to having some of these on Mother's Day. I guess I should try making them myself too :)

Food For Tots said...

Big Boys Oven: Hmmmm....south London? New to me! Hehehe!

Shavedicesundays: Still another 1 full month before Mother's day, start planning your wish list now? Hehehe!

Gabriel said...

hi there!

wow, u have a very wonderful blog. ur photos are really great. i am new in photography, love to take pics of food and bascially things i eat. haha...

hope to see more pics from u in the future. all the best!

Kevin said...

Those scones look good!

thenomadGourmand said...

i luvvv scones! here in KL, the ones by teapot cafe is legendary but otr than we dun hv much options.

Food For Tots said...

Gabriel: Tks for your compliments. I am a newbie in photography too! Hope to see you here more often.;)

Kevin: Tks!!

The nomad goumand: I will KIV this place when I am back to KL. Tks for sharing and do drop by at my new site - http://www.food-4tots.com. ;)

Kitchen Corner said...

I like the new look of your blog, it's very nice! I didn't know there is such a wonderful scones recipe at your blog, I'm the lover of scones, crazy about it no matter day or night. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I'll try it tomorrow. Thanks!

Rojario said...

I'm making this tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!