Scone Secrets Revealed

There are two things you need to know about baking. One — it’s a miracle that a pile of flour, butter and a good blast of heat can form the base for a varied and scrumptious array of food. Two– the sum of these raw materials is TEMPERMENTAL, MOODY and DIFFICULT, and will drive you mad if your first attempts at baking are not as successful as you’d hoped….

Opening lines from my bible which otherwise goes by the name ‘Baking: The Commonsense Guide’. I have baked a few cakes now and then but still consider myself a novice. I feel that if you haven’t baked bread, you haven’t really baked. To me, baking bread is as fundamental and life-altering as mankind’s discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel.

I decided to overcome  my fears of baking today and chose to make scones. Easy and quick.  I also decided to document the process by taking pictures as I went along. The pictures you will see are the fruits of my labour. Suffice to say my cellphone is completely covered in flour as my hands were thickly coated in dough!

When it comes to scones, no matter what the kind, the principles are basic: add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix it all as gently and lightly as possible.

The scones I made today were the simplest kind. And it took about 15 minutes  to prepare and 15 minutes to bake. I must admit, I prayed before I began and it was like God was guiding my hand.

You’ll need…

310 g or 2.5 cups flour/maida
1.25 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
40 g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk

1 mixing bowl
1 flat-bladed metal knife
a scone cutter, or just a small katori/steel tumbler will do
a pastry brush
a baking tray

Before you begin, make sure you have all your ingredients and utensils in place. Heat your oven to 220 degrees celsius, grease the baking tray and keep it aside.

MAKING 10 PERFECT SCONES

Sift twice for good luck

1. In a big bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Sifting helps aerate the dry ingredients and is key to getting perfect light scones. Most bakers sift the flour twice so that’s what this novice did too.

2. Rub in the butter briefly with your fingertips until the mixture is crumbly and resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Just a spoonful of sugar

3. Add a teaspoon of sugar. This will get rid of that floury taste.

Doodh doodh doodh doodh..wonderful doodh

4. Make a well in the centre and pour in almost all the milk.

5. Then using a flat knife mix all the ingredients using a cutting action. Rotate the bowl as you do this. The dough mix will come together in clumps. Don’t panic….that’s how it is supposed to look. If the dough mix feels too dry, add the rest of the milk.  The dough should feel slightly wet and sticky.

Moist & sticky dough is good

6. Now with floured hands, gently gather the dough together and lift it out of the bowl. Place it down on a floured surface.  Pat it into a neat ball. DO NOT KNEAD IT.

Be gentle. Easy does it..

7. Pat or lightly roll out the dough so that it’s 2cm thick.

If you don’t have a cutter, improvise!

8. Using a floured cutter/katori cut into rounds.  Place them close together on your baking tray. Gather the scraps together and without much handling, press out like before and cut more rounds.

Place them close together in a greased tray

9. Lightly brush the tops of your scones with milk.

Wait and watch with bated breath

10.  Bake it in the top half of your oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the scones have risen and turned golden. Resist the urge to keep opening your oven to look at and take in the aroma.  Trust me when I say I really had to fight the urge. But temperature is so crucial to this so you wouldn’t want to jeopardise your own efforts.

(drumroll please)…here’s the finished product.

Ta-da!

Scones taste best when served warm from the oven…and with a lil bit of jam or butter…they’re just out of this world!! I wish there was a feature on this blog that allowed you to take in the aroma of the scones.

(If you aren’t sure they’re cooked, break one open. If it’s still doughy at the centre, cook for a few more minutes. If you like your scones soft, wrap them in a dry cloth napkin while they’re still hot. If you like your scones crunchy, let them cool on a wire rack before you wrap them.)

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Deeps @ Naughty Curry
    Dec 25, 2011 @ 17:44:41

    does look simple.. gotta try this 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: