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Beautiful Scones - Daring Baker January Challenge

This month's challenge came from Audax from Audax Artifex, a fellow daring baker and also from Sydney. We had to bake scones and they turned out beautifully (well, except the first batch). I love scones but don't make them very often. But, since this is such a nice and simple recipe I made four batches of it. The first batch came out okay but because the oven hadn't been hot enough and because I had pressed the dough out too thin the scones came out a bit too flat.

The second batch was much better and I couldn't stop making them. I only kneaded them until the dough came just together and then pressed and layered the dough into a rectangle. I like them to be round in shape so I used a cookie cutter but the downside is you have to re-roll the dough and if you overwork the dough they won't rise as much. I simply layered the dough thicker the second time so they would rise to almost the same height as the previous ones. If you can't be bothered, cut the rectangle in squares and that's it, no leftover dough. I like a crusty top on my scones and therefore cooled them on a wire rack. If you want softies, wrap them in a tea towel and the steam will keep the whole scone soft.

My daughter got lured into the kitchen by the smell wafting through our house and wanted to make them too. However, of course, she wanted them sweet. So we added dried sour cherries to the dough and that goes fantastic with the fluffy and buttery little scones, especially when they're still warm. It's so delicious.

I went up to the Blue Mountains that day to see friends and we had them for afternoon tea with eggplant relish and the bacon and onion jam I made - life was really good that day.

I will definitely make this recipe again and again and again as it is a very good basic scones recipe. Thank you Audax for the challenge and for sharing your recipe. I love it!

The basic scone.

This was the fourth batch with dried sour cherries added to the dough.

Scones with dried sour cherries.

Basic scone recipe by Audax from Audax Artifex:

Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
Recipe can be doubled
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones
1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
3. 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.
4. 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!
5. 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.)
6. 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.
7. 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 colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
8. 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 coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.


Jules said...

Oh my! Your photography is so stunning it's making my tummy rumble...I'm almost through the detox...then I'm making five batches!!!

Cass @foodmyfriend said...

Yuuummm. Bacon jam? Sounds interesting! I love scones.. but with a sweet jam :)

Medifast Diet said...

No more bisquick for me, awesome recipe, scones look so good.