Yes, it’s that time again (I refer to it as “the weekend”) when, rather than posting about things that I put on the outside of my body, I post about something that goes into it (not that, you dirty, dirty pervert). That’s right … it’s Food Post Time!
There’s been a distinctly nippy quality to the morning air of late, which tends to put me in the mood to do a little baking. I’d actually been thinking about making bread, but when I checked the fridge … no yeast. So I consulted with the Mister, and we determined that scones were in order.
This is an extremely simple recipe. So simple, in fact, that I’ll give you the whole thing right here:
- Two cups self-rising flour
- Two tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- A teaspoon or two of sugar if you like your scones on the sweet side (optional)
A few notes: Maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but I have never in my life seen a bag of self-rising flour at the grocery store. I think it’s more common in the UK and in the southeastern US. You can make your own by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to each cup of flour. So, for this recipe, that translates to 2 cups flour plus 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.
Also, this recipe calls for butter and milk, but you could easily veganize it by using vegan margarine and soy/rice/almond/your choice of non-milk milk. The Mister and I are both lactose-intolerant to varying degrees, so we don’t keep fresh milk around; for this recipe, I used 2 tablespoons of dry milk powder and 1 cup of water as the liquid.
First off, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Now, my oven is old. I mean, OLD.
Which basically means that it’s a metal box with a fire in the bottom. It runs pretty dang hot, so I heat it up to more like 385 degrees for this recipe (between 375 and 400).
If you live in the Land of No Self-Rising Flour like I do, the first thing you’ll want to do is mix up your dry ingredients. Here we have flour, salt, baking powder, and dry milk, all whisked together.
Next, cut up your butter into small pieces–say, 8 of them. Touch it as little as possible; the idea is to keep it very cold and not to let the heat from your fingers melt it. I believe this is because you want the butter to melt in the oven and create steam, which helps to make the scones flaky–it’s the same basic idea as making pie crust or biscuits.
Plop your butter chunks into the flour.
Now comes my favorite part:
Haul out your trusty pastry cutter (or two knives) and cut the butter into the flour until it looks like crumbs. You can also do this part in a food processor, or just rub the butter in with your fingers.
Behold my sexy do-rag, sweatshirt, and weird facial expression! Hey, it ain’t all Pixie Epoxy and Naked palettes up in here.
Next, stir in your liquid. As I mentioned, I used all water plus dry milk powder here because I never have fresh milk around. I think some recipes use cream too. Not this one–this recipe results in fairly lean scones.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you not overmix scones. You don’t want to develop the gluten (i.e., the protein) in the flour because that will make them tough. You want to mix just enough that the dough comes together. Then, dump it out onto a floured surface and knead it very gently, just a few times, to bring the dough into a cohesive mass.
Then, pat your dough out into a circle maybe 10 inches across, and cut it into wedges. You can see here that my dough came out pretty wet. It was a pain to work with, but the scones came out fine.
Transfer your scones very carefully to a greased baking sheet.
Bake them in your preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes. When you’re baking, it’s really important to know your oven and trust your senses. If they smell done after seven minutes, check them! When they’re ready, they will be nice and toasty brown, and they will sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom (unlike the Mister, who sounds like “Hey, knock it off, I’m doing dishes!” when I tap HIM on the bottom).
For extra Suzy Homemaker points, serve with chicken sausage omelettes and homemade blueberry jam! (By the way, if you’re at all interested in canning but don’t have the setup or the inclination for the whole sterilizing jars/boiling business, I have two words for you: FREEZER JAM. If you can mash fruit, stir, and scoop things into Tupperware containers, you have all the skills necessary to make freezer jam.)
And then STICK IT IN YOUR FACE!