Saturday, January 28, 2012

The daring bakers: scones


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!
And she did a wonderfull job. But she tried out many batches, so it was a lot of work. Thanks Audax, they were great.
I've thought a long time what to make inside the scone. Cream of course, but something fruity is also delicious. So I made cranberry compote.
It's a recipe from Sarah Ravens book: Food for friends and Family. It combined great with the fluffy scones.
Because we were with five of us, one scone wasn't eaten right away (that wasn't fair). The next day it wasn't that great (too hard), so a reminder: eat them as soon as you can (we prefer warm ones).

Scones (I've made 6 of them):

- 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.

Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9. 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 colour 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 coloured 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.

Cranberry Lime compote:

- 350 gram fresh cranberries;
- 50 gram dry cranberries;
- grate and juice of 1 lime;
- 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar;
- 6 tablespoons port;
- 3 anise stars;
- 1 cinnamon stick.

Put all the ingredients in a large pan. Heat the pan on medium heat and bring it to boil, while stirring. Lower the heat and simmer for about 12-14 minutes. Put the mixture in a bowl and let it cool down in the refrigerator. Remove the anise and cinnamon and warm the compote before serving.
The compote will last for five days in the refrigerator.


Audax said...

What a beautiful scone you made and that last photo looks so professional a wonderful result so glad that you liked the challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Cher said...

Love the biscuits with the compote and cream. That looks like a perfect mid-afternoon treat!

shelley c. said...

Totally aside from the actual food, I love your mug and plates!!! But for the important part, though, your scones and compote look scrumptious - It looks like the perfect treat for afternoon tea. Wonderful work.

E.K.R said...

Beautiful photos!!! Love the idea of cranberry lime compote... yummers! Thanks so much for sharing. Great job on this months challenge. :)

yummychunklet said...

I love how delicate your presentation is! So appetizing!

chef_d said...

Cranberry lime compote with scones sounds delicious! Beautiful pictures!