Thursday, June 17, 2010
I'm still on a quest to make the perfect scone. I feel a little closer this time than ever before, but I'm not there yet. What could be so difficult about making a scone, you might be asking yourself. Well, it's got to be sweet, but not too sweet, flaky but not dry and not chewy. Perfect scones are possible. I've eaten them before, but I'm beginning to think they were manufactured in a plant using chemical compounds to deliver the right amount of crips exterior and bready interior.
It's been blazes hot lately, and I'm loving every minute of it. I adore summer: its heat, sun, watermelon, tomatoes, ice cream, not its mosquitos, its pools, campfires, bike rides, everything. When I'm inside, I long for the outdoors. It was so hot the day I made these peach-oat scones that the butter melted instantly, which is not a good thing in this situation. The dough for the scones swiftly turned to batter when I turned it out on my new table. They stuck everywhere. Amanda tossed copious amounts of flour onto the mixture, while I scraped the peach-flavored goo onto the baking tray. According to Martha Stewart's instructions, I put the scones in the freezer for half an hour or so before baking.
They turned out pretty good. Amanda asked if I would start a bakery with them. No, I wouldn't. So they're not that good. I think that's a pretty good gauge of whether I would make something again or not. So I guess these scones don't cut it. They're fine. Good. The oats lend a heartiness. They're probably the best scones I've ever made, but still. I'm not there yet.
Peach-Oat Scones: from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
1 cup oats
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks cold butter, sliced
1/2 cup dried apricots or peaches, coarsely chopped
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon cream
Stir together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter, mixing until it forms crumbs. Fold in the dried fruit.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. Add the wet mixture to the crumbly one, mix with a spatula until the mixture comes together. Turn out the dough on a (heavily) floured surface. Form the dough into a rectangle--try not to get too sticky--that is about one-and-a-half inches thick. Cut the rectangle into triangles and arrange on a baking sheet. Place sheet in the freezer for one hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 when you're ready to bake. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with the cream and brush it over the scones. Sprinkle sugar atop the scones. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the scones are golden brown.
Read about my other scone escapades here, here and here.