This post was meant for two weeks ago. But it is here now.
Scones have been in my life ever since I can remember. They were there at both my grandparents’ houses when we visited. Always warm. Welcoming. The perfect tea time treat.
When they made them at my mom’s house I distinctly remember standing impatiently next to the oven wanting for them to be ready. Needless to say that I almost always burnt my mouth because I couldn’t wait for them to slightly cool off. From the oven to my mouth no layovers.
Not much has changed in all of this years. It feels like yesterday. Wink. Wink.
The cool thing about scones is the following: you can prepare a big batch, bake the quantity you need for that day and freeze the rest. Yes that’s right. This means warm scones every morning or every afternoon. You only need to transfer them from the freezer to the oven and 15 minutes later you will be enjoying them next to a big cup of hot coffee or tea or hot chocolate. Why not?
I learnt this trick once I went over for early breakfast to my aunt Cutie’s and as I walked in the house I knew she was baking scones. I looked around and there they were, coloring away in the oven. Smelling heavenly. I asked her if she had just prepared them and she looked at me as if I were nuts. It was really early. And it was Saturday morning. She explained the freezing process I just shared with you.
Since I moved back to Paris in April I never made scones. Summer was starting at the time and warm pastries were not at the top of my list. Plus I didn’t have a freezer. Things have changed now: I am the proud owner of a small beautiful freezer and colder days have arrived thus making the idea of a warm scone for breakfast very appealing all of a sudden.
So I decided to make some. And some time later we are still enjoying them over a cup of café au lait on Saturday mornings. Such a great call. :)
I used a recipe from Jamie Oliver
as a base, making some slight changes here and there, but obtaining the same “crumbles scones”.
Makes 15 scones
Cold unsalted butter 150 g
All purpose flour 500 g
Baking powder 10 g
Sugar 40 g
Salt 1 pinch
Eggs 2 (large)
Milk 40 ml
Cream 20 ml
Orange 2 units
Cream for brushing the scones
says that the less you touch the dough the better the odds of getting crumblier scones. I can confirm that.
In a bowl mix the butter (cut into small cubes), the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the orange zests and the salt using the tip of your fingers until you obtain a sandy consistency. The flour should change color and become yellowish.
At this point make a hole in the middle and add the eggs, the milk and cream. Mix using a spatula. The less you work the dough the better. Once you have obtained a soft but dry dough you can stop. If necessary add little more milk to make the dough come together nicely. I did that, and ended adding 2 tablespoons of milk. It will depend on weather conditions, the type of flour etc.
Now cover the bowl using plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpad if you have one.
Roll out the dough on a slightly floured surface until its 3 cm thick. Cut out rounds of 6 cm in diameter using a cutter or the rim of a glass, and place them upside down on the lined baking tray.
Using a brush or the back of a spoon paint the scones with cream. This will give them a nice golden color.
Bake for 2 minutes approximately or until golden brown. About halfway of the cooking time turn the baking tray around in the oven so that the scones can cook evenly. Most of time ovens don’t do that!!
Serve warm accompanied of marmalade and butter :)
If you are not going to eat them all there’s no need to bake them all.
Place the scones upside down on a tray and freeze for an hour. At this point they should be frozen. Transfer the scones onto a plastic container or a freezer bag. They can be kept for up to a month in the freezer.