This morning I present to you:
Quick & Easy (insert ‘that’s what she said’ joke here) “Proper British Scones”
Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated March & April 2014 Issue
Today is the second go around I have made with these delicious scones. I will provide most of the original recipe with some substitutions and quick tricks. The scones can be enjoyed for breakfast with salted butter and jam, or plain on the go as a mid day snack. I also imagine them as a crowd pleaser at brunch. (Can’t you just imagine it? “OMG WHO made these scones!? They are to DIE FOR!”). OK, maybeee that’s my imagination running wild… but a girl can dream 🙂
This recipe is also super fast, with minimum ingredients (most you will already have in your pantry if you bake once in a while) and really easy clean up. What’s not to love?! It is a fun morning activity especially if done while drinking fresh brewed coffee and jamming to Lady Gaga. Just sayin.
Side note: If you are not a schooled chef, you LOVE cooking at home, and you love trying new things and learning about cooking techniques, you should consider ordering Cook’s Illustrated magazine from America’s Test Kitchen. The recipes help to advance a novice home cook’s skills by discussing the science behind the recipes, what works well in recipes and what has failed miserably. They also feature equipment reviews, and kitchen tips from readers. The only downside to the magazine is that it is only published 6 times a year. I eventually subscribed to their online edition as well which provides every recipe and equipment review they have ever published (#winning!). Anyway… enough blabbing! On the the good stuff.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (I prefer unbleached)
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp baking POWDER
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (cut into 1/8 pieces and softened)
- 3/4 cups dried currants (I used raisins b/c that’s what I had)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
Pre heat oven to 500 deg F and place rack on the upper-middle position.
Side note: The butter calls for “softened.” Of course everyone in the US keeps their butter in the fridge, so “softened butter” makes me cringe when I see it in a recipe. No one ever remembers to take the butter our earlier then when you are about to start the recipe (good for you if you are that ONE person!). A little trick I do is cut the stick into 8 squares, place on a small side dish, and position on top of the stove in the middle back while the oven is pre-heating. This perfectly softens that butter in no time. Of course this only works if you have a conventional oven where the stove is on top. If you have a fancy kitchen where these two things are not one, then consider microwaving, but only 3-5 seconds at a time. This method is difficult, and tedious because you have to be very careful not to melt the butter.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Measure out all ingredients. In your food processor, combine dry ingredients (about 7 pulses). Add butter to dry ingredients and pulse about 20 times, until butter in incorporated. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in currants or raisins (or dried cranberries, or chocolate chips perhaps!) into butter flour mixture. Set aside.
In small bowl, whisk milk and eggs. Set aside 2 Tbsp of milk egg mixture into a small bowl. Pour the milk egg mixture into the dry ingredient/butter mixture, folding together with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until just incorporated.
Heavily flour the counter where you will roll out the dough. This dough is very sticky, so when I say “heavily flour the dough, I mean it. Flour your hands as well. Gather dough into a ball on the floured counter top. Knead dough 25-30 times, until the dough forms a smooth ball. Using a floured wooden rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle until it is 1 inch in thickness. Cut out scones with a floured 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Gather dough scraps, form into ball, and roll out again same as before. Cut out remaining scones. Repeat until you are unable to roll into a one inch thick circle. Brush tops of scones with egg milk mixture that you set aside.
Side note: I do not have a 2 1/2 inch round cutter, so I used the drinking end of a floured Guinness glass and they turned out just fine. Any pint or drinking glass will do. Place cut out dough onto baking sheet.
Reduce oven temperature to 425 deg F and bake scones for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway, until scones are golden brown. Look how nice they rise! Transfer to a wire cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before eating. I made the mistake of eating one right out of the oven, thinking it would be amazing warm- like a fresh out of the over CCC (chocolate chip cookie! Duh!). BUt I was wrong. The scones are best at room temperature. They are actually amazing the following day! I keep them out on the counter for a day or two, then put them in the fridge. They will stay good for about 3-4 days in the fridge.
When you want to eat one, break in half length wise, toast for a minute, spread salty butter, mangia!
Coming up later today or tomorrow: Fried Chicken Brunch at Momofuku Noodle Bar!