My first introduction to scones was during one of my high school home economics classes where we had a whole session devoted to cheese scones. They turned out to be dry rubbery flavourless things we could hardly bite into and I was so disappointed by them that I’ve always been putting off making scones until recently when I fell in love at first sight with the beautifully pictured scones on Food for Tots.

Studded with ruby-like cranberries peeking out at the edges, these cute little scones were nothing like my first attempt. Au contraire, they were rich and flaky with a golden crust baked to perfection. Scones are believed to have originated in Scotland as a quick bread baked out of soft, sticky dough with the ratio of one part liquid to three parts flour.

The proper technique in producing an excellent scone is to make sure that you do not overwork the dough. Rub in your ingredients with your fingertips to gauge the correct texture and also, use the best of everything you can afford, especially good quality butter for that wonderful buttery interior. Never again shall I be afraid by you, my dear old scone! 

CRANBERRY SCONES

 

Ingredients:

2¼ cups plain flour

1 tbs baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ cup castor sugar

½ tsp salt

½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

2 tbs plain yogurt + ½ egg (about 30g) + milk – to make up to 2/3 cup yogurt mixture

1 cup dried cranberries

2 tbs milk, for glazing

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190ºC. Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper. Combine flour, baking powder and soda in a large bowl.
  • Sieve 2-3 times to avoid any bitter taste due to the large amount of baking powder and baking soda used in this recipe.
  • Add in sugar and salt, and mix well. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into the flour mixture until it forms coarse crumbs.

  • Soak cranberriesin 3 tbs of water and keep in a fridge for at least 1 hour, then drain and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  • Add cranberries and toss gently until well combined. Using a fork or whisk, beat yogurt, milk and egg until well combined.
  • Then gently fold yoghurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix lightly until well blended.

  • Do not pour all the mixture into the dry ingredients in one go. Add in little by little and stop once a loose dough is formed.
  • You need not use up all the yogurt mixture. At this stage, the dough will be wet and sticky but manageable.
  • Add additional flour if dough is too sticky to handle. Sprinkle flour lightly on both the dough and the work top.

  • Turn the dough out and roughly work it into a ball. Press the ball down into a rectangular shape.
  • Sprinkle some flour if the dough is still wet. Fold the dough like the way you fold a business envelope.
  • Divide dough into 3 sections, 1st fold upper third to center, then fold lower third to center.

  

  • It is alright if the dough is still quite shaggy and loose at this stage. Do not knead or over-work the dough.
  • The less you work the dough the more tender and flakier the scone will be.
  • Then press the dough down to form either a circle or rectangular dough.

  • For circle dough, cut it into 8 large or 16 small wedges. For rectangular dough, cut it into 13 large or 26 small squares.
  • Push the edges roughly to shape it into a round scone. Alternatively, use cookie cutter to cut out the scones.
  • Brush tops and sides of the scones with the egg glaze. Place them on the baking tray, spacing them about 4cm apart.

  • Bake at 190ºC for 15 to 18 minutes (depending on the shape and size of your scones), or until golden brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack and serve warm. Alternatively, let it cool completely and store in an airtight container or freeze.
  • For frozen scones, defrost them at room temperature and heat at 180 ºC for 5-7 minutes. Best served warm.
Advertisements