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Tea for Two Scones

I had an opportunity to actually have Tea for Two!  Friends came to get some firewood because winter is coming! While the menfolk split and loaded the wood, she and I had tea and scones.  This is a recipe from King Arthur Baking, but I made a few changes to the ingredients and preparation.  They were easy to make, actually the first time I made scones!  I wasn’t sure she was coming so I froze the shaped raw dough the night before and baked them in the morning as it mentions in step 12 in the recipe.  They rose beautifully!  I made them with Craisins® but there are other variations included in the recipe below. 

DOUGH

  • 11½ ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (326g)
  • cup sugar (67g)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces cold butter (113g), cut up and place in the freezer for 20 minutes
  • cups optional chopped dried fruit, or chocolate or other flavored chips, nuts.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or your favorite flavoring
  • ½ cup whole milk (113g), add 1 to 3 tablespoons more if the dough is dry.

TOPPING

  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar crystals or cinnamon sugar

DIRECTIONS 

  1. In a food processor mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut ice-cold butter into 8 pieces. Scatter over the top of flour and process. Work in the butter just until the mixture is crumbly.  Without a processor, cut butter into the flour with a fork until well incorporated, it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain.
  2. Stir optional fruit, chips, and/or nuts into dry ingredients Do NOT process!
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla or other flavors, and half/half or milk. Add dry ingredients. Stir until all is moistened and holds together.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sprinkle the parchment with a bit of flour.
  5. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5″ circle (if you haven’t incorporated any add-ins); or a 6″ circle, if you’ve made additions to the dough.  The circles should be about ¾” thick.
  6. Brush each circle with milk. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar.
  7. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
  8. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about ½” space between them, at their outer edges.
  9. For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Chilling the scones relaxes the gluten in the flour, which makes the scones more tender and allows them to rise higher. It also chills the fat, which will make the scones a bit flakier. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°.
  10. Bake scones for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
  11. Remove scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm with butter, honey, or jam, if you like. When completely cooled, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days. To reheat room-temperature scones, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and warm in a preheated 350° oven for about 10 minutes.
  12. Or make the scones ahead of time. Freeze the scones for an hour or so, place in a zip-top plastic bag. Return to the freezer, and store for up to a month. Bake as directed (without thawing), adding up to 5 minutes if needed. Cover with aluminum foil the last few minutes to avoid over-browning.

Suggestions for Variations: 

  • Chocolate Chunk Scones:  Omit the Fiori de Sicilia. Add 1 cup chocolate chunks (milk, dark, or a mixture) to the dry ingredients. For a little extra crunch, add ½ cup cacao nibs.
  • Lemon Blueberry Scones:  Add 2 cups blueberries (fresh, frozen or dried) and 1 tablespoon lemon zest to the dry ingredients.
  • Triple Cinnamon Scones:  Add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1 cup cinnamon chips to the dry ingredients.
  • Savory scones:  Reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons, omit the flavoring. Add 1 to 2 cups of grated cheese, or 1-2 tablespoons fresh or dried herbs, or 1/2 cup bacon bits, just after you’ve worked in the butter, but before adding to the liquid.  Cheese and bacon together might be yummy!  I haven’t tried that yet!

*****This recipe has worked for me after making it numerous times, which is why I am sharing it.  However, I don’t guarantee it will work for everyone!  There are many factors and may depend on your ingredients, oven temperature, size of your containers, etc.  If you make this recipe, I would appreciate hearing from you!*****


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