When I first read that this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge was scones, I was a little confused. I normally feel like Daring Bakers is about techniques and baking that I’ve never made, and occasionally never heard of – and so scones…well it seemed a little a little pedestrian for the challenge. Yet, the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense. I am not a scone maker, they rarely make my to-bake list. It’s probably because my mother is an incredible scone maker and for some strange reason I tend not to make the things that she’s amazing at. (Probably because I’d rather drop in at home for the company and an excellent cheese scone rather than make them on my own!) So the challenge proved the perfect opportunity to get back to making some the best things that come out of my family’s kitchen (I would also include meringue, roast chicken and lasagne on that list….and that’s just off the top of my head!)
In the end, I decided on making two sets of scone: one savory and one sweet. The savoury ones would of course have to be my mum’s cheese scone recipe – which did not disappoint in the slightest. They are crumbly, buttery and melt in the mouth delicious with a great balance of cheese flavour. I love baking them a minute or two more than I would normally in the oven, just so that they are slightly crisp on the outside and have the perfect bite. They are also a very good basic recipe for experimenting with – some finely chopped chives or some black pepper would go very well with these. They still aren’t as good as the way mum makes them, but I have no problem with that!
I opted for cranberry orange and oat scones as the sweet ones, and I adore these massive misshapen scones. They are so buttery and sweet that they really don’t need any jam or butter, and to be honest, they are practically a meal in themselves! I also tried a cranberry-lemon version, but I’m too big of a fan of the cranberry and orange pairing to think that they are worthwhile making instead! The oats make for a good touch, providing a bit more stability and texture to the indecently buttery scone.
All in all I really enjoyed this challenge, and it had made me place scones back on the regular ‘to-bake’ list. Thanks to Audax from Audax Artifax for the challenge! Recipes after the jump.
Cheese Scone Recipes
225g SR flour
50g butter, cut into cubes
100 g lancashire cheese
snipped chives ( optional)
around 140 -150 ml milk
1) Preheat the oven to 150C fan.
2) Measure the flour and salt into a bowl. Add in the butter, and cut the butter through the flour using a pastry cutter or two knives in a scissor motion. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbles.
3) Add in the grated cheese and stir through with a fork.
4) Make a well in the centre of the mix, and gradually pour in the milk, bringing the dough together with a fork in the same time.
5) Roll out the dough onto a floured surface. Roll it to the thickness of about 2-3cms, then fold the dough over on itself – this helps the scone to neatly break in two once it is baked. Cut out and place onto a baking tray. Add a little bit of grated cheese to the top of each scone.
6) Bake for 12 minutes until golden on top and the cheese has melted into the scone.
Cranberry Orange Oat Scone
Cranberry Oat Scones Recipe:
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) (1 stick) unsalted butter cold and cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (60 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries (raisins or currants)
Zest of one lemon or orange (outer skin of lemon or orange)
2/3 cup (160 ml) buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and whisk to combine. Add the butter and using two knives or a pastry blender cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the rolled oats, dried cranberries and zest. Mix until combined. Stir in the buttermilk (adding more buttermilk if necessary) and mix just until the dough comes together.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough four or five times and then pat, or roll, the dough into a circle that is 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 1 1/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle into 8 triangular sections. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or cream and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture.
Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.