Breakfast/ Brunch

Golden Scones

Scones!  ‘Skon’ that’s how I pronounce it.  The origin and who deserves the honor is unclear, but it’s definitely from the UK or Ireland. By the way, who cares about the origin as long as one can bake fresh scones for breakfast. With butter curls, home made bumble berry preserve and a cuppa of tea or coffee, it’s heavenly. Trust me, it’s one heck of a breakfast.

The first time I had scones was in Dublin, Ireland. That was my first day at work, back in 2006. With my Irish colleagues, I tagged along to the cafeteria for breakfast. It was a self service counter. All they had was scones, scones and more scones, steel cut oats and pork sausage rolls. To play safe I picked a plain scone, a small pack of  Kerry gold Irish butter and blueberry jam. Also a small yogurt tub, a fruit and a cuppa Earl grey.

Everything was fine except I was wondering how to eat the scone. Do I put the butter and jam on top, take a bite. Or do I cut through horizontally, then spread the jam and butter. Well, did you know there is a scone eating etiquette? Yeah! I know. Scones have to be cut horizontally, then each half  is cut again making four semi circular pieces. Spread the jam and butter on these pieces, cut with a knife and stick it into your mouth with a fork. In between take sips of your tea and finish one whole piece of scone before  picking the next one. I politely asked my colleague sitting beside me to explain how it’s done and had the scone. That’s how my love for scones started. Then on , it was a regular for breakfast. I LOVE SCONES.

Scone is a slightly sweetened quick bread. It looks like American biscuits but has a dense texture. It’s non yeasted and has baking powder as the leavening. It has one part liquid and three parts flour (wheat, barley or oats). And it has to be baked @ medium or high heat. It can be baked free form, drop cookie cake like, quadrant wedges or even squares.

I like to add fresh fruits and dry fruits to my bakes. These scones have the combined taste of fresh sweet cara cara oranges and golden raisins. No kneading required and easy to make. And good quality butter makes all the difference when it comes to breads. Hence, my preference is European style butter over sweet cream butter. Kerry Gold is the best for bakes, but I found a new one in Whole Foods Market. It’s Californian Straus family creamery European style organic unsalted butter with 85%  butterfat and low moisture. It’s creamy and sweet, resulting in flaky pastries. I was in a hurry to bake scones before going to bed, so no step by step pictorial for this post.

Makes 6-8 wedges

  • 2 1/4 cups Whole wheat pastry flour * Can use AP flour or 50/50 APF and WWF
  • 3 tbsp Coconut sugar * Can use regular sugar
  • 1/3 cup Unsalted Butter * Preferably European style. Use cold butter.
  • 1/2 cup Orange segments, chopped *I used cara cara oranges. Can substitute with other variety orange
  • 1/2 cup Dried golden raisins, chopped * Can use sultanas and currants
  • 1/2 cup Plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp Freshly grated orange peel
  • 1 Egg * Can use flaxmeal egg substitute
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice
  • 1 tbsp  Cane sugar for sprinkling * Optional

Method

  • Combine flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and orange peel in large bowl. Heat oven at 400 F. Prepare the cake pan.
  • Then add cubes of cool butter and cut in with a wired pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Do not use your hand as the body heat will melt the butter. Stir in chopped orange segments.
  • Combine yogurt, cream, egg and orange juice in small bowl. Beat with whisk until smooth.
  • Stir wet mixture into flour mixture until well mixed. As soon as you add the wet ingredient, the baking powder is activated. You have to be quick.
  • Stir until the dough just comes together, add the golden raisins. Don’t overwork it at all or the scones will be tough and leathery. Remember this is quick bread, so no kneading. Mixture will be dry and sticky.
  • Spread dough into the greased 9 inch round cake pan. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and scone is lightly browned.
  • Cool for 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Cut into wedges.

Scones should be eaten fresh out of the oven. I baked the previous night and had for breakfast the next morning. In that case, warm scones by wrapping  in aluminum foil and placing them in the oven at 275 to 300 F for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not heat scones in the microwave as they will become tough with an unpleasant rubbery texture.

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