Hello friends, and Happy Friday to you! Just in time for the weekend, I thought I’d share a tasty recipe with you all, quick enough for a Sunday breakfast or afternoon tea, and perfect for this time of year.
Do you have a “baking thing”? Some type of baked good, be it iced cakes, muffins or pies, that you often fall back on, and have maybe even become known for in your circle of friends? For me, this thing is scones. I just love how easy yet impressive (to my friends, at least) they are. I whip up a batch often enough that I’ve got a few tricks up my scone-making-sleeves.
The main thing that you’ve got to know about scones is that, until the moment they’re baked, they want to be cold. Bowl? Cold. Flour? Cold. Butter? Ice cold, baby. I even freeze my dough and bake the scones from frozen– it encourages a lovely rise, and means that you can do all the prep work in advance. This trick also means you’ve got no excuse not to make a double batch, and save half for a later date.
The base recipe for these scones comes from one of my favourite baking books, Rose Carrarini’s Breakfast, Lunch, Tea. Rose Bakery in Paris is a must-go every time I visit the city, and I can never resist one of their delicious scones to start my day.
(Yes, I realise it’s crazy that I’d cross the channel and eat scones for breakfast. Shouldn’t I be having a croissant? What’s wrong with me? Once you’ve tried them, you’ll understand.)
I’ve adapted this recipe by adding a touch of pumpkin purée and seasonal spices for that unmistakable autumnal flavour. These are delicious with butter, jam, or – trust me here – marmite.
Note: I gilded the lily a bit with these, and added a brown butter cinnamon glaze once they were cool. I shouldn’t have; it overpowered the delicate flavours of these scones and they didn’t need it. For that reason, I’m not including the glaze recipe here, but you can find a similar recipe here.
adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea by Rose Carrarini
340g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
35g (1/2 cup) rolled oats
1 heaped tablespoon baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
160g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
4 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons pumpkin purée
1-3 tablespoons milk
1 egg or a couple tablespoons milk
- Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt together in a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into 1cm pieces and toss in the flour mixture. If the room is very warm or if the butter softened considerably while you were cutting it, put the whole bowl into the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal, but with some larger (pea-sized) pieces of butter remaining.
- Mix together the maple syrup, pumpkin, and one tablespoon of the milk.
- Pour the wet ingredients into dry, and stir until it just comes together into a soft dough. I use a dough whisk for this; they’re perfect for blending things which you don’t want to overwork. If the mixture seems too dry, add more milk one tablespoon at a time, but it should not be sticky at all.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly-floured surface and give it 1-3 turns until it comes together. Press into a 3cm thick disc, and wrap tightly in clingfilm. Place in a cake tin(to help it keep it’s shape: not necessary if you have a flat surface in your freezer!) and freeze for at least one hour, or as long as a month (wrap in several layers of cling and foil if it’ll be longer than overnight).
- When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough disc from the freezer and leave to defrost a little. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the disc into 8 wedge-shape scones with a large sharp knife; it sometimes helps to run it under hot water between slices. Move the slices a couple centimetres away from each other. Brush the tops of the scones with some beaten egg or a bit of milk.
- Bake scones for 20-25 minutes, until evenly golden on top. Let cool for a while, and eat warm or at room temperature.
All images © Eleanor Büsing