Sunday, January 29, 2012
Daring Bakers Challenge: Scones
Did you know that biscuits are really scones? Well, thanks to January's Daring Bakers' host, Audax Artifex, we misguided Americans can start calling things by their proper names. In his primer on scones, we learned that scones are really biscuit-like creations while those hard, dry triangle-shaped things sold in cafes around the country are really properly labeled "rock cakes." Good to know.
So, Audax challenged us to make real scones. Real biscuit-like scones. Now I figured I'd be great at this since I make fabulous buttery flaky biscuits. Not that I'm bragging or anything.
But I actually had to try these two times to get them right. You see. Biscuit dough is a bit more buttery and drier than scone dough. It's a little easier to work with. Whereas the wet scone dough sticks to your hands tempting you to add more and more flour until you've overworked the dough and made it tough. Resist the urge. It's the difference between this.
My second batch turned out fluffier, more tender, and tastier all around. But I have to say, in the end, I still like my biscuits better. That's my recipe and I'm sticking to it!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into chunks
2/3 cup milk (skim is fine)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add milk all at once and stir until dough just comes together. You may have some dry bits left. Don't worry.
3. Dump mixture on a lightly floured surface, making sure the dry bits remain on top of the dough. Knead these bits into the dough gently. Only knead about 10 or 12 times. (Kneading should be done by patting dough flat a bit and then folding it in half. Turn a quarter of a turn and repeat.)
4. Roll or pat dough into a square about 1/2 inch thick. Cut using a sharp knife into about 12 squares. Transfer biscuits to a baking sheet. Bake in oven at 450 degrees until golden, about 10-12 minutes. Serves 4.
P.S. If you want to check out the scone recipe and see some beautiful scone creations click on this link!
at 5:53 PM