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Trying for Flaky Scones, with flavor variations

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breadsong's picture
breadsong

Trying for Flaky Scones, with flavor variations

Hello, I have some sharp cheddar to use - scones sounded good - I've been trying this way to make them.


These are a Cheddar variation - makes 12. Note I actually made 24 in this batch, which are pictured.

Ingredients:
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
1 cup heavy cream (I started with 208 grams which is a little less than 1 cup)
Half-and-half cream as needed
30 grams grated sharp cheddar


Method:
Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse a few times to combine.

Remove the cover of the food processor and distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients.
Cover and pulse 10 times. Mixture should be crumbly. Pulse a couple of more times if needed. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add the grated cheddar to the bowl, and mix in with your hands so all of the cheese is coated with flour.
Stir in the heavy cream and mix until clumps of dough form. I used a dough whisk for this:


I turned the clumpy part of the mixture out onto the counter. There's usually some dry bits underneath that haven't mixed in:


I stirred in a bit more half-and-half cream until more clumps formed then turned this out onto the counter too:


Using a bench scraper, I get underneath some of the dough and lift and press on top, to get the dough to come together. I do this from all sides, until it comes together into a dough ball. I try not to directly touch the dough, and press with the bench scraper, so I don't warm the dough up with my hands:


As I am making 24, I rolled the dough ball into a 10"x14" rectangle (using the bench scraper to push on the edges to even up the sides as needed); if you are making 12, roll to approximately 10"x7". I then did a business-letter turn with the dough:


And a second time (dough is getting smoother):


And a third:


A final roll to 10"x14", (10"x7" if only making 12), then divide into triangles (24 or 12 depending on how many you're making)(I don't do rounds because I prefer to not deal with scraps). I divide using the bench scraper, and am careful to keep the bench scraper vertical, that is, perpendicular to the counter, and to cut cleanly, straight down, and to not drag the bench scraper sideways. (I read somewhere this helps the scone to rise straight up):


I placed the shaped scones on a parchment-lined baking sheet (13"x18" because that's what will fit in my fridge), covered in plastic wrap, and chilled for 1-1/2 hours before baking.
One half hour before baking, (if making 24, consider whether you are baking on one big sheet or two smaller ones). Position oven rack(s) near the center of the oven. Heat oven to 425F.

Remove scones from fridge, remove plastic wrap.
If making 24 like I did in these pictures, transfer scones to one 15"x21" parchment-lined baking sheet or two 13"x18" parchment-lined baking sheets, to spread them out more/increase airflow around the scones so they bake properly, when baking all 24 at once.
Brush tops of scones with half-and-half. Place scones in oven.
Bake for 12-15 minutes (I baked these for the full 15 as they were well-chilled). Depending on how evenly your oven heats, you may want to rotate your baking sheets or move your scones around on the baking sheet partway through the bake, so they bake/brown evenly.

After 5 minutes in oven, after 10 minutes in oven, and the finished bake:


Somewhat flaky layers (some cheese melting out!) and a crumb shot:


These are an Irish Cream with Chocolate variation, with thanks to Neo-Homesteading's post! for a great idea!
This is what I tried for ingredients (makes 12):

Ingredients:
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
1/2 cup chocolate chips, pulsed in food processor until chopped up a bit (or you could use mini-chocolate chips)
1 cup heavy cream (I used a little more than 1 cup, 240 grams, as this is what I had left in my carton)
Half-and-half cream as needed
1-1/2 Tablespoons Whiskey (Irish if you've got it!) or Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar (for sprinkling)


I followed the same method as for the Cheddar variation above, except:
- added the brown sugar to the dry ingredients in the food processor at the start of mixing
- added the chocolate chips (not cheddar!) to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl
- added the whiskey and vanilla extract along with the heavy cream to the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl
- after brushing the scones with half-and-half, I sprinkled them with Turbinado sugar, then baked.

I found this dough wetter due to the higher amount of heavy cream and Whiskey addition; I didn't have to add hardly any half-and-half to get all the dry ingredients to bind together.
The scones were browned at 12 minutes but I baked until 14 minutes as this dough was wetter. Depending on how your oven heats, you may want to turn some of the scones around partway through baking so they bake and brown evenly and don't get too dark in any one spot - this dough has a higher sugar content and it browns well. The aroma coming out of the oven was amazing while these were baking! :^)

Here's a couple of pictures of the finished scones (the picture on the right with a small bit of glaze applied, made by mixing some icing sugar, 1 Tablespoon whiskey, 1 Tablespoon Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur, a bit of half-and-half, and a tiny pinch of salt). The increased liquid did make these less flaky, so next time I will reduce the amount of heavy cream to that used for the cheddar scones, 208 grams, and see how it goes:





Happy baking everyone! from breadsong


 


 


 


 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

Those are not only lovely breadsong, but they sound easy as well.  I can almost smell those Irish Whiskey scones from here! 


You have inspired me to try an adaptation of your Irish Whiskey variation in my project to develop a corn flour scone with dried cranberries and candied ginger.  I think it will advance my effort significantly.  Thank you!


OldWoodenSpoon

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello OWS, Thank you so much. Your flavor combination sounds really good. I hope you are happy with this technique for your corn flour scones. Please do post about them - I'll look forward to seeing your pictures and reading about you made them!  Thanks, from breadsong

arlo's picture
arlo

I love the idea of folding the dough similarly to puff pastry. I never would have thought of that. I typically mix till crumbly, add my liquids and shape.


An excellent post!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello arlo, Thanks very much! I did borrow the folding idea from when I've made Quick Puff Pastry (The Pie and Pastry Bible - Rose Levy Beranbaum). When I made that puff pastry, I was always amazed at how all of these crumbly bits of dough would eventually smooth out after the turns into a cohesive, rollable pastry dough...I thought maybe the same thing might work for scones.  Thanks again! from breadsong

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Great post, breadsong.


Your scones look delicious!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks for your kind words. From breadsong

butterflygrooves's picture
butterflygrooves

With coconut milk and shortening instead of cream and butter?  They would obviously have a coconut flavor and would be made sweet rather than savory.

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, I've got some coconut shortening (the ingredient label says 100% coconut oil but it's solid and white like shortening) that I picked up for some Australian baking recipes I wanted to try. I've got some coconut milk too, for cooking. I'll give it a try and post the results, as soon as I am able.  Regards, breadsong

butterflygrooves's picture
butterflygrooves

With 1 cup of coconut milk, 5 tbsp vegetable shortening and 1 cup of shredded coconut.  OH MY GOODNESS, they are delicious!


They came out pretty wet so I had to sprinkle in more flour to get a thicker consistency, added about 1/2 cup of extra flour.  They are not flakey like your scones but they are soft and fluffy.


They only taste like coconut because of the shredded coconut, the coconut milk doesn't give an overwhelming coconut flavor so it could be used in a savory recipe as well.


I brushed the tops with  extra coconut milk and sprinkled with Zulka Azucar Morena (mexican pure cane sugar).  The tops came out shiney while the bottoms came out burnt.  I had to bake for 17-18 minutes because of the wetness.


I will be trying again today and will post pictures.


Coconut curry scones today?

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello, That sugar you used on top sounds absolutely yummy - I'd love to see pictures of your coconut scones! from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I love scones and these are look so delicious, tender and moist!


Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thank you for your compliments. We always enjoy the cheese scones; this is the first time I've made the Irish Whiskey ones - out of this world good! I had to taste one (wanted to make sure they were OK) as I'm giving them as Birthday gifts to a couple of girlfriends (Happy B-Day, Bailey's or Birthday, take your pick!).
From breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

This opens up a world of possibilities. Maybe a Margarita Scone with Tequila and lime zest?  Or a Mai-Tai Scone with Rum and Pineapple?


Beautiful scones, Breadsong.  Thanks.


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Ha ha Glenn. Your ideas are wonderful - getting pretty close to 'cocktails for breakfast'!  And arlo just wrote recently about his Rum and Eggnog Scones!
-- breadsong

arlo's picture
arlo

Oh goodness...a mai-tai for breakfast is just what is needed.


I should look into this idea and formulate it some how. Perhaps dry pineapples bits with curacao, dark rum and bit of orange juice to substitute in for some of the liquid. Top with a simple confectioner frosting of dark rum, powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream...


I think I smell a good morning coming out of the oven.


By the way, I just made these scones after work this morning with blueberries and chocolate chips. Pretty tasty!

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

We have a project!


I'm more of an idea guy (being only semi-competent at execution) and Arlo's a pro (and breadsong might as well be).  I think we've started a "Morning After Scone" project ("Hair of the Dog Scone" doesn't sound as appetizing).


Dried pineapple bits sound good. I wonder if orange extract would pack more citrus punch than orange juice.  And just a pinch of lime zest for zing.  Would boiling down some Myers' dark rum enhance the rum flavor or just waste the alcohol?


I think I need to retract my "no more sweet baking until February" pledge.


Glenn


 


 

butterflygrooves's picture
butterflygrooves

Some Kahlua chocolate sauce and Malibu chocolate sauce in the fridge, those would make excellent "morning after" scones!


Forget the coconut curry, I am going with the rest of you!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

I'm thinking of soaking dried pineapple in amber or dark rum? And perhaps a touch of dark rum for the glaze? Swap coconut for orange/citrus and call it a Pina Colada?! from breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I was rumaging around our liquor cabinet looking for Curacao (closest we have is Grand Marnier), and I happened upon an airplane size bottle of what may be the secret ingredient for my tropical cocktail scones.


IMG_1980


It must have been some long ago flight from Hawaii.  I have no recollection of acquiring this hooch (maybe it was so good I don't remember a thing).


I think I'll soak the dried pineapple in this and rum, and see what happens.


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello arlo...two of my husband's favorite things are blueberry and chocolate (along with Mai-Tai's of course!).
Your idea of formulating a Mai-Tai scone? Please do!
Mmm, everything sounds good. I'm happy you liked your scones!
from breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

Breadsong,


I made two half-recipes of these scones today--a savory one with cheddar cheese and bacon and a sweet one with rum and liqueur-soaked pineapple.  The texture was perfect and the flavors were (dare I say) addictive.


I will post details on my blog, but meanwhile, thanks for this formula and technique.  It's a winner!


Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Glenn, I took a look at your post - great pictures and a great result!!!
You are so welcome and I'm glad you're liking the formula and technique.
From breadsong

GSnyde's picture
GSnyde

I made these scones again today, but with lemon and cranberries.  They are awesome.  The dough was too moist, due--I think--to the water the cranberries held.  So I added more flour.  Also, they were not lemon-y enough for me.  


The formula below adjusts the liquids and lemon flavors to where I think they should be (I'll try it again).

1 cups (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

½ Tbsp baking powder 

1/4 tsp kosher salt

scant 1/4 cup golden brown sugar

2 ½ Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 

1/2 cup rough chopped dried cranberries (soaked overnight in water, excess water squeezed out)

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Just less than 1 cup heavy cream (185 grams)

 2  Teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract 

I followed Breadsong's technique (except I never cut them as pretty as she does, and I put no sugar topping on these).

I'll post this bake in my blog, but wanted to put it here for easy reference to variations on Breadsong's spectacular recipe.  

Thanks again, Breadsong!

Glenn

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Glenn,
Lemon-Cranberry is a delicious flavor combination for scones!
Re: the liquid absorbed by the cranberries, I recently made a raisin-rye bread, and the raisins were prepared for baking by soaking in cold water for 10 minutes only, then drained, covered and left to rest overnight. I liked how the fruit softened up for baking without being too wet...I wonder how this might work for dried cranberries?
Thanks Glenn for posting your flavor variation!
from breadsong

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,
Sylvia kindly replied to one of my posts, with pictures of her lemon rosemary scones, and lemon rosemary raisin bread.
They looked so good! Here is her idea, using the scone recipe above, to make Lemon-Orange-Rosemary-Raisin Scones:

I used:
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp kosher salt
5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
1 cup half-and-half (242 grams)
1 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
the grated zest of two lemons and two oranges
4 ounces by weight of golden raisins

Thanks so much, Sylvia, the flavor combination is really, really good!
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Oh breadsong, how I love oranges, zested, juiced, candied!  Mike just brought me in a bag of fresh oranges yesterday...he said I know you wanted some juice.  I live by several groves and love their beauty!  When you said you liked orange zest with rosemary, I thought it sounded so delicious and, now seeing your lovely scones and recipe my mouth is watering for a cup of tea and one of your scones!  What a delicious sounding combo of lemon, orange zest and golden raisin's with rosemary all rolled up into a beautiful creamy scone : )

Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello,
I tried making these scones with buttermilk - they baked up with a nice flaky texture! - 
here are the ingredients/quantities used :^)


A picture of the baked scones:
  
Another picture of what these scones were enjoyed with (fresh berries, crème fraîche and rose petal jelly!):


Happy baking! :^) from breadsong