Hello again everyone! I’m so glad that some of you stuck around for week number two! Getting into a consistent schedule is going to be difficult for me. I’m a little late on the blog post, but at least I’m on time with the actual baking. Here’s hoping that I can keep it up for the next 71 weeks! Thanks so much to all of you that have read so far and have told your friends about this project! Y’all are amazing and I so so so appreciate all of the support!
Let’s jump right into it and get started with another fun bake. This weekend’s baking adventure revolves around probably one of the most ubiquitously British tea time treats – traditional scones!
I got a few questions about this bake in the week leading up to it. The most common being – “What kind of scones are you going to be making.” (I got this question at least three times. I’m surprised that three people actually read my blog!)
So, before we go any further, we Americans need a little scone education. Let’s get our #SconeFacts straight here.
- British scones do not have a lot of “stuff” in them. We’re used to the typical American coffee shop scones with chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, whatever in them, usually topped off by some kind of glaze. Traditional British scones are plain 90% of the time. Sometimes they will have raisins or currants in them, but some Brits consider this blasphemy as well.
- British scones are not super sweet. Scones are thought of as a particularly sweet treat. (Especially because of all of those mix-ins and glazes.) These scones only have a tiny bit of sweetness, because unlike American scones it’s preferred to top them with jam and clotted cream! More on clotted cream later…
- British scones have more of a cake-like texture. In my past baking life, I have made a ton of scones. When buying ingredients for these ones this weekend, I was shocked by how little butter was in the recipe. American scones are a lot more rich, crumbly, and dense due to their high fat content. These are a lot lighter and the texture reminds me of a hybrid of cake and a southern-style biscuit.
Yeah! So these scones are kind of just… scones. No fancy flavors, just simple fluffy goodness. Now we’re baking! I used Paul Hollywood’s scone recipe for this bake.
This week’s recipe was fairly simple as well! I’m really happy the recipes so far are only very slowly ramping up in difficulty. Hopefully I’ll be practiced enough by tennis cake week that I won’t look like an idiot. This recipe was just slightly more difficult as the instructions were a little more complicated than just “dump all the ingredients together and mix” like last week.
We begin by taking all of the dry ingredients and rubbing a bit of the butter into them before adding the rest of the ingredients. The rubbing method is often used to create biscuits, scones, and pie crusts because the fat from the butter coats the individual bits of flour and inhibits gluten development. When the gluten over-develops, it can lead to tough scones instead of the light, slightly crumbly scones we’re aiming for.
After the dough comes together, the recipe says to “Use your hands to fold the dough in half, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat.” Apparently, this is called “chaffing” which I ain’t never heard of, but I tried my best. I just ended up kneading it kind of gently which may have been correct? Not really sure.
After forming the dough, all you have to do is roll them out to about a half inch thickness, (the recipe said 1 inch, but that’s crazy thicc imo) cut into circles, and then bake for 15 min at 425. Unfortunately, mine are egg-shaped because I could only find my Easter themed cookie cutters…
All in all, they turned out really well! One batch rose a bit more than the other, but I think that might have been due to my oven. With about 5 minutes to go the ones on the top rack were looking really golden n’ good, but the ones on the bottom were still pasty.
After they were done, we ate them fresh out of the oven with the suggested toppings – raspberry jam and clotted cream. WTF is clotted cream you ask? Good question, because I sure as hell did not know either. Clotted cream is literally dehydrated heavy cream that has a gooey spread-like consistency. I thought it kind of looked like marshmallow fluff. I thought I was going to have to make my own, but S/O to Sendiks, because they came through with a lovely 5 oz jar of overpriced goo. For real though, it was pretty good… Just not $8 good.
Difficulty – 4/10 More steps than last time, and still unsure about ‘chaffing’ but easy enough!
Presentation – 8/10 Not the most exciting pastry, but they were beautifully golden brown and rose to a nice height. Negative points because I don’t think I put the standard amount of CC on the finished product. This is due to the fact that 1. I can’t afford to put $5 worth of clotted cream on a single scone. 2. A serving of that stuff has 50% of your daily allotment of saturated fat as kindly pointed out by my dear friend Dan who assisted me in the judgment of this bake.
Taste – 9.5/10 Yet again, 3/3 judges agree – pretty dang good.
Cocktail/Beer/Wine Pairing – Bloody Mary Since scones are more of a brunch thing in the U.S. I had to keep it real somehow. Also, what else are you going to drink while baking at 10am on a Sunday?
Bake #2 complete! So far, so good but next week, I’ll be baking my nemesis… bread. Will I end up with a light fluffy companion for a bowl of soup or an actual rock? Only time will tell. Until then!