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Anne's Recipe - Scones - 14 Jun


SCONES AND THEIR MANY VARIATIONS

With winter upon us, scones and their variations make a good addition to hearty soups along with casseroles.  Now that school holidays and wet weekends are approaching, get the "Kids in the Kitchen" making these simple wholesome snacks.  Forget the mess - they'll have fun!!!

For perfect scones, always remember to -

- Weigh and measure ingredients accurately
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt
- Mix in milk lightly and quickly, using a knife, dough should be soft,  the softer the dough, the lighter the scone
- Buttermilk or a combination of milk/water or plain unsweetened yoghurt/water could be used

BASIC SCONE DOUGH

Makes 12   6.5cm scones

3 cups plain flour
3 rounded teaspoons baking powder
Generous pinch salt
50g chilled butter
11/2 cups buttermilk

Using a large bowl, sift in dry ingredients, rub in butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs then mix to a soft dough with buttermilk. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, gently knead, cut dough in half then press out to approx. 1cm thickness.  Using a 6.5cm round cutter, shape scones. Place onto a cold tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Brush tops with a little buttermilk. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 220degC.  Enjoy while hot and fresh.  Very moreish!

 Variations

Savoury

To the basic dough add a generous pinch of cayenne pepper and 1 cup grated cheese
Or 1 small onion plus 2-3 rashers bacon, both finely chopped and crisply cooked
Or 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard and 1/2 cup finely chopped ham
Also to the savoury variations add finely chopped parsley or chives if you wish.

Sweet 

To the basic dough add 1/2 -1 cup dried fruit, zest 1/2 lemon and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Before cooking, brush tops with a little buttermilk and sprinkle over extra sugar.

Wholemeal Substitute

11/4 cups of the measured white flour for 1 cup wholemeal flour and 1/4 cup kibbled rye or wheat

Pinwheel

Roll basic scone dough into a rectangle approx. 35cm x 30cm, brush with melted butter, sprinkle over the following - 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 grated apple and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  Nuts and dried fruit could be added. Roll up, cut into 2.4 cm slices. Place on cold tray, lined with baking paper.  Bake as for scones.

Or brush surface with melted butter, spread with a generous 1/2 cup marmalade or your favourite jam and 1/4 cup sultanas.  Bake as for scones.

Pizza Base

Roll dough out to a 1cm thick, 28cm circle. Place on scone tray, lined with baking paper, spread with a thin coating of tomato chutney, puree or sauce and top with your favourite pizza topping.  For extra flavour, savoury scone dough could be used.  Bake as for scones.
With all these variations you are only limited by your imagination.

To create a Cobbler Topping on our favourite cooked meat casserole, place scone circles around edge of dish, leaving the centre exposed.  Bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 200degC.
Also try a sweet dough - makes a nice topping for stewed fruit e.g. apple, rhubarb etc.  Use the same method as for meat casserole.  A wonderful warming winter dessert especially with a dollop of whipped cream!

Quick Scone Wedges

Turn basic scone dough out onto a lightly floured bench. Gently knead into a round shape.  Place onto a tray lined with baking paper.  Using a knife, deeply mark dough into eight wedges without cutting through to base.  Brush with a little buttermilk, sprinkle over sesame seeds.  Bake at 200degC for 20 minutes.
The wholemeal variation also makes a good alternative.  The wedges are great with winter soups.

With all these variations you are only limited by our imagination.  Enjoy experimenting. Anne.


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