January 27, 2012

Scones and Biscuits

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Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host.. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

Scones or what we call biscuits here in the US are the simplest and easiest baking powder breads to make. It takes just a few minutes to put together and they cost very little too. Thanks Audax for the enjoyable challenge. I had lots of fun making scones/biscuits.

I made the basic recipe using half-and-half and had them for breakfast topped with Philippine citrus (calamansi) curd and also mascarpone cheese with a drizzle of honey. Sooo good.

so good with mascarpone cheese and honey 
or sweet and tangy citrus curd 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons very cold butter, diced
¾ cup cold milk or half-and-half
2 tablespoons milk for glazing the tops of the scones
  • Preheat oven to  475°F. 
  • Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones will be! 
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. Knead very gently about 4 or 5 times until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. 
  • Pat or roll out the dough into a ¾ inch thick rectangle. Using a well-floured 2-inch scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out, without twisting, 2-inch rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch layer and cut more scones. Or use a well-floured sharp knife to cut squares or wedges as you desire. 
  • Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden color on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones. 
  • Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes  until the scones are well risen and are lightly colored on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.
I added 1 cup grated aged Vermont cheddar cheese to the basic recipe and cut them into larger pieces, about 3 inches and made ham and egg sandwiches for lunch. Yum!

Ham and Cheese Sandwich on Scone

I also had them with Lamb Stew with Dried Plums (recipe inspired by the novel The Hunger Games). Really delicious together.

Scone and Lamb Stew

Download the recipes, tips, and photos that Audax prepared here.


Winnie said...

The scones/biscuits look sooooooo good
I'm gonna try making them
Thanks for sharing!!

Audax said...

Those last two photos are superb so delicious looking a wonderful result on this month's challenge so glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

shelley c. said...

I love that you paired biscuits with Hunger Games inspired stew - that is just awesome. I had some of mine with butter and honey... not I want to try with marscapone and honey! As always, beautiful work on this challenge!!

Irina said...

The biscuits look great and I'm so envious of your curd! Mine was a terrible hassle - I think I'll use your recipe next time. Congratulations - photos are wonderful too!

Sandie Lee said...

your biscuits look so delicious- so does the citrus curd...

Jo said...

Your biscuits and curd look wonderful, but that breakfast sandwich makes me want to run in and make more biscuits right now!

Renata said...

I always look forward to your results on the challenges, they are always so inspiring, and your scones are no exception. They look terrific!

Korena said...

These all look so delicious. That citrus curd sounds wonderful as well!

The Backyard Baker said...

Wow....they look gorgeous !!! Congratulations !!
They are just sooo mouth watering !!

chef_d said...

Your scones look delicious...and the calamansi curd looks yummy! Great job!

Jo said...

wow- love the beautiful impact of the citrus curd, also a lovely variation instead of jam!

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