March 12, 2012

saturday scones (on a sunday)

Did I ever tell you guys about the time I baked scones for my wedding in my hotel room? Actually, to be totally honest, I cant remember if I baked them before hand and warmed them up in the hotel or if I baked them there. I think I did a little of both.
When Will and I got married, DIY weddings were not as cool as they were today. There was no Pinterest, no features on Design Sponge, not even a lot of books apart from the giant tome by Martha and a few magazines. We didn't really set out to have a DIY wedding. But we were poor students and considered ourselves (wrongly, I suspect) very style forward. So we enlisted a lot of help from family and friends, especially after the caterer doubled his prices and I fired him. So the bridesmaids mixed huge vats of punch on the floor of our hotel room, one uncle took photos, cousins were bridesmaids and flower girls, appetizers were made and brought from other Aunties and Uncle's kitchens. We assembled bouquets the morning of the wedding on my bed. My mother made my dress based on a few blurry photos and my descriptions, embroidering tiny flowers and beads around the neck. (And you thought I was the crafty one!) I picked up the tea sandwiches from a deli and made the scones.

I think it might have been the first time I ever made scones, to tell you the truth. I'd like to say I at least did a test run, I know I should have, but it might have gone by the wayside in those last few weeks. Lucky for me it was a good recipe.

And one I've hung onto.

Before we had kids, I made these scones almost every Saturday. We'd sleep in and then I would lazily churn out a batch while the coffee and tea steeped. It was our thing. Before walking the dogs or cleaning the house or heading off on a Saturday adventure, we had to start with scones. After Briton was born the habit fell a little by the wayside. Too many early mornings I suppose, or maybe I just forgot how nice it was to sit around in your pajamas eating hot, buttery scones with your coffee.

This week, Will reminded me about those scones. It's not that I've never made them in the nine and a half years that I've been a mom, but it's been a while. We were having a case of the remembers.

"Remember when Briton thought he could run with his eyes closed if he pretended to be a bat because he had eco-location?"

"Remember how HUGE Evie's eyes were when she was born?"

"Remember bringing home our first chickens in a paper bag?" (The farm store told us to, just to be clear)

"Remember Saturday scones?"

I didn't manage to get them made on Saturday. But on Sunday Evie and I woke up before the boys and pulled out the tattered cookbook where I scrawled the scone recipe, tweaked a little over the years, so that I'd never loose it.
This was the first time I made them in my food processor and I'm sold on it. Normally I cut the butter up in teeny tiny cubed before mixing, which does have the benefit of leaving little butter pockets here and there, but it takes a lot longer. Sunday's scones took all of six minutes to get into the oven. Just make sure you pulse, the way you would with pie crust. The less you mix them, the better the scone.
Saturday Scones
Makes 12 medium scones

7 tablespoons of chilled butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of flour
1 egg
1/2 cup milk or whipping cream


1 tablespoon of sugar
3 tablespoons of milk or cream

If you are using a food processor, cut the butter into tablespoons. For a mixer, dice into the smallest cubes you can manage with out going bonkers.

Sift together the dry ingredients into the bowl of the mixer/food processor. Add the butter and pulse or mix until you have the beginnings of that small crumbs stage you get when making pie crust. With the mixer/food processor running, add the egg and then the milk, a quarter at a time, until the dough comes together in a nice ball.

Flour your hands and pull the dough out, dividing it in half. Form each piece of dough into a flat disk that is about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut each circle into six wedges and pull them slightly apart from one another. This helps the scones to get nice and cooked all the way through but still have a soft, pull apart edge to them (because as they rise they will expand toward each other a little)
If you don't like wedges, you could also roll the dough out and cut out circles or squares or dinosaurs with a cookie cutter, but I find that the re-rolled extras get a little tough after the second re-rolling, so this is the most efficient use of dough I've come up with.

Brush on the extra milk and sprinkle with sugar and then bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are becoming golden.

*Just as a note, these aren't "American" scones which I've never really loved. They are more like a slightly sweet biscuit. Occasionally I've added currents or dried cranberries but I think they are best plain, with just a little sugar dusted on top and heaps of butter and jam inside - or if you happen to have some handy, which I didn't this time, clotted cream and jam.