There are a million scone recipes out there in the world. I can guarantee that you don’t need another one, but…I’m going to share this anyway. These are my mom’s, more bready than crumbly and barely sweet at all. They call for a good slathering of jam or honey for breakfast or dessert although you could probably omit the raisins and go all savory on them with an egg, a swipe of tomato jam, and a handful of arugula. The thing I like best about them, though, is that they’re hard to screw up because the dough’s not too delicate. I have never made a decent biscuit in my life (though lord knows I’ve tried), but somehow these scones rise in pseudo-laminated layers every time. I’ll confess that I even screwed up the batch in the photos by getting all the way to the shaping and cutting before I realized that I forgot to add the raisins. I smooshed up the triangles of dough and kneaded in the raisins, convinced that I’d end up with hockey pucks from overworking the dough, but low and behold, they still turned out great.
I added a bunch of new podcasts to the list on the right for your (and my) listening pleasure. I want to specifically point out a new one, Local Mouthful, hosted by my friends Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars and Joy Manning, editor of Edible Philly. I really like these two women as people, but they’ve done a fantastic job right out of the gate delivering quality audio media. Give it a listen.
Also, the above photo shows an optimistic version of my kitchen table these days. I’ve jumped on the kombucha-brewing bandwagon, so my poor table is always a cluttered mess. We’re hoping to get moved to the new house in the next week or two where there is considerably more counter space. Hallelujah!
The original recipe is from The Vegetarian Epicure, but this version has been tweaked significantly.
makes 8 medium-large scones
1/2 cup plain yogurt + 1/2 cup milk (or 1 cup buttermilk)
1 good egg
2 Tbs. sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (optionally including up to 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour or other whole grain flour) + extra for dusting
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold salted butter
2/3 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
In a measuring cup, thoroughly mix the yogurt, milk, egg, and sugar.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the biggest pieces are pea-size.
Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon to stir together the ingredients at first, but once mixed, turn it out on a lightly floured surface, and gently knead the dough with your hands. Add flour as necessary and continue to knead gently until all the ingredients form a cohesive lump. Don’t knead more than necessary, but also don’t be afraid to handle the dough enough to fully blend it. After the dough comes together, knead in the raisins (or cranberries).
Cut the dough into two equal sections. Pat each section into a disk about an inch thick. Cut each disk into quarters. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment, leaving at least an inch between scones. Let the scones rest while the barbecue (or oven) warms up.
Heat the barbecue and heat-insulating apparatus on medium. You can see photos and a description of my standard insulating apparatus here, but if you come up with your own system that works as well or better, I’d love to hear about it. (Alternately, heat oven to 350°.)
When the barbecue is hot, place the baking sheet on the heat-insulating apparatus and close the lid. Check the scones after 15 minutes, rotating the scones if they appear to be baking unevenly. Bake another 10 minutes or so until some of the edges have turned golden brown, checking and rotating as necessary.
These scones are best served warm from the barbecue or reheated within 36 hours of baking. Serve with lots of butter, honey, and/or jam.