Sunday, May 24, 2009
I've made these scones several times now, and my husband's and my favorite version is the one with dates. So that's what I made this afternoon. I am putting the measurements by weight, since that's the way that the author suggested, and that's the way I made them.
From The Bread Bible
8 oz. unsalted butter, cold
21.25 oz all-purpose flour
3.5 oz sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 liquid cups heavy cream
4.5 oz currants (I used chopped dates)
1. Chill the butter. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes.
2. Mix the dough. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and with your fingertips, press the cubes into large flakes. (Or use an electric mixer, mixing well until the butter is the size of small walnuts.)
Stir in the cream just until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to come together in large clumps. Stir in the currants (or dates). Knead the dough in the bowl just until it holds together, and turn it out onto a lightly floured board.
3. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 F 30 minutes before baking. Have an oven rack at the middle level and set a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.
4. Shape the dough. Lightly flour the top of the dough (or use a floured pastry sleeve), and role it out into a long rectangle 1 inch thick and about 8 inches by 12 inches; use a bench scraper to keep the edges even by smacking it up against the sides of the dough. Fold the dough in thirds, lightly flour the board again, and rotate the dough so that the closed side faces to the left (a 90 degree rotation). Roll it out again and repeat the "turn" 3 more times, refrigerating the dough, cover with plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes as necessary only it if begins to soften and stick.
Roll out the dough once more. Trim the edges so that it will rise evenly. (To use the scraps, press them together and roll out, giving them 2 turns, then roll the dough into a 1-inch-thick square and cut it into 2 triangles.)
Cut the dough in half lengthwise so you have 2 pieces, each about 4 inches by 12 inches. Cut each piece of dough into triangles with about a 3-inch-wide base and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets (prepared with either silcone mats or parchment paper). (The dough will rise but not expand sideways.) If the dough is soft, cover it well with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour before baking.
5. Bake the scones. Bake the scones one sheet at a time: cover the second sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you bake the first one, then bake the second pan directly from the refrigerator. Place the pan on the hot baking stone or hot baking sheet and bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the tops are golden brown and firm enough so that they barely give when pressed lightly with a finger (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a scone will read about 200 F.) Check the scones after 10 minutes of baking, and if they are not browning evenly, rotate the baking sheet from front to back. Do not overbake, as they continue baking slightly on removal from the oven and are best with slightly moist and soft inside.
6. Cool the scones. Place two linen or cotton towels on two large racks and, using a pancake turner, lift the scones form the baking sheets and set them on top. Fold the towels over loosely and allow the scones to cool until warm or at room temperature. (Since linen or cotton "breathes," the scones will have enough protection to keep from becoming dry and hard on the surface but will not become soggy.)
You can freeze the scones and then reheat straight from the freezer.
I hope you enjoy these scones as much as we do!