Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Hot scones on a rainy afternoon

The heavy rain that poured down from the skies yesterday afternoon kept me at home. The kids are busy with their respective homeworks while I am feeling rather bored, well, restless actually.

After getting up and down for the umpteenth time wondering if I should or should not venture out and get that A.R. mail sent, I decided that I might as well stay put and warm indoors. I asked the kids if they would like some hot scones for tea and of course, the answer is always yes to mom's offer to whip up something from the oven.

I haven't cranked up the oven since the days leading up to Chinese New Year. And I still have warm memories of hot scones with fresh cream, butter and strawberry jam from a recent weekend up at Cameron Highlands.

Scone are pretty much easy to make but of course, whether the end result is one that tastes as good as it looks is another matter altogether.

The thing to remember though is to handle the scone mixture with great care and a very light hand. It should be mixed as quickly as possible into a soft dough and then use only a small amount of flour on the kneading board and knead lightly until just smooth.

Too much mixing and kneading will result in a tougher, drier dough and the scones will turn out very tough. The rule is, better to undermix if you're unsure!

Scones must be baked in a very hot oven of 220 deg.C for about 12 minutes until the top is nicely browned and the scones sound hollow when tapped.

If you brush the top of the scones with milk before you bake them, you'll get golden shiny tops. Some people like their scones crisp, which is what you'll get if you cool them on a wire rack after baking. But if like me you prefer your scones soft, wrap them instead under a clean tea-towel to keep them warm.

Scones are best eaten fresh from the oven while still warm. My kids love it best with slabs of butter melting on the warm pieces. I like them with fresh cream and strawberry preserve. And of course, a hot cup of tea!

Preheat oven to 220 deg.C.
Sift 2 cups of self-raising flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl. (If you like your scones sweet, you may omit the salt and add in a tsp of sugar instead.)
Cut 30gm of cold butter into the flour, and rub lightly with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Do this quickly.

Combine 1/2 cup milk with 1/4 cup water and slowly pour into the flour. Leave about 2 tbsp liquid for glazing.

Use a spatula to mix quickly to a soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured board (use self-raising flour) and knead gently (15-20 times is probably enough.) Press dough into thickness of 2cm and cut with a sharp round metal cutter or shape into small rolls like what I did here. Brush the top with milk.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the top is nicely browned.

Voila! Fresh hot scones ready to be served with your hot tea!

All in it took me about 30 minutes to get the scones onto the table. That's a pretty neat and quick way to make the kids happy on a wet wet afternoon.



Blogger Maverick SM said...

You are really a great mother.

I love scone and muffins.

4/4/07 23:24  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Someday, I hope to meet up with you for a lovely English breakfast, Mave!

5/4/07 15:12  

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