5/19/11

Breakfast Scones

My sister Helen has made scones for me for breakfast on two different mornings while I have been visiting at her house. She used the same basic recipe for both days, but one day we had Blueberry Scones and another day we had Cranberry Scones. I watched the process and loved the outcome. Here's how she made them.



Breakfast Scones
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen whole
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 2/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest for blueberry scones

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat convection oven to 400 degrees F. Score and remove half the wrapper from each stick of frozen butter.


 Grate unwrapped ends of butter sticks on large holes of box grater. (You should grate a total of eight tablespoons.) Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.



Whisk together milk and sour cream in a medium bowl; refrigerate until needed.


Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in a medium bowl.




Add frozen grated butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.




Add milk mixture to flour mixture, fold with spatula until just combined.


With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times until it just holds together in a ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. 


 Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. 


Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop.


Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to a plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer for 5 minutes.



Transfer dough to a floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle frozen blueberries (or dried cranberries if you are making that version) over surface of dough, then press down so that they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula loosen dough from work surface.

 
Roll dough, pressing to form a tight log. Lay seam side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. 


Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles. This will make 8 scones. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.


Or you can choose to cut the scones into 16 triangles if desired. This is the pan of Cranberry Scones before they were baked. Helen cut the Cranberry Scones into 16 triangles and the Blueberry Scones into 8 triangles.

This is the pan of Blueberry Scones before they were baked. Either way you decide to cut them, brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.  



Bake in a preheated 400 degree F convection oven until tops and bottoms are golden brown, about 15 - 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

These scones can be made ahead and baked the next morning. Just place the scones on a baking sheet and either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, bake as directed above. For frozen scones, heat convection oven to 375 degrees F, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.  





Now for my personal opinion on the scones. They are tasty any way they are made, but I liked the dried fruit version best.  I also liked them cut into the smaller triangles better than the larger. After comparing the fresh fruit with the dried fruit, I think that I will try making the blueberry version using dried blueberries. Helen has also made these same scones in another version, using dried cherries, crystallized ginger, and pine nuts. I think an apricot version might be good, too, if the apricots were chopped into small pieces. If anyone comes up with another great version, let me know.

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