Friday, April 13, 2012

Simple Buttermilk Scones

      These don't look like scones you say? Yes, these are my hot cross buns that I made over Easter! Just because I am not blogging as frequently lately doesn't mean I'm not busy in the background baking delicious goodies. I actually posted up a blog post on hot cross buns last year and pretty much used the same recipe albeit a few tweaks.
      This year I made mocha choc chip buns and some traditional fruit and spice (raisins and mixed peel) buns. I made one and a half batches per flavour and ended up with 68 buns (and I think I may have slightly miscounted last year, oops). They're better than last year's attempt but still a little on the dense side but heated up and slathered with butter and they were perfect. Will try to improve on them again next year. I hope everyone had a good Easter break, I know I did!

    Scones and tea are the epitome of tea time. In the morning or afternoon, I can't think of a better combination. I'd been searching for a good scone recipe and happened to come across a simple buttermilk scone recipe from the Taste website which was perfect as I had some leftover buttermilk in the fridge that needed to be used up. I followed the recipe as is so just click on the link above for it.
      Perfect scones rely on two things, one is the recipe and two comes down to technique. They actually go hand in hand really because you could have the perfect recipe but if you overwork your dough you can still end up with some pretty bad scones.

      When mixing the ingredients, you want to literally 'cut' the mix with a butter or flat bladed knife. Once all the ingredients are mixed through, turn the dough onto a well floured surface and gently knead it until all the flour is worked through into the dough. As soon as it's combined stop, don't over do it.  It's okay for the dough to still be a bit tacky.

      When pressing out the dough and cutting your scones make sure you have plenty of flour on hand for dusting, or the dough will stick to everything.

      The trick to getting a good height is to place the scones nice and tight on the baking pan/tin, I probably could have squished mine together a bit more. And used a smaller pan with a higher side instead of a flatter tray.

Brushing the scones with some milk (and maybe even a little bit of egg yolk) will give you nice golden tops.

And you should now have a batch of some awesome scones :)

     Scones with jam and cream, the perfect accompaniment to your morning or afternoon cup of tea. For the cream, I whipped up some pure cream with icing sugar until thick and fluffy and flavoured it with a small amount of vanilla bean paste.

      This jar of jam was a present from the UK, sent back to me as part of a birthday package from my good friend Di who was on a working holiday over there a couple of years ago. I only just managed to get around to opening it up recently (lucky for the long shelf life). It goes really well with the scones. I also used the remainder to glaze my hot cross buns with as I didn't have any apricot jam on hand.

      I don't think that these can compare to the ones made by the Country Women's Association which I got to taste at the Sydney Royal Easter Show last year but they come pretty close (and Ryan gave them his tick of approval). They're that good that I've used the same recipe a few times again. I even found a recipe that claimed to be the CWA recipe but they just didn't turn out the same as those that they served at the Easter show. The perfect scone should have a slightly crusty exterior and a nice soft fluffy interior. There's so many scone variations out there though but nothing worse than dry, stiff scones. Have always had some pretty mediocre ones served up which makes me hesitant to eat them when going out. Sometimes home made ones are better anyway :)

     P.S If you're not already doing so, you can follow my micro-blogging on the following social networks - twitter, facebook, and instagram (user name: angieeatsncooks). Happy eating!


Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Mmmm mocha HCBs sound perfect! Gotta love homemade scones; I feel like making some to unwind this weekend. That jam looks exquisite; lucky you! Edible gifts are always the best gifts :)

Richard Elliot said...

Good looking scones Angie! I'd never heard the tip about placing them close together to help them rise.

I'm not sure if you Aussies have heard of Gary Rhodes? He was a TV chef about 10yrs ago, but not in the Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson league so I don't know if he travelled. Regardless of who he is, I like his scone recipe.

Finally I LOVE the fact you have some Fortnums jam. F&M is definitely worth a visit if you are in London.

Gastronomy Gal said...

I've been hearing about this Fortnums jam Angie. Seems like I will have to get myself some! The hot crossed buns look good too.

SarahKate (Mi Casa-Su Casa) said...

Those look lovely! I'd never heard that the secret to height is to put the scones closer together. Great tip!

Sara - Belly Rumbles said...

Buttermilk is a fantastic ingredient for scones. Yours look amazing, yum.

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

Fortnum & Mason jam is awesome! As is their tea, of which I have both in my pantry thanks to a friend who came back from working in London. Hope you had a great Easter!

sugarpuffi said...

i love buttermilk scones! yours looks delicious