I think of myself as a bit of a hypothetical baker. You see, in my head, I am a pro in the science of baking. I skim through recipe books and pinterest and think to myself, yeah I could totally do that.
Sadly, reality does not always meet up with our expectations, and baking can sometimes be a bit of a challenge for me. I am the type of cook that loves to feel my way through things. A pinch of this there, a dash of the other there. As such, the precision that is required in baking can sometimes escape me.
But this blog is meant to trace my culinary growth and so I am making a concentrated effort to confront my baking demons. So know that when I do post a successful baking recipe on here, it is with the assurance that if a novice like me can do it, anyone can do it.
The last time I tried to make scones, I somehow managed to produce boulders or rock buns or something like that. I distinctly remember staring at them with a furrowed brow as I tried to rack my brain on exactly what I had done so wrong.
It was only after some later research that I realised that I had committed the cardinal error of over working them. So when I tried making them this time round, I made sure I handled the mix with the utmost care. I do believe that the technical term for this handling is ‘chafing’.
But humourous baking terms aside, as long as you’re not kneading the mixture, scones are a pretty forgiving baking project. I was able to flavour a basic scone recipe with bluberry and lemon with relative ease. My end result were scones that looked slightly crispy on the outside but were soft and fluffy on the inside.
Blueberry and Lemon Scones
Adapted from the Essential Baking recipe Book
Makes roughly 12 scones
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
by Abida at The Red Lychee
250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
30g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
250ml milk plus extra to glaze
Zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
pinch of salt
1) Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F / Gas 7). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2) Sift the flour, baking powder, suagr and a pinch of salt into a bowl.
3) Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4) Add in the blueberries and the lemon zest. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients
5) Add the lemon juice to the milk. Add almost all of the milk into the bowl and mix with a flat knife. Use a cutting motion until all of the dough comes together in clumps. Add the remaining milk if necessary.
6) With lightly floured hands, gather the dough together and place on a lightly floured surface. Do not knead or the scones will be tough.
7) Pat the dough out to 3/4 inch/2cm width. Cut out rounds using a cookie cutter. If there are any left over trimmings, gather them together and make sure not to over handle them before cutting.
8) Place scones on tray and glaze tops with milk. Do not let milk drip over the sides of the scones. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the scones are golden brown.
Smear with jam like I did or some butter and enjoy with a nice cup of tea. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.