Sunday, 25 December 2011

towering high

Warm, buttery scones are such a delight to wake up to, especially on a Sunday morning.

The problem with baking away from home is, I could only stick to very simple bakes that require minimal use of baking equipments or tools. Baking up a batch of scones is probably the simplest way to stop my itch for baking. They can be put together without using a whisk nor a spatula.

It was one of those rare occasion when I felt really proud of myself when I took out this tray of towering high scones from the oven.

Look at how tall these scones have rose from a mere 1 inch thick rounds. They have doubled their height after spending not more than 15mins in the oven. These are the tallest scones I have ever made! Thanks to a recipe that I came across not too long ago. The trick for yielding towering high scones lie in 'folding' the dough a few times...almost the same concept as making the pastry dough for croissants. I have came across similar recipes that call for rolling out the dough and making 'envelop' folds and repeating it a few times. However, I was a little skeptical as I have came across too many scone recipes that often warn you not to over work the dough. This recipe that I followed recommends a slightly different method of doing the folds. Instead of rolling the dough out with a rolling pin, the dough is gently pat down lightly before it is cut into halve. Then, one half is stacked over on the other before the stacked dough is pat down again. The process is then repeated a couple of times. I am all for this method as I am confident that I wouldn't over handle the dough too much.

I bought this lovely cookie cutter from a tiny baking supply shop in Sanlitun (三里屯). My children and I were walking towards the bus station after a light lunch at Sanlitun village when I spotted the signage of this shop from a distance. I didn't even notice its existence when I passed by the same lane, twice. There are only three display racks inside the shop, yet I managed to buy 2 cookie cutters, some cocoa power, cake flour, dried cranberries and even birthday candles ;)

I used this cutter to cut out the scones since it is the same size as recommended in the recipe. As expected, the scones didn't retain the flower shape after baking...but the height of the scones more than compensated for the lack of visual appeal.

I actually felt half-hearted when I started working on the dough, which was dry compared to the sticky and softer doughs that I am more familiar with. I was expecting a total failure and I felt like kicking myself for replacing fresh strawberries, as called for in the original recipe, with dried cranberries. However, much to my delight, the scones turned out wonderfully light and fluffy, and very tall! These freshly baked scones were so delicious that they were good even on their own. All I needed was just a cup of hot coffee to go with them. They certainly worth the extra effort to wake up slightly early to make them for my family. I have never woke up to the smell of buttery scones baking in the oven, but I am sure it must be a very nice feeling...

Towering High Cranberries Scones

(makes about 9, using 4cm cutter)

200g cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
50g unsalted butter, Cold, cut into small cubes
30g caster sugar 1 pinch of salt 90ml milk, I replaced with plain yoghurt
40g dried cranberries, cut into smaller pieces

extra 1 tablespoon milk for brushing
some icing sugar for dusting

  1. Sieve cake flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Place unsalted butter into mixing bowl. With a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. 
  3. Add in sugar, salt and dried cranberries, toss gently until just combined. 
  4. Add in milk, gather the mixture to form a rough dough. 
  5. Place dough on lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough gently for about four to five times. -
  6. Pat the dough to a rectangle shape, about 3cm thick. 
  7. Cut the dough into half. Stack one half over the other. Pat the dough into 3cm thick rectangular shape again. 
  8. Repeat the above step for another 2 times (note: handle the dough lightly, scones will become tough when over handled.) 
  9. Finally, pat the dough into 2cm-2.5cm thick. Use a lightly floured cookie cutter (4 cm diameter), cut dough into rounds. To ensure better rise, press the cutter straight down, do not twist the cutter. - Gather the remaining dough, pat into 2cm - 2.5cm thick and cut out the remaining rounds. -
  10. Place the rounds on baking tray (lined with parchment paper) about 1 inch apart, brush top with milk, sprinkle with icing sugar (I replaced with caster sugar since I couldn't get icing sugar). 
  11. Bake in preheated oven at 200degC for 10-12mins or until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool, serve warm.
Recipe source: 幸福烘焙工坊, by 本间节子


Small Small Baker said...

Sending greetings from here all the way to Beijing! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :)

happybowl said...

A very very Prosperous and Happy New Year to you HHB

Passionate About Baking said...

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to you and your family!

Wen said...

Wishing You A Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi SSB, Merry Xmas to you too! Warmest greetings from Beijing :)

happybowl, Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

Jane, same to you too!

Wen, thanks! and may all you Christmas wishes came true :):)

thecoffeesnob said...

This sounds like the perfect thing to wake up to on a Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas to you and your family, HHB!

Ah Tze said...

Merry Christmas and have a blessed 2012!

Happy Flour said...

Wishing you and your family A Merry X'mas!

CY said...

Hope you and your famity had a lovely Christmas, this scone recipe is definitely different, I must give it a try!!! All the best for 2012!

the experimental cook said...

Whoa - Baking away from home ! I tried in my hol apartment but gave up, because unlike you, I did not bring my kitchen scale. Kuods!

Bakertan said...

Merry Xmas and Happy 2012 in advance! Hope you have a great festive season. May 2012 be a year of more bakes and exciting adventures in the kitchen.

I am thinking of making scones now that I have left over cream =]

Delphine said...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & family!

edith said...

Have a Blessed Christmas.

Daphne said...

I love scones, yumm and Happy New Year 2012 in advance to you!

createwithmom said...

happy holidays delicious looking scones

cybil said...

They look so yummy!!
Happy new year to you!
Greetings from Geneva/Switzerland

Yamile said...

They look delicious!!! Happy New Year !!!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

This is my New Year resolution - to bake my first scone in 2012! Happy New Year, HHB!

baking mom said...

What a delicious way to start up my year. Thanks for sharing it to us. :)

Mary said...

These really have amazing height and they look delicious. I am new to your blog, so I spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Baking Scientist said...

Thanks HHB for this delicious recipe. I always fall back to this recipe whenever I need to make breakfast for my girl :) She prefers chocolate chips so I always added chocolate chips for her :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you HHB for sharing this recipe. I baked these scones last Sunday. They didn't rise as high as yours but still tasted great. I used milk but will try using yoghurt to see if there is any difference in taste or texture. May I know if you used normal baking powder or double acting baking powder? Thank you!

Happy Homebaker said...

Hi Butterfingers, I used normal baking powder (brand is bake king). Maybe you can try pat the dough thicker before cutting into rounds. Also maybe your baking powder is not as active especially if it has been open for some time? Yoghurt or buttermilk will yield better texture.