The Road to Ruin is Paved with Scones

No offense to scones but they are my undoing. With a destination wedding to attend in two weeks and a dress I can barely squeeze into staring at me from the hook behind the bedroom door, it is no time to make scones! And yet make scones I have and these scones, oh these scones are ambrosial. The Greek Gods had their favorite food and so have I. My personal affliction comes out of the oven with sensuous tendrils of come-hither steam curling from their flaky layers. These scones are pillowy, chewy, buttery and utterly irresistible. I like scones of all types and tiers and my go-to staple can be found on page 634 of my dog-eared 1983 copy of The Joy of Cooking. But before bed these days, I’ve been reading Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life  and simply had to try her take on scones (with just a few Turning Ground tweaks).

The trick in this recipe, Wisenberg claims, is that “ideally, do not knead the dough more than 12 times.” Ok, this recipe sounds a lot like dad’s pancakes. The less you muck with the dough the better. So bright and early this morning, while my eldest child still slumbered and my youngest was pleasantly occupied with a basket of toys, I got to work.

Mix together:

1 c. white flour

*1c. whole wheat flour (I have a lot of trouble making any recipe with just white flour. It seems…well, like what I’m making isn’t healthy at all and so to save face, here’s my tweak- a little bit of whole wheat flour).

3 Tbsp sugar

zest from one grated lemon

2 tsp baking powder

(The recipe calls for grated ginger but I omitted this).

Mix these ingredients together and the cut in 4 Tbsp salted butter.

In a separate bowl combine 1 egg and 1/2 c. *milk (I have 3% in the house at the moment and like this best for baking)

Mix wet and dry together and “using your hands, squeeze and press the dough into a rough mass. “(p. 174) Weizenburg then goes on to describe in detail how to knead the dough but gosh, I do hate following directions. I prefer to just feel it out and so, since this wasn’t my first scone rodeo so to speak, I just mushed the dough around until it just about got heavy and then cut it into squares and placed them on a greased cookie sheet.

*In A Homemade Life, Molly uses a little half and half to glaze the scones but I wanted more lemon flavor and thought lemon juice would likely curdle the cream. So instead I mixed an egg white with the juice of 1/4 lemon and a Tbsp sugar. Then I brushed the tops of the scones with this and set them in a very hot oven.

Bake at 425F for about 12 minutes. Watch for the golden edges and in my case, because my baking sheet is nearly black, just the right hue to the brown crispy scone bottoms.

And so today my diet is doomed to failure. It is now halfway through the afternoon and so far I have eaten six scones and drunk two gallons of tea. But I think, once you try these scrumptious delights, you’ll agree that a scone day every once in a while is definitely in order.



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