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they are, finding a good scone can sometimes be like a roller coaster
ride. I have personally experienced the peaks of the perfect to the
valleys of the dry and flavorless and everything in between. Yet
despite some disappointing scones in the past, I am always willing
to risk taking that next bite in the hopes of being rewarded with
a delicate and tasty scone.
Now, I know that the best way to enjoy a scone is just as it is
cooling, but I must say that the formula I am about to share with
you makes a quality scone that lasts beyond an hour. In fact, I have
found that they can even be enjoyed for up to a couple of days
without losing too much integrity. A little time in the toaster oven
(or microwave if they have dried out) is all it takes to revive them.
I truly appreciate the versatility that a baker can bring to a scone.
You can add the sweetness of fruits to enjoy in the morning or mix
in some savory cheese or smoked meat to accompany your dinner.
Feel free to experiment with ingredients and flavor combinations.
The best part is that you can make the two versions almost
simultaneously: mix a full batch of dough and split it in half, then
add the fruit to one half and the savory ingredients to the other
(remember to adjust the amounts; for example, only add 168 g of
dried fruit to one half of the batch). The savory version can be
shaped and placed on a sheet pan for 4 to 6 hours and held in the
refrigerator – just bake them later in the day to be ready for dinner.
One word of advice: keep your hands in the batter! There is no
substitute to gently rubbing and folding all of the ingredients in
by hand. If you usually make your scones in a mixer, you will be
amazed at the difference that mixing by hand makes – it’s definitely
worth it.
28 Pastry & Baking
North America
ost everyone I know enjoys a good scone. After all,
who can resist a warm scone, split in half and spread
with berry preserves or lemon curd? As delicious as
Publisher’s Note:
Ciril Hitz is the Department Chair for
the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson &
Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He has been
recognized both nationally and internationally with numerous
awards and accomplishments. Ciril recently published two
DVD series:
Bread Art
Better Bread.
His upcoming book,
Baking Artisan Bread
, is due for released in October 2008.
More information on Ciril and his work can be found on his
web site:
Artisan Baker
From dawn to dusk, scones are a tasty
and versatile treat
Here are a few tips on making successful scones:
• Make sure that the butter is cold and straight from the
refrigerator. Using cold butter will prohibit the butter
from completely working into the flour, thereby
producing those nice and flaky layers.
• When mixing the dough, it is best to use a folding
technique to incorporate the ingredients rather than
a kneading one. Kneading the dough has a tendency
to encourage the formation of too much gluten.
• Fold in the fruit before the dough has completely come
together. This will help prevent overworking the dough.
• In general, the wetter the dough, the more tender the
final product will be.
• If using a circle cutter to cut out scones, take the dough
scraps and gently place them on top of the others.
Make sure not to knead it, but just roll it out to the
desired thickness.
• Always let the scones rest before baking.
• Make sure the scones are completely baked within 15
minutes, otherwise they will taste dry.
For more ideas about breakfast quick breads and scone
variations, keep a look out for my second book, Baking
Artisan Pastries and Breads, due out this fall.