Today’s Recipes: Harvest Pumpkin Scones, Sugared Gingerbread Scones, and Bacon, Cheddar, Chives Scones. Also a traditional Cream Scone…
Most of the time when I buy scones they are tough and dry. But occasionally I get one that is moist and tender and it makes me so happy. I think a lot of us have gotten used to poorly made scones and just accepted that they will always be that way. But you don’t have to settle – follow these tips and your scones will be heavenly light and moist every time!
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about gluten in recent years – the protein that develops in wheat products and gives bread that wonderful chewiness. What you may not know is what makes it develop. “Working the dough” means beating or kneading it. The more you work dough, the more gluten develops. That is why you knead bread for a long time. The gluten helps the bread maintain its shape and rise during baking. But when you are making scones or biscuits where tenderness is the goal, you want to avoid developing the gluten as much as possible.
So for your scones what this means is that you mix all the dry ingredients together, add the butter, and then the cream. Once the liquids have been added, handle the dough as little as possible until you have a shaggy dough. You can moisten any lingering dry ingredients with a little cream and press them into the rest of the dough. Scones are typically formed into a disk and then cut into wedges. You can also form the dough into rough rounds or pat out and cut with cookie cutter into fun shapes.
In honor of the holiday season, I have included recipes for both pumpkin and gingerbread scones. I know your family will love both of these – they are a wonderful change from the traditional baked goods but still have that holiday flavor we long for all year long. Walking into the house when these are baking is one of the best things in life!
Most of us assume when you make scones that you mean the sweet treats to have at breakfast or with afternoon tea, but savory scones are also delightful. And honestly, I’ll take a killer savory scone over a sweet one every time! Somewhat similar to a biscuit, they can be served with a slathering of butter or for a decadent treat, split them in half and cover them with gravy. OMG they are wonderful! I know scone aficionados are rolling in their graves right now. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you could add sage to the savory recipe below and serve with leftover turkey gravy for a terrific new brunch item for the weekend after!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, separated
- Coarse Sugar
- Finely chopped candied ginger, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- In a small bowl, combine the molasses, milk and egg yolk until smooth; stir into the flour mixture just until moistened. Turn the dough onto a floured surface; knead gently 6 to 8 times. Pat into an 8-inch circle; cut into 12 wedges and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
- Beat egg white until frothy; brush over scones. Sprinkle with sugar and candied ginger if desired.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm.
- 2-3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 1 cup to 2 cups minced crystallized ginger, cinnamon chips, or chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 large eggs
- Coarse white sparkling sugar, for topping
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated. Stir in the ginger and/or chips, if you're using them.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and eggs till smooth. Add the pumpkin/egg to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Round each half into a 5 to 6-inch circle. The circles should be about 3/4" thick. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired. Using a knife or bench scraper that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.
- For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Bake the scones for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, with no wet crumbs. If you pull one of the scones away from the others, the edges should look baked through, not wet or doughy. Remove the scones from the oven, and serve warm. Wrap any leftovers airtight, and store at room temperature. Reheat very briefly in the microwave, if desired.
- Yield: 12 scones
- 2 cups (8-1/2 oz) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick, 2 oz) coldbutter
- 1 cup (4 oz) very coarsely grated or small diced cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup (about 1/2 oz) snipped fresh chives, or finely diced scallion tough tops discarded, the green part minced (3/4 oz)
- 1/2 lb bacon, cooked, cooled, and crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (7 oz) heavy cream or whipping cream, or enough to make the dough cohesive, divided
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly. Mix in the cheese, chives, and bacon till evenly distributed.
- Add 3/4 cup of the cream, stirring to combine. Try squeezing the dough together; if it’s crumbly and won’t hold together, or if there are crumbs remaining in the bottom of the bowl, add cream until the dough comes together. Transfer the shaggy dough to a well-floured work surface.
- Pat the dough into a smooth 7" disk about 3/4-inch thick. Transfer the disk to the prepared baking sheet.
- Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the disk into 8 wedges, spreading the wedges apart a bit on the pan. They should not be touching each other. To make mini-scones: Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a 5" round. Cut each round into 8 wedges.
- Brush the scones with a bit of cream; this will help their crust brown. If you like, you can sprinkle tops with a little cheese.
- Bake the scones for 22 to 24 minutes (18 to 20 for minis) until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the pan. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
- Yield: 8 large scones or 16 mini scones
- MAKE AHEAD: Make scones up to the point they're on the baking sheet, cut and ready to bake; don't brush them with cream. Freeze, then remove from the sheet, and wrap airtight in a plastic bag. When you're ready to bake, remove however many you want to bake from the freezer, place on a baking sheet (still frozen), brush with cream, and bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes (25 for minis), until golden brown.
If you prefer a more traditional scone, take a look at this earlier posting:
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