Basic Scone Recipe

retrochick.JPG Michele says:

During my freshman year of college, I was required to live in a dorm.  It was the most miserable experience of my life, not because I had a terrible roommate, but because I couldn’t cook or bake without having to use the communal kitchen (which meant I had to share with whomever walked by and said “mmmm”).  I told myself that I would survive that year with nary a cookie to be had, but less than a month passed before I heard about the wonders of the bakery less than 30 yards from my front door.

Desperate for a muffin, a croissant, anything, I grabbed my husband (then my boyfriend) and ran across the street, hoping that I could hide in his shadow and no one would see me committing the shameful act of purchasing a bakery cookie.  When I walked in, however, I was greeted with a surprising sight: bakers covered in flour, stretching tangy, buttery naan in plain view of the customers.  “This place isn’t so bad,” I thought to myself as I decided what to order.  My husband opted for a cookie or twelve, while my eyes went straight to one of the things I just knew they couldn’t make as well as I: scones.

We paid and took our first bites.  After I swallowed, I promptly inserted my foot into my mouth.  They were the best scones I’d ever had!  I asked if they had a secret and the counter girl winked.  I went home fuming, deeply bothered by the fact that I couldn’t figure out the trick to their melt-in-your-mouth yet perfectly crumbly scones.  I told myself I was able to delay satisfaction and that I would never again return to my local bakery, but my already weak resolve waned after a week or two.  I spent the next couple of years inhaling the various tasty foodstuffs from the bakery I loathed to call my favorite.

Then, one day I woke up hungry for breakfast and broke (as college students are wont to be).  I knew that if  I wanted to keep my bank account in the black, I had to test my skills and try to make my favorite scones myself.  I mixed up the dough, shaped it, and threw it into the oven with my fingers crossed.  And that, Home Eccers, is the day my scone recipe was born—and the day I was finally able to give up my bakery addiction for good.

Even if you’ve never had a scone, give this recipe a shot. Who knows?  You may just realize that your favorite local bakery has been in your kitchen all along!

Basic Scone Recipe

scones

Plain Scone Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (omit if using savory mix-ins)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • mix-ins (ideas below; optional)
  • egg wash (recipe below)

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Mix-in Ideas

  • 1/3 cup cranberries and 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup cooked spinach, squeezed dry, and 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dried- or rinsed and drained blueberries
  • 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, 1-2 teaspoons herbs (your choice), and freshly ground black pepper

Step One: Combine 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar (if making sweet scones), 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Step Two: Add 1/3 cup vegetable shortening and 1 tablespoon butter to the mixer bowl.  Mix on medium speed until the flour looks crumbly or pebbly.
scones1

Step Three: Whisk 1 egg into 1/2 cup milk.  Add the liquids to the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until a soft dough forms.  Add the mix-ins, if using.
scones2

Preheat your oven to 425 F.

Step Four: Pat the dough into a circle, then slice the circle into eighths.  Brush the top and outer edges of the wedges with prepared egg wash.
scones3

Place the wedges one inch apart on a greased- or lined baking sheet.
scones4

Step Five: Bake at 425 F for 16-18 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown.
scones6

Makes 8 large scones.

Michele Newell is a housewife turned blogger turned Home Ec 101 contributor.  You can read her near daily ramblings at Dreams Unreal.

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