Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scone Home

I've been waiting almost 3 years to work an E.T. reference into one of my blog post titles.

For whatever reason, I've had quite a few requests lately for a scone recipe video. I should say at the outs
et, I've never made scones before (or at least never remember making scones before), and I've never been a big fan of eating them either.

I've always found them so dry and crumbly that I just assumed some devious Scottish café owner invented them to increase sales, since most of the scones I've tried take about five cups of coffee to wash down.

Then I thought, maybe I've just never had a really good one. So I did what
any social media savvy professional video recipe blogger would do; I asked my friends on Twitter for a recipe.

I got many great suggestions for all kinds of wonderful sounding versions, but since I'd never made them before, I decided to just make a plain, very traditional version to start off with. I figured I'd get the basic recipe down before trying anything crazy.

This recipe is very slightly adapted from one by someone called "Friendlyfood" on All Recipes, who claims it was adapted from a version made at the Savoy hotel in London. I have to say, I am very impressed. It was light, tender, moist and very delicious.

By the way, a couple of my favorite foodies, Denise from ChezUs, and Jennifer from In Jennie's Kitchen, may also be posting scone recipes soon, and when they do, I will share those with you as well (and believe me, they won't be as plain as this one!).

Another friend of mine, Tamar from Starving off the Land, pointed out the controversy regarding the correct pronunciation. While most Americans (and by most, I mean all) say it so it rhymes with "cone," the proper articulation is said to rhyme with "John."

As you know, I've never been big on pronouncing things correctly, and I'm not about to start now, but I wanted to point that out in case you find yourself in Scotland someday. Hey, you don't want to sound like a tourist, or worse, a Brit.

One last thing, you'll see me add the currants along with the wet ingredients. I don't understand why recipes for cookies, muffins, etc., call for fruit, nuts, and/or chips to be stirred in after the wet ingredients are mixed in. These types of recipes suffer greatly from over mixing, so I say add the chunky bits when you combine the wet and dry. Having said that, I'm not a baker, so maybe there's a reason for this common recipe instruction. Is there? Anyway, enjoy!




Ingredients:
8 ounces by weight all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup dried currants
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
(and 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon milk for the wash)

Looking for something a little less traditional? Check out these other great looking scone recipes:
Oatmeal Raspberry Scones from Joy the Baker
Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze from Steamy Kitchen
Dreamy Cream Scones from Smitten Kitchen
White Chocolate & Sour Cherry Scones from David Lebovitz

71 comments:

Barb, Diabetic Snacker said...

Love the ET reference! Nice recipe.

Fuji Mama said...

Oh, and clotted cream? You need to go find yourself some STAT. I must have clotted cream as part of my last meal on this Earth.

Fuji Mama said...

Best ET shout out EVER. Seriously. Fantastic scone video! It looks like you did a fantastic job. I have to say, I LOVE scones when they're tender and moist like yours, but despise them when you need multiple drinks to wash them down.

Chef John said...

Thanks! I will add clotted cream to my culinary bucket list.

reindeersp said...

Exactly what I was looking for! Thank you kindly :)

Basia said...

Dunno why people add things *with* the wet ingredients, but I *do* know why I mix them into the DRY ingredients before adding the wet. Dried fruit, nuts, chocolate bits all have some surface moisture to hold onto flour - and each other. Stirring them into the dry ingredients, they're less likely to clump together and more certain to be evenly distributed through the product. Adding wet ingredients after that step doesn't change that.

These look awesome. How about a savory scone now, CJ? Say, cheddar & chive?

Anonymous said...

Boy, do those look nice!

Jamie said...

I love scones and these look fabulous!!

rosemary said...

I love you! I just wish you did a write up of the recipe. I don't have a computer at home. This is something that you want to do with the full details. Will definitely try this coz only my butternut scones come out moist.

Chef John said...

just click the link in the post for the recipe source at All Recipes

bryan-in-greece said...

Clotted cream is really thick cream, thicker than the consistency of strained Greek yogurt, to the point that it has to be scraped (or preferably, licked!) off the serving spoon. It goes marvellously with scones, and the combination of scones, clotted cream and a red jam is famous in Devon and Cornwall in the UK. I love you blog, Chef John, only recently found it and it is already a big favourite!!

Rita said...

i love scones! nice to see that you're also getting into the baking goodies, as well.

Anonymous said...

Scone Henge! You, Sir, are my hero.
I can't cook worth a flip, (yet) but at least I can make them laugh. You make learning fun.
Thanks for the Vid + recipe!

Chris K. said...

That seems like an awful lot of baking powder for just 8 oz. of flour, but then again I don't use sour cream for scones.

Some protips:

After you've formed and portioned the dough - CHILL IT. This relaxes the gluten and yields a moist, tender crumb, without drying out the product too much. You want the scones cold going into the oven. Makes a huge difference.

Instead of an egg wash, try brushing them with heavy cream, and sprinkle vanilla bean sugar on top.

Savory option: use crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese. Really, really good.

Chef John said...

Chris, thanks for the tips as usual, but I honestly can't imagine the scones I tasted in this video being any more tender and moist. However, maybe chilling the dough gives one a larger margin for error for over mixing.

btw, those of you that chill the dough before baking should allow for a bit longer cooking time.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

I suppose it says something about me that there's a huge, multi-blog scone-a-thon and all I can contribute is a snarky question about pronounciation. Thing is, why would I try and come up with a recipe when you're so bloody good at it and I can just use yours?

Chef John said...

So much for my dream of a savory scone recipe using freshly dug clams.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Funny you should mention the clam scone -- as a joke. I shouldn't admit it here, but I actually thought of it. (No shells, though -- you ready for that debate?)

Anonymous said...

These look great!

I used to bake scones for my coffee house and they were very similar except for my secret ingredient that made them moist and wonderful. In each batch, I threw in a handful of white chocolate chips. I also swirled a little cream cheese icing on some of them.
People came from out of town to get my scones.

I did use cream instead of sour cream but I want to try the sour cream as I love the texture that sour cream gives baked goods.
I also used a variety of dried and fresh fruit.

Thanks for all the work you put in to this wonderful blog. I'm impatiently waiting for the cook book.
Joyce

Anonymous said...

I dream of lemon poppy seed scones. All I ate for a week during a double blizzard in DC. OMG best week ever.

jasminefromnyc said...

SCONEhenge!!! I LOVE it! Your sense of humor cracks me up all the time :-) Thanks for the laugh and all the great recipes! Keep up the great work

Pisaster said...

Cheeseboard in Berkeley makes the best scones.

Anonymous said...

I believe the full rule on splitting pairs is "Always split aces and eights, never split 5's and 10's, and split other pairs only when the dealer has a 2 through 7 showing". Oh - and I made the scones last night. My wife now thinks I'm a baking rock star! Thanks for the recipe.

Lucia said...

My favorite are plain flavored with clotted cream or savory ones with cheddar cheese and chili flakes.

Matthew said...

Hey chef john I just finished making your scones but if I eat them at room temperature it seems to leave a bit of "tanginess" or some spicy feeling on my tongue. I wonder if it comes from the sour cream or the uncooked baking soda?

I'm a little bit worried lol

Chef John said...

probably the BP. you may be someone who tastes it more strongly than other.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, I baked these last night, they came out very tasty but have a slight unpleasant bitterness to them. Can you please tell me what is it due? Much appreciated, Thanks

Chef John said...

its the baking powder (see previous 2 comments) use a little less next time.

Chef John said...

btw, everyone is using baking powder, not baking soda right?

Anonymous said...

sconehenge, hahaha.

Steve said...

Chef:

If you want authentic scones, you need to hie thee to Glasgow, Scotland, and the Willow Tea Room. The scones there are a bit more dry than what we often get here in the States and are perhaps something of an acquired taste. However, you will definitely find out what clotted cream is.

The Willow, by the way, is a re-creation the original, designed and decorated by the famed artist and architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Anonymous said...

I tried your scone recipe . That was fantastic! me and my 4-year old daughter made it together and it worked very well. In fact my daughter had all of them and gave me just a small piece:)

Thank you! Love your recipes.

Anonymous said...

Loved the recipe! I tried it last night and it worked very well!

Thank you!

tonkaslim said...

My wife used to make scones once a year or so.... they were dry and chalky and would go mostly uneaten.

I made these and we ate them all in a couple of days. They were delicious. I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream and I sprinkled a little brown sugar over the egg wash. It created a nice crust and a perfect extra bit of sweetness.

We noticed they weren't quite as good the next day so we tried reheating them in the toaster oven for about 8 minutes and they were like fresh-baked again. I'm adding dried cranberries to the next batch. Many thanks Chef.

Steven said...

Chef John,
I just finished making myself some rich, delicious creme fraiche. How would that work substituting for the sour cream in this recipe?

Chef John said...

even better!

Steven said...

Well, I did just that, and I also added the zest of half a lemon just for the heck of it. Those were some mighty good scones.

Kanji said...

In the oven now.... the dough came out stiky though... lets wait and see....

*** some minutes later ***

Lets just hope the next time they'll come out better.

Apparently the ones who baked these were happy so I must be doing something wrong...

Lely said...

woow.. that looks yumm.. i have to try this tomorrow. aniway, i have a food wish here :)
what do you think about making some madeleines? i always curious about that particular cake. thanks Chef John! u're the best! d(^,^)b

Mell said...

These scones are more than delicious... I love them.. I can eat them all day, every day :)

Made them 3 times last week...

Thank you so much! :)

hidekazuki said...

Hi, how should the ingredients be adjusted if Self-Rising Flour was used instead of All-Purpose Flour? Thanks!

jarzebina said...

Since I've found a scones' recipe in the cookbook "Baking" purchased recently, I'm making scones almost every week if not more often.

In my recipe they don't include sugar, and that's why I like them!

I'm making scones with fruits or with cheese and herbs - rosemary work so wonderfully, but others are fine too.
While typing this comment I'm having a basil one (forgotten to add cheese yesterday, but this really doesn't matter..)

Oh, another thing: there is always 1/2tsp of mustard powder in my scones' recipe.

I will try making your version of cranberry scones tonight because they run out so fast.

Thank you John for the great blog! - I've discovered it today and I just love it!

with baking hello from Montreal,
Eva

Anonymous said...

Funny i didnt see you mixing in the sour cream.

Droog713 said...

Chef John is there anything you can substitute for clotted cream or a dare I ask home version of clotted cream that you have a recipe for?

Chef John said...

Sorry, I don't know. Not an American ing. I'd google. Im not sure if I've even had it.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

I don't have a pastry cutter for the butter. What other tool would render the same result?

Thanks!

Ailey said...

Wow!! What a wonderful recipe! My daughter and I tried this out this evening. We had no pastry cutter so she used her clean hands. For my purposes I, like anonymous, would like to know what other tool could substitute for the pastry cutter (besides hands), although that gadget sure did look fun.

We didn't have currants and I didn't want to use raisins so I looked up a recipe for cranberry orange scones and we made the necessary substitutions and additions and they turned out fabulous.

What a great discovery Food Wishes is. I will be back to check out more of your videos. THANKS!!

Rachel said...

I just made scones yesterday fro the first time, using a similar recipe from allrecipes (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/simple-scones/detail.aspx)
I went with dried cranberries and sliced almonds instead of currants. They were so good I made them again today. Unbelievably easy and delicious.
Ailey and anon-- If you don't have a pastry mixer on hand my aunt would "cut" the butter in with two knives like you would cut with a knife and fork. I just used my food processor and pulsed til grainy, like in Chef John's pie crust video. Personally much easier that way, but I mix the rest of the way by hand, as over mixing is a killer for scones biscuits and other pastry, like Chef John says.

Irish Pixie said...

Well done Chef John. I'm in Scotland, and if you say it Scottish or if you say it English, the recipe works a charm and is as good as our local tea room will make.

Giwon said...

Hi Chef John,
thank you for your recipe, I made it several times and it was very good! I had to add less baking powder though, otherwise it would be very bitter...
One question I have is regarding smoking point of butter. I experience A LOT of smoke coming up, when baking at 400 degree (googled and I think its because of the butter). Is there a solution to this problem? Thank you. What would be the difference to bake it at a lower temperature and longer?

Chef John said...

Sorry, but haven't experienced or heard of any such smoking issues. Is your pan too thin? Oven temp off? No idea? I wouldnt change time temp.

Anonymous said...

Giwon, are you cooking them on just a metal cookie sheet? If yuou have one try again with a silpat or a silicone baking mat. It might be smoking if a lot of the the butter is touching raw metal in the oven. Just a guess. Good luck! ;)

Anonymous said...

hey there chef john! i had scones at a friend's house for tea earlier and because it was so yummy, i kept thinking about it....so i found your blog & decided to make it myself...it turned out delish! i just substituted the flour with whole grain organic flour and the sour cream with yogurt. thanks chef john, u have blessed hands!

1Bigg_ER said...

I got bored Friday night so I decided to try this recipe after having the Shrimp and grits. I didn't have sour cream but went ahead without it. Came out with 8 scones and only one made it overnight!!!

up next banana bread. I really think that I'm a chef now....HAHAHAHA!!!

Juliana said...

Dear Chef John,

You are so awesome and I love all your recipes! Thanks so much!

From, Juliana age 13

Anonymous said...

A batch is baking in my oven now! :) I sub yoghurt for sour cream and added blueberry-flavored-dried-cranberries (yeah it's kind of weird I know!) instead of currants. Will let you know how my scones turn out! ;)

Mildred

Anonymous said...

Yummy! The scones are indeed tender and moist. We couldn't wait for them to cool...ate them plain. :) Don't have jam and clotted cream at home. Tasty nonetheless! Thanks for the amazing recipe, Chef John!

Mildred

Emily Mulroney said...

Hi Chef John! What if I dont have sour cream? What should i use for a substitute? Thx!! They look reallly good :D

Yellow Reggae said...

I've watched this twice and still can't identify the ET reference.

Yellow Reggae said...

I've watched the vid twice now and will be making theses soon using my recently purchased pastry blender tool and silicone baking sheet. I still don't see the ET reference some are mentioning though and I've seen that film a few times!

Chef John said...

The ref is in the title! :)

Esther Tan said...

can i use chocolate chip instead of dried currant since I couldn't find any here. If yes, shuld I make the baking time longer?

Fran said...

They came out perfectly!! THANKS!! this is my first attempt to pastry ever. Instead of currants I used half cup of fresh blueberries and brown sugar instead of white sugar. To me, perfect amount of sweet, loved it!!!

Fran said...

They came out perfectly!! THANKS!! this is my first attempt to pastry ever. Instead of currants I used half cup of fresh blueberries and brown sugar instead of white. To me, the perfect amount of sweet!!!

Me. said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just finished making my first batch of scones and they are OH SO good!!! I am hosting an old fashion tea party next week and these will defiantly be a hit! I used butterscotch chips in place of the dried currents, probably not the best idea because I can't stop eating them! ;) Either way thank you so much for ALL your recipes they are so delightful!

Matho said...

Hey Chef John,

Love the recipy, tried it out and they were delicious!

Alternatively; Buttermilk can also very well replace the milk and sour cream.

Kia Dufun said...

Chef John,

I made these with my daughter (it was a while ago since I made scones) and boy, they were better than what I remembered sooo that says it all! We have substitued currants with chocolate chips and sour cream with a mixture of milk and lemon juice. And love the way the dough is soooo moist and light. You've done it again! Thank you!

Unknown said...

These scones are light years better than anything from the store. Easy to make even for a novice like me. Everyone loves them as do I. Thanks Chef John - you're the best! Gord

Danielle Mei said...

My scones tastes like pancake...why not crispy

roecla said...

I tried these today and wanted to share my experience. I did these a little spontaneously so I had to make some adjustments:

1. I don't own a pastry cutter so I cut the butter in little pieces and freezed it together with the dry ingredients and then combined things by hand. That way I didn't have problems with the butter warming up too much

2. I didn't have sour cream so I used yoghurt as someone commented.

3. Instead of raisins I used dried pineapple but twice of what the recipe asked for and added some lemon and orange zest for flavor.

The dough was extremely sticky. It might come from the cup to gram conversion of the flour, since I live in the metric system. However it wasn't a problem. I just scooped dallops onto the baking sheet without folding or kneading by hand. They turned out wonderfully fluffy and delicious and were already requested for the next birthday. Definitely a keeper!

Dreampie said...

Excellent recipe, I have made it several times and often substitute flour with 1/2 c oats for texture and health.