Last week, when I thought I was on the mend from this cold and cough, I decided to venture down to the kitchen and do the one thing that always makes me feel better: BAKE. The bad news is I wasn't on the mend at all - one week, two doctors visits, a secondary respiratory infection and a dose of antibiotics later, I'm feeling much better (as my friend Sean says, 'better living through science'). And the good news about the whole business is that the scones I made were amazing, and might just be my new favourite thing to have with tea.
I hadn't really wanted to leave the house, so decided to wing it and pull together a batch of warm, sugary goodness with the bits and pieces I had to hand. Tola and I are pretty good at making sure we always have the basics well stocked; flour, sugar, butter, eggs. I browsed through a few bookmarks I keep on hand for just such an occasion, and thought Heidi's wholewheat blackberry ricotta scones were as wonderful a place as any to start. Well, it turns out they were from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook I got the Christmas before last (thanks Jordy). And while I didn't have blackberries, or ricotta, I knew I had frozen raspberries and some buttermilk, so this is kind of how things worked out...
INGREDIENTS * 1 cup of plain flour * 1 cup of spelt flour (I use Bob's Red Mill, so gloriously available in Australia now) * 1 tablespoon of baking powder * 1/4 cup of brown sugar * 75 grams of unsalted butter, grated (or chopped into small pieces) * 1 cup of buttermilk * 1 tablespoon of maple syrup * ground nutmeg * 1 cup or so of frozen raspberries
METHOD Pre-heat the oven to 180 and line a tray with baking paper. Start by mixing the two flours, then add the baking powder and sugar and stir till everything is nicely combined. Use a box-grater to grate in the cold butter in, straight from the fridge. This is the easiest way I know to make a nice crumb without using a food processor. Then, using your fingers, rub the butter into the mixture till the batch feels pretty even, and it resembles course breadcrumbs. Add in the buttermilk, the maple syrup and a little nutmeg and mix together with a wooden spoon. You may need to add a little more buttermilk - you don't want the batter too wet as you are going to roll it out on the counter, but you also want to make sure the scones are nice and moist.
Lightly flour the surface of the bench and cover the batter in a little more flour, enough to allow you to easily stretch it out into a 1 inch thick round. You can then use a biscuit cutter or glass to make round scones, or, as I did, just slice the round into six equal wedges. This is the American style, so you have lovely big triangles of scone, and I have to say, I don't mind it at all.
* Inspired by Heidi making Deb's scones.