Thursday, March 13, 2014

English Scones

English Scones

I recently had to make a dish for my daughter's preschool international dinner.  Last year I made my favorite Czech Christmas Bread because my mother's paternal grandmother was born in the former country of Czechoslovakia.  By heritage I am Ukranian, German, Czech and English, and my husband is mostly Scottish, Irish and English (and all Canadian) so the options were endless.  But a lot of the famous dishes from those countries contain meat and I don't like to cook meat that often and wanted to make something simple and easy that kids might like, and would be convenient to bring to a pot luck.

Traditionally, scones are made with white flour and white sugar, but since those are two of the major reasons for all of the health problems our country faces, I had to make mine slightly different.  I still use regular wheat flour, but it's my favorite organic whole wheat pastry variety, and the white sugar is also organic (GMO free) cane sugar.  There is still tons of butter to make them flaky and delicate, and the add in options really are endless.  About half of the scones that I made were eaten at the dinner, which was fine with me because I brought the rest home and stuck them in the freezer to enjoy as breakfasts and snacks for weeks to come.  They make a perfect addition to a kids' school lunch or snack and will keep in the freezer, if well sealed, for a couple of months.

English Scones

4 C. organic whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 C. organic white cane sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. unsalted organic butter, frozen
2 T. orange zest, optional
1 C. dried fruit, nuts and/ or mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 C. organic buttermilk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium sized bowl.  Grate the butter over the bowl of flour and use your fingers to blend the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add  in the orange zest, if using, the dried fruit, nuts and/or chocolate chips. Stir the buttermilk and vanilla all at once into the dry mixture.  (Because I was making two separate types of mini scones, I divided my dough before adding in any fruit, nuts and/or chocolate chips, and once the dough was formed, divided it into 6 small circles.) If making the scones all the same, you can turn the entire bowl out onto a lightly floured surface, knead gently once or twice and divide into two or three circles.  Cut the circles into wedges and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet with enough room for them to expand a bit. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes. The scones should feel firm and crusty when touched but remain soft and moist inside.

flour and butter mixture

divided in half
(chocolate chip, orange cranberry)

all mixed together

ready to cut

portioned out

ready to bake

orange cranberry

chocolate chip

evening snack time

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