I am late again. Maybe I need to add to my blog resolutions to get things published faster and sacrifice some quality for timeliness? I also seem to have mislaid my food note book, which may solve the blog backlog problem quite neatly.
Fresh From the Oven is a lovely bread baking group, a new challenge every month posted on a private blog, then a roundup on a public blog. I have been a member for some time and really enjoy it. Nothing is too arduous or complicated, but it is still a challenge. I have got to bake several things that I would have never have thought of before, mainly due to the International nature of the group, the kiflice and polenta bread spring to mind here. Both were utterly delicious and will be repeated in the next few months, but I would have never have considered making either had I not been challenged by the group. So do go and have a look at the blog and if you like the look of it, do sign up and give it a go.
December’s challenge was set by Anet of Waiting for Good Dough, a oaty cranberry sourdough scone. Easy I thought, although I was hampered by a very sluggish sourdough starter – considering I have woefully neglected it for about 4 months I am not surprised that it did not want to play. Happily after repeated refreshings and many hours sitting by the radiator, my sourdough is frothy and active and ready to go, although too late for this challenge. I made the non sourdough version, and added some apricots along with the cranberries. I also used soymilk, not buttermilk.
I really like these, 6 scones are in the freezer and I am looking forward to seeing how they cook having been frozen.
- 50 g (1/2 cup) dried cranberries
- 87 g white whole wheat flour
- 40 g oat flour
- 17 g (6 tsp) nonfat milk powder
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 3/8 tsp baking soda
- 5/8 tsp salt
- 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 113 g one stick or 4 oz cold butter
- 40 g rolled oats
- 340 g (1 1/3 cups) mature 100% sourdough starter
- milk for brushing
- coarse sugar opt.
Preheat oven to 400F/205C.
- Cover cranberries with warm water and soak for 10 minutes, then drain well.
- In the bowl of a food processor, place the flours, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Pulse a few times to combine.
- Cut the cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the processor. Pulse several times until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few larger (pea-sized) pieces of butter remaining.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the oats and drained cranberries lightly with your fingers.
- Add the sourdough starter and mix quickly and lightly just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be wet and sticky. Do not attempt to make a smooth dough, no kneading needed! Lightness is a virtue! Mixing the dough briefly will avoid developing the gluten which toughens the scone. If the dough is too sticky, wait a minute or two.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured counter and pat into a rectangle about 5x9 inches or a round shape about 7x7 inches, 1 inch thick.
With a dough cutter, divide the dough into wedges.
Place scones on ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for about 23 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.
- If you want to freeze the scones for later, do not bake --- place cut scones uncovered on parchment paper on flat sheet and put in freezer. Leave until quite frozen about 2 hours. Remove and put in freezer bag or container, label with baking time and temperature, and save for up to three months time.
- When desired take out however many frozen scones you need, place on ungreased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with milk and optional sugar. Placing the scones closer together will bake into softer sides, otherwise about 1 inch apart will create crusty sides. Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.
- When oven is ready, bake for about 25-28 minutes, watch carefully. do not overbake. Serve warm.
For those of you who do not have a sourdough starter, I found a very similar recipe for Oat-Currant Scones from a cookbook, Breadtime by Susan Jane Cheney. With a few alterations to make it similar to the one above, here it is:
(1/2 cup currants (or dried cranberries)
1 cup rolled oats (process half amount into oat flour)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I use King Arthur white whole wheat)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 tablespoons sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup cold butter
3/4 cup cold buttermilk (whole or lowfat)
Follow the directions above, substituting the buttermilk for the sourdough starter.
Eaten with melted butter and homemade fig jam. And I say Scone to rhyme with ON. Never Stone!
Thanks to Anet for a great challenge.