Two years ago we took a vacation outside of Québec City in Canada. We stayed in a lovely little condo with our very good friends from Baltimore. Although our plan was to split the cooking, they did almost all of it. Who can complain? She's a great cook. One morning, I came up the stairs, and these beautiful scones were coming out of the oven. How could this not become part of our repertoire?
This recipe comes from The Bread Bible, my favourite bread book:
1 cup unsalted butter, cold4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour½ cup sugar2 tsp baking powder½ tsp baking soda¼ tsp salt2 cups heavy cream1 cup currants
Chop up the butter into chunks and freeze for 10-15 minutes. You want them to be firm, but not rock hard. Meanwhile, put a pizza stone into your oven, and fire up the oven to 400°F. Sift the dry ingredients together, then crush the frozen butter into lumps into the dry ingredients. I use my hands, and flatten the butter into the butter into little pancakes that are as thin as I can get them without warming them up with my fingers.
Add the cream, mix until all ingredients are wet. Then mix in the currants, or, if you have no currants available, try chopped dried cranberries or dried blueberries (blueberries are crazy expensive, though).
Dump the dough onto a dry, floured surface, and flatten into a roughly 10 x 12 inch rectangle with a rolling pin.
Fold in half.
And roll again.
What you're trying to do is create multiple layers here. Each time you fold over and roll it, you're doubling the layers.
Repeat the folding and rolling multiple times. The book calls for 3 times, I do it more like 8. But the critical part is that the dough not warm up. It needs to be cold, and the butter needs to not melt. Roll out one final time, and cut the dough lengthwise down the middle.
Divide each half into triangles, and transfer to a *non-greased* cookie sheet. If you grease it, it'll spread when you cook it. There's enough butter in there, it won't stick. For frack sake, don't butter the cookie sheet.
Toss it into the oven on the pre-heated pizza stone. Bake the scones 15 - 20 minutes, until they've browned slightly around the edges.
Pull out of the oven, and serve. The recipe I have calls for cooling, etc, but really, these things smell good, they taste good, and when you tear them apart screaming hot, they are DELICIOUS. (It's really hard to go wrong with butter and cream). They flake apart, and look at those layers coming apart in that photo. Tasty. This is one of my favourite breakfasts. Serve with chai.