Saturday, December 08, 2007

Recipe: Lazy Susan's 100% Whole Grain White Whole Wheat Scones With Currants & Oats


Happiness Is A Pile Of Warm Scones

Note: Looking for something with a little more seasonal spirit? Check out my recipe for Cranberry Christmas Scones, which are tasty any time of year. And a basket of warm Savory Cheese & Scallion Scones would be right at home on nearly any holiday dinner table. Split in half, toasted, and spread with cream cheese, they also make a great snack for hungry houseguests.

Does the world really need another scone recipe? In a word, yes. Of course this declaration is coming from a certified sconehead with a serious problem. The question I should really be asking is if I need another scone recipe, and the answer to that is a most definite no.

You see, my problem is not that I’m addicted to scones themselves, though I will admit to loving them very, very much. What I’m really addicted to are scone recipes. Despite the fact that until recently I’d been making the same three scone recipes for years, I can't stop collecting them.

The first thing I search for in a cookbook or on a food website are scone recipes. I have an entire file folder devoted to them, and when I discovered how easy it is to save things online to del.icio.us, I felt as if I’d died and gone to recipe hoarder’s heaven.

I’ve clipped scone recipes that call for buttermilk or heavy cream—which I never buy—and ingredients I hate. I’ve held on to recipes for pumpkin scones and butterscotch chip scones for years even though I think they both sound weird. There’s a recipe from Gourmet magazine for ginger scones that I’ve had squirreled away since 1993 and still haven’t tried, and another from a 2004 issue for little cheese scones that I will never make because they probably contain more calories than a piece of pie.

I keep recipes for scones that use the drop method or cookie cutter method even though I strongly believe that these are not the proper way to make true scones. I also feel that if a scone recipe does not contain eggs then it is technically a biscuit recipe, and yet I cannot pass even those up.

One scone recipe in my collection is scribbled on a 3 x 5 index card because I shamelessly copied it out of a cookbook while standing in a bookstore. I know this was a terrible thing to do, but I couldn’t help myself.

Last week at the supermarket I greedily snatched up a recipe card for raspberry and white chocolate scones, knowing full well that there isn’t a chance in hell I’ll ever make them. I finally managed to talk myself into putting the recipe back, but then I circled around and picked it up again. At least I realize I have a problem.

So far I’ve resisted cutting out the recipe for asparagus scones I found in a magazine the other day by sternly reminding myself that 1) it calls for leftover asparagus and the words leftover and asparagus simply do not go together in my world and 2) I can’t see myself ever taking any of my small and precious homegrown asparagus bounty and hiding it inside a biscuit. But I doubt I’ll be able to hold out much longer.

So when I finally had an urge to expand my scone horizons last spring, what did I do? I turned my back on my vast collection of recipes and ended up creating a whole new one of course. And while I hope you’ll let me know if you try this recipe, what I’d really like is your favorite scone recipe. I’ll probably never make it, but you know I’d love to have it.


Good Looking, Good Tasting, And Even Good For You

Lazy Susan’s Whole Wheat Scones With Currants & Oats

These scones were developed out of sheer laziness. Too lazy to try a whole new recipe, I simply tossed some oats into my tried and true currant scone recipe. The results were delicious, but the next time I went to buy oats they only had the thick kind (which I’d never used for anything), and I was too lazy to go to another store. It turns out they add a delightfully nutty texture.

About the same time, I went from never having heavy cream around to having a constant supply because I found a nearby source of milk that goes from Jersey cow to glass jar to my refrigerator. Each gallon of milk has several inches of thick cream floating on the top. (Yes, I am one of the luckiest girls in the world—this stuff is amazing). Too lazy to whip it, despite the fact that whipped cream is one of my very favorite foods, I figured it would be less work if I replaced the milk and butter in my scone recipe with cream.

Ready to prove how quickly a batch of cream scones could be oven ready, I jotted down the time and started grabbing ingredients. Totally out of all-purpose flour but too lazy to hike across the farmyard to the new building where I had a 50-pound bag, I used white whole wheat flour instead. This resulted in healthier, hearty scones that weren't little whole wheat bricks.

I overcooked the first batch because I had no idea what color they were supposed to be. Too lazy to make more, I ate them anyway. And despite my firm belief that a room temperature scone pales in comparison to one that has been nicely reheated so that the outside regains its lovely crunch, I was too lazy to reheat them--or even pull out some butter or jam.

As I gobbled up scone after room temperature scone, I wondered if they were indeed scrumptious, or if I was simply so exhausted from lambing season that anything handy tasted good. When I found myself munching down a five-day-old specimen I’d forgotten in the pantry, I decided the recipe was a keeper.

White whole wheat flour is 100% whole grain, but it's made from a different variety of wheat that it isn’t as dark and heavy as regular whole wheat flour. It is not, however, a perfect substitute for all-purpose flour, and your baked goods will come out differently when using it. White whole wheat flour varies by brand, too. I’ve had good luck with King Arthur brand (on the bag they call it "a lighter, milder, 100% whole wheat flour"), though I’m still trying to locate a local source for their organic version.

If you don’t have any white whole wheat flour and are too lazy to go out and buy some, this recipe works just fine with regular all-purpose flour. You could also replace the currants with raisins or dried cranberries or whatever other fruit you have on hand. As always, I urge you to seek out local and organic ingredients whenever possible.

Using a digital kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients makes baking a breeze. I love my 11-pound Oxo Good Grips Scale and often use it several times a day. When measuring tiny amounts, however, stick to teaspoons, grams, or milliliters for accuracy.

I highly recommend investing in a couple of heavy duty commercial baking sheets like these. At less than $14 each, they're one of the best kitchen deals around. I've been using some of mine for 20 years for everything from baking rolls to roasting brussels sprouts, not to mention perfectly baking thousands of cookies. I line them with sheets of unbleached parchment paper, which is wonderful stuff. I can usually reuse each piece several times before discarding it.

3 cups (15 oz - 425 g) white whole wheat flour (you might need a little more)
1 cup (4-3/8 oz - 124 g) thick oats (regular old-fashioned oats will work, too)
1/3 cup (2-1/4oz - 63g) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons (1-1/8 oz - 34g) baking powder (make sure it’s fresh!)
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
3/4 cup (4-1/8 oz - 116 g) dried currants
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup (8 fluid oz - 250 ml) heavy cream (you might need a little more)

Optional Egg Glaze:
Beat well with a fork:
1 egg & 2 Tablespoons milk or cream

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the currants. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla into the cream with a fork, then gently fold the cream mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly just until blended. Add up to 1/4 cup additional flour if the dough is too sticky.

On a floured surface, divide dough in half and gently pat each half into a circle about 6 inches in diameter (about 1 inch thick). With a sharp knife (I use a large serrated knife dipped in flour), cut each circle into 6 wedges and place on a heavy duty baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper.

Brush the tops and sides of scones with egg glaze if desired and bake for about 25 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, with or without butter and jam. Store in an airtight container or freeze.

To reheat a frozen scone, I wrap it in foil and pop it in my beloved toaster oven at 320 degrees on the convection setting for about 10 minutes. Uncover it during the last few minutes if you like the top nice and crunchy.

© 2007 Farmgirl Fare, the sconehead foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares stories & photos of her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.

16 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about making scones this morning but didn't feel like making the sweet chocolate ones I have a recipe for. You rock.

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  2. Wonderful! I was planning on making scones tomorrow for breakfast. I think I'll try these, but with blackberries since I have so many of them. Thanks!

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  3. Susan - do you like coconut? I have a wonderful scone recipe I think I got a few years ago from Sunset magazine ( you probably already have it). If you want it - email me - they are WONDERFUL - like having coconut dessert but breakfasty. Few things as wonderful as the simple texture sensuality (cannot imagine using that word about food anywhere but here) of a good scone! Envying you that cream! loverly indeed -btw - I posted a soup recipe this week that is pretty doggoned good.

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  4. Oh my God....This is killing me. I'm on a diet. Scones, scones, scones (groan!)

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  5. Susan, you're liable to spoil us with all this recent writing, you know.

    Can't wait to read more.

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  6. Sconehead -- snicker. I'm glad you described the white whole wheat flour. I was wondering just what it was!

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  7. Those photos of scones are wonderful. Making me hungry here.

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  8. Hi Susan,
    This may be the longest comment ever, but you NEED this scone recipe. I grew up loving my Grandmother's gingerbread, and this comes close. It's from a great Canadian baking site, joyofbaking.com Hope you try it and enjoy!

    Jan

    Gingerbread Scones
    from joyofbaking.com

    Scone Dough:

    1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all purpose flour

    3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned rolled oats

    1/3 cup (72 grams) light brown sugar

    2 teaspoons ground ginger

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

    Zest of 1 lemon (optional)

    1/3 cup (35 grams) dried cranberries or cherries (optional)

    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk

    2 1/2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Egg Wash:

    1 large egg

    1 tablespoon milk or cream

    Maple Glaze:

    1/2 cup (50 grams) sifted confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

    1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    1 - 2 teaspoons cream or milk

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the lemon zest and dried cranberries, if using. In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, molasses and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

    Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Make an egg wash of one well-beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk and brush the tops of the scones with this mixture. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with some rolled oats.

    Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    To Glaze: Mix together the glaze ingredients, adding more sugar or milk until you get the desired consistency. It needs to be thin enough that it can be drizzled over the tops of the cooled scones. With a spoon drizzle the glaze over the tops of the scones and let dry.

    Makes 6 scones.

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  9. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one out there with a scone problem.

    PS...Thankyouthankyouthankyou for enabling my scone addiction!

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  10. Ginger scones are so good! Especially the La Brea Bakery ones. The recipe, with my modifications, is here: http://maplecorners.blogspot.com/2007/11/recipes.html

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  11. Hi Katiedid,
    Yay, I rock. But, what? No recipe for the chocolate scones? Tease. ; )

    Hi Sustainablestyle,
    I love blackberries. One of these summers we'll get a decent crop of wild blackberries again. I've been wanting to make myself a birthday blackberry pie (my all time favorite kind of pie) for the past three years!

    Hi Linda Sue,
    Thanks for emailing me your recipe. It sounds wonderful. Can you believe I've never thought to make a coconut scone? Wait--should I be admitting that kind of stuff out in the open? I might lose my Sconehead status.

    Hi Love Apple Farm,
    Oops, sorry. But they're 100% whole grain! And have very little sugar. ; )

    Hi Grommie,
    Thanks so much. And spoiled can be good!

    Hi Daisy,
    Yeah, white whole wheat flour is pretty neat. I've been doing a fair amount of experimenting with it, and in my opinion it actually improves certain recipes. Others, though, should simply be left alone and always made with good old plain white flour! And some recipes you can't even tell the flour's been switched--which is good if you're trying to sneak a little whole grain into somebody's diet. ; )

    Hi Noz,
    They're delish--and a snap to make!

    Hi Jan,
    Long comments are always welcome, especially when they include scone recipes! These sound amazing. Thanks so much!

    Hi Kristen,
    My pleasure. We sconeheads need to stick together so we can offer each other support. Now, more importantly, what kind of scone recipes have you got? ; )

    Hi Annie,
    Oh, oh, oh those look good. And I've been on a candied ginger kick lately, too. That photo has me drooling. I will definitely have to actually make these! (Along with the coconut and the gingerbread ones). ; )

    Thank you all so much for taking the time to write--and especially for sharing your favorite scone recipes. Please keep them coming!

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  12. Hey! Glad I found you. Just joined Blog Catalog in the pets section BUT I have a small town blog and wondered if you would want to pitch over a recipe on a regular basis? Take a look when you have a moment.

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  13. Susan, I'm glad to know I'm not the only scone recipe addict. Yep, I'm a true sconehead too! Can't wait to try your recipes soon - maybe tomorrow morning Christmas Day? A special treat for me....fresh scones and hot tea for breakfast. I had to catch up on Dan and his girlfriends and Cary. A joyous holiday season to you all and best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!

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  14. How perfect! I'm out here, looking for recipes for scones, hoping for whole wheat, craving oats, and HERE YOU ARE! I can't wait to get home to my oven.

    And the gingerbread ones sound good too. I hope I don't get busted printing this stuff at work. :)

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  15. If you want to believe you've gone to Scone Heaven then do a Google Image search on "scones recipe." Then again, if you do, it may turn you into a blubbering idiot. :-)

    http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=scones+recipe&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=

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  16. Thanks for a great recipe. I didn't have cream in my fridge so had to use butter and I substituted sugar with honey cause I have diabetics in the house. Turned out great just like yours on screen. I too just recently became a sconehead.

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January 2013 update: I know word verification is a big pain, but it's the only way I can stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I get every day. I don't want to require commenters to be registered Blogger or Open ID users because I know many of you aren't. Thanks so much for your understanding!

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