Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Basic Scones

I have been craving something plain for days now. Something that is soft and breadlike and goes well with something sweet and creamy. But I just couldn't figure out what I wanted. On the Saturday afternoon, mum suddenly called me to come and watch Poh's cooking show with her. For anyone who doesn't know Poh, she was the runner-up for Masterchef Australia Season 1. It was my first time watching her show and that episode was quite a meaningful one. She had gone to help the victim's of Black Saturday by teaching the children in that neighbourhood how to cook a feast for their family. Most of these kids have zero experience with cooking but did a fairly good job out of it, under the supervision of Poh of course. One of the things that my mum brought up to me was that the scones they made looked delicious. I could literally imagine saliva dripping out of her mouth as she kept on saying how nice it looked. By that time everything clicked and I knew what I was craving. I told her that I knew how to make those scones too. I obviously couldn't just talk myself out of this. I had to prove myself here.
I haven't made scones ever since from highschool...so it has been a long while! I've always been a cake person because I love cake but more importantly, you didn't need to get your hands dirty as you just throw everything into the bowl and beat with your electric mixer, bake it in the oven and voila! But I guess it never hurts to try something new. Especially when you and a family member is craving for scones and coincidently you don't have enough eggs to go and bake a cake. It's such a simple recipe and requires little butter. I like that. Scones are a must when you have High Tea and jam and cream is always the ultimate companion. You can never divorce them!
Here I go with my rusty skills in making scones. They are really un-photogenic as I forgot to brush some milk on top of the scones before placing them into the oven although that didn't matter as much. What mattered was that I didn't put them close next to each other (where they're just touching) as I should've. I realised that until it had came out unevenly shaped as the scones were meant to act as a team to support each other to give you a nicely shaped scone. There is definitely no 'I' in team! Despite that, my cravings were satisfied :)

Basic Scones

(adapted from Women's Weekly MIX)

2½ cups self-raising flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
30g butter, chopped
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
½ cup (125ml) water, approximately

1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Line oven tray with baking paper or grease 19cm squared-cake pan. If you like your scones crunchy then use an oven tray, and if you like it soft then use a cake pan.

2. Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl; rub in butter with fingertips. It should look like bread crumbs in the end.

3. Make a well in the centre of flour mixture; add milk and almost all of the water. Using a knife, "cut" the milk and water through the flour mixture to mix to a soft, sticky dough. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.
Cut means to not stir. Lightly draw the knife through the flour to moisten the dry ingredients as lightly as possible.

4. Press dough out to a 2cm thickness. Dip 4.5cm cutter into flour and cut as many rounds as you can from the piece of dough. Gently knead the scraps of dough together and repeat cutting the dough.

5. Place scones side by side, just touching, in pan/tray. Brush tops with a little extra milk.

6. Bake scones about 15minutes or until browned and scones sound hollow when tapped firmly on the top with fingers. Serve with jam and a dollop of cream as you desire.

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