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Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Scones aka Biscuits January 28, 2012

Filed under: Breakfast,Scones,The Daring Bakers' — pastrybrush @ 1:44 pm
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Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!


And everyone rejoices, YAY!

I guess in Australia and England these are called scones, but in North America we refer to them as biscuits. Scones, biscuits, I don’t care what you call them they are straight up yummy. This recipe was actually very easy to make and came together very quickly. I have learned over the years that when you make biscuits/scones there are two important things to remember, 1) work quick because you don’t want the butter/lard/fat to melt because they make your biscuits flakey, and 2) if you want some layer action, it is like making puff pastry, fold the dough over on itself a few times during the kneading process. Both of these things have helped me make scones/biscuits that are nice and fluffy.

These scones/biscuits turned out perfect. They had a nice fluffy texture, and rose to a perfect height. No crazy hard hockey puck biscuits here. I made up a batch and we had them with breakfast this morning. Without further ado, here is the recipe. I am being summoned by my little nugget, Emma, she isn’t happy that Mommy isn’t paying attention to her 🙂 Happy baking and eating.

Recipe Source: The challenge scone (biscuit) recipe has been especially formulated by Audax Artifex after a large amount of research and experimentation. It is designed to help you master the techniques involved in making scones (biscuits) exactly the way you like them.

Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
Recipe can be doubled

1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Basic Biscuits (Vegan) October 11, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Breakfast,Tuesdays With Dorie,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 6:48 pm
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This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort.  She picked Dorie’s Basic Biscuits which are located on page 21 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  As I explained in last weeks post, this is Vegan Month of Food and all of my posts will be made Vegan.

This week Tuesdays with Dorie was no exception.  I perused some of my vegan cookbooks (Vegan Brunch and Vegan with a Vengence) to make sure that I made the biscuits as close to the recipe as possible.  I have made vegan biscuits before (Pumpkin and Regular) and with most biscuit recipes you just have to replace the milk and the fat that you use for the biscuit and voila, yummy biscuit.  That was the exact changes that I made for the recipe.  Instead of 6 tbsp of unsalted butter, I used 4 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and 2 tbsp vegetable shortening.  Instead of 3/4 cup milk, I used my go to non-dairy milk which is rice milk.  It has a much more milk flavor than soy, which works out well if you have someone that doesn’t like the flavor of soy.

The biscuits turned out great.  They rose the perfect amount and were light and fluffy.  It was the perfect morning breakfast or side to a yummy tofu scramble 🙂


Tuesdays With Dorie: Maple Cornmeal Biscuits and Blueberry Oatmeal Scones May 24, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Scones,Tuesdays With Dorie — pastrybrush @ 11:25 pm
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I actually baked both of these ahead of time.  But with the whole pregnancy thing, trying to get the house in order and work, I just never got around to posting.

So here we go, last weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Lindsay from A Little Something… Sweet.  She picked Dorie’s Maple Cornmeal Biscuits which are located on page 24 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  At first I wasn’t going to make these because I had just used up the rest of my maple syrup for last months Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Maple Mousse.  Then I came across Jessica of My Baking Hearts entry, and she used Golden Syrup instead of maple syrup.  I thought that was a great idea and I just happened to have some Golden Syrup in my pantry.  Thank you Jessica for the idea 🙂

For the recipe I made the following changes:

1) Substituted Golden Syrup for Maple Syrup

2) Substituted the all-purpose flour for White Whole Wheat Flour

3) Used buttermilk instead of whole milk

This biscuits actually turned out really well, and they reminded me of a milder version of cornbread 🙂

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Patricia from Life With a Whisk.  She picked Dorie’s Oatmeal Nutmeg Scones which is located on page 30 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I have actually made this recipe before as a  Peach Oatmeal Scone, and again I wanted to mix it up so I made a Blueberry Oatmeal Scone.

I made the following changes to the recipe:

1) Substituted White Whole Wheat Flour for the All-purpose Flour (I guess you can say I am trying to be healthier)

2) Substituted Non-fat Milk for the buttermilk (I ended up running out)

3) Omitted the nutmeg and baking soda

4) Added 1/4 cup dried blueberries and 1/4 cup frozen blueberries

5) Added sugar on top of the scones to make them look pretty

The scones turned out great.  You really couldn’t tell that I used white whole wheat flour, and the dried and frozen blueberries gave the scones a great blueberry flavor without making it taste artificial.  The recipe was very easy to put together.  Especially since I decided to use a scoop to shape the scones instead of forming them into triangles.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Pumpkin Biscuits…Vegan Style October 20, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Tuesdays With Dorie,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 4:38 pm
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100_2427This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Erin of Prudence Pennywise.  She chose Dorie’s Sweet Potato Biscuits which are located on page 26 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  All last week, I kept thinking if making these pumpkin would be okay.  Then I strolled on over to the comments section and somebody asked the question I was thinking, and Laurie actually came back with what to do via Dorie.

Yeah, that sounded completely confusing 🙂

I ended up making these late last night.  Yay, for procrastination baking.

If you want to make the recipe pumpkin you have to add the following to the recipe: 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, and 3/4 – 1 cup pumpkin puree.   I also decided to up the spices and I added a pinch of the following: ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  The spices added a hint of that pumpkin spice flavor in the background.  Finally, to make these vegan I just substituted 6 tbsp of  Earth Balance Vegan  Buttery Sticks for the 6 tbsp of unsalted butter.

These turned out GREAT.  I heated a few up in the microwave :SHOCK: and added some spread to them this morning for breakfast.  I have to say that mine were not as flakey as others, but I would be to blame on that front.  I man handled the dough 🙂  But as biscuits go, I would more than likely make these again if I had some extra pumpkin on hand.


Vegan Adventure #7 September 3, 2008

Filed under: Breakfast,Vegan — pastrybrush @ 7:00 am
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Back in college, I used to always go to this vegetarian restaurant. They had the best breakfast in the entire world. I would stick with my usual scrambled eggs over spicy potatoes and a homemade biscuit as my side. Every once in awhile I would mix it up and get cheese or salsa on the eggs, or go the Belgium waffle route, or just plain oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and brown sugar (when I was trying to be healthy). I loved their coffee too. The restaurant actually had a coffee house/bakery around the corner. and you would know when the fresh biscuits and bread came in because they literally brought them through the front door still on the sheet pan 🙂 . The place was nice, small, and had the friendliest people working there. I miss it.

Every time I went in there I would look at the menu like I usually do and noticed that they had a few vegan options. One of which was vegan biscuits and sausage gravy. I always wanted to try them, but was scared. When I saw this recipe for the same thing in Vegan with a Vengeance I knew that I had to make them the first time I had a chance. (more…)