The June recipe for Rose’s Bread Bible Bakers was Flaky Scones, correctly pronounced as “skawn” which I must confess I did not know. Since I’ve made one confession, I may as well also admit that I have not cared for scones or skawns in the past. I have a vague recollection of encountering scones on my first trip to London many years ago — I found them to be dry and rather tasteless. The clotted cream and jam to me were just an attempt to disguise a very boring lump of flour. So now my third confession is that I approached this month’s recipe with a bit of attitude. Since I wasn’t a fan, I didn’t really want to bake a full batch…it seemed like a waste of perfectly good flour, cream and butter. I decided to compromise and make a half recipe.
With that decision behind me, I decided to use this recipe as a test case for my new food processor. The preparation technique had some similarities to making pastry which I have done for the last three decades with a Cuisinart. I’ve had my last Cuisinart for at least 15 years and a few weeks ago the motor simply refused to start. Given its advanced age, I did not want to invest in repairs and began the process of looking for a substitute. After conducting a bit of research, I found myself impressed by the features and online reviews of the Breville family of food processors and decided to purchase the Sous Chef 12.
Since this was an experiment – making something I really didn’t like using a technique that wasn’t recommended, and using a machine that was new to me, I had nothing to lose and made another decision. I decided I wanted a savory scone instead of one sweetened with sugar and currants. I made a couple of modifications to the half recipe substituting approximately 2/3 of a cup shredded Mexican cheeses and a couple tablespoons of chopped chives for the sugar and currants. I also added an egg wash just to get that pretty brown glazed look when they come out of the oven.
After organizing my ingredients, I placed the dry ingredients in the work bowl with cut pieces of chilled butter. I pulsed a few times to get a crumbly mix, and then quickly with the motor running poured in the cream. I stopped the machine to pulse in the cheese and chives, ending up with a nice dough for rolling.
From this point on, I followed Rose’s instructions for rolling out the dough, making the business letter folds and turns, then cutting out and baking the scones. I used the convection setting on my oven resulting in scones that rose and browned nicely in 13 minutes.
So how did the scones taste? I must confess they were quite good while still warm from the oven with a flaky, buttery interior. If I were to make them again, I would increase the amount of cheese and chives a bit to give them a more cheesy taste. While still not my favorite bread, there is a good chance I would make them again. They were much better than the “flour bombs” you find at the big chain coffee shop from Seattle. One of the great things about The Bread Bible is that Rose provides very thorough instructions and background info which really helps to enable experiments like this.