Saturday, June 8, 2013

Walnut and Date Scones

A scone is usually made with wheat, barley, or oatmeal, and baking powder is used as leavening. The first recorded use of the word scone was in 1513. It is a common accompaniment with Devonshire tea? I don’t really know what that means. The key to a good scone is to not overwork the dough. The more you stir and kneed the dough once the flour has been added, the denser the final product will be. 

The ingredients for this recipe are similar to a scone recipe from Alton Brown. I used 2 cups flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/3 cup sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, ¾ cup half and half, 1 egg, 1 heaping ¼ cup walnuts, and 1 heaping ¼ cup dates.

You first mix all of the dry ingredients. What do you know about baking powder? Baking powder contains a weak alkali and weak acid. It releases carbon dioxide in dough, which causes the dough to rise. Because this reaction occurs faster than the leavening caused by fermentation, yeast, breads made with baking powder are called quick breads.

If the dough contains too much acid, not all of the acid in the baking soda will be spent during the reaction, and the dough will have an unpleasant flavor. If the batter is highly acidic, some of the baking powder should be replaced with baking soda.

I also chopped the walnuts and dates at this time.

I cut the 6 tablespoons of butter into cubes and then cut the butter chunks into the dry ingredients with a fork. I initially tried using a butter knife, but that method was more tedious.

I whisked the half and half and beaten egg before pouring the liquids into the buttery flour crumbs. This is where you must be careful to not overwork the dough.

Before the dough was combined, I added the walnuts and dates.

Once the dough was just combined, I dropped two tacky mounts onto a floured surface. I flattened the dough into wide circles with my hands.

Each circle was cut into 6 triangles.

Then the triangles were placed with care and love onto a buttered baking sheet. I am not sure the pan needed to be greased, but I am a cautious baker. I baked the scones for 16 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

These were very palatable. Of the things I have made for this blog so far, this is one of the top three. The walnuts and dates make these scones very satisfying. The dates provide little bursts of sweet gooeyness, and the nuts give an appetizing crunch.

No comments: