Wednesday, December 27, 2006

welsh scones for wednesday

welsh scones

from the history project, it is said that,
This Scottish QUICK BREAD is said to have taken its name from the Stone of Destiny (or Scone), the place where Scottish kings were once crowned. The original triangular-shaped scone was made with oats and griddle-baked. Today's versions are more often flour-based and baked in the oven. They come in various shapes including triangles, rounds, squares and diamonds.
other sources, such as the dictionary say that it may originate from dutch, from the word "schoonbrot (brood)", meaning fine white bread or from the gaelic word, "sgoon". who knows. all i do know is that they taste great, especially shmeared with butter or thick cream and preserves or jam! for interesting history about it, look at the food timeline article. states,
Scones became popular and an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788 – 1861), one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She was so delighted by this, that she ordered it every afternoon and what now has become an English tradition is the “Afternoon Tea Time” (precisely at 4:00 p.m.). They are still served daily with the traditional clotted cream topping in Britain.
the following scones are simply among one of the best that i have tried and are from a recipe by author jeff smith which i have been making for many years. these teas snacks are quick to make and worth all your effort.

after a little bit of mixing, rolling and baking, you will be rewarded with 12 beautifully golden soft scones, all ready to be slathered with rich devon cream and crowned by some fruit preserve or jam. these scones do not have anything in them like currants or raisins. they are meant not to. if you must, well.... i won't stop you. as a variation you can add 1/3 c. of grated cheddar. orange or lemon zest is good, too. i do think, however, they are perfect just the way they are. note that you must use the cream of tartar called for to obtain to correct texture — don't omit it. the oven also needs to be well preheated when they go in for them to bake quickly and properly. you can cut the scones with cutters however the way i show here has the least waste of dough and allows for the least handling, ensuring a tender final crumb.

this scone is related to the welsh tea cake or "picau ar y maen" but is not the same. the difference is in how they are served and eaten. you'll have to read the article to find out!

as an additional note, you may change the butter to margarine and the milk to soy milk to make for a parve substitute but it will not have the same flavour.


4 tbsp butter

1 3/4 c AP flour
1/4 tsp salt

6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar

2 eggs
1/3 c milk


preheat your oven to 450F.

mix the flour and salt together in a bowl.

cut cold but into cubes. do not use soft butter.

add the butter to the flour and salt and using a pastry tool, cut it until it resembles small peas.

add the sugar, and remaining dry ingredients.

in a small bowl, mix together the eggs and milk. make a well in the already mixed ingredients and pour the milk and egg mixture.

using a wooden spoon or spatula, quickly and carefully mix the ingredients together to form a soft dough. do not overwork it.

only mix until the ingredients have bound and the mixture has come together. there should be no more flour showing.

place this dough on a well floured board. and roll it out to a rectange that is approximately 1/2 inch thick.

make your first cuts by cutting down the length of the center and then two more cross section cuts so you end up with six squares.

now cut these squares into triangles by making point to point cuts. you will end up with 12 triangles.

place these triangles on a parchment lined cookie sheet and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.

bake them for 10 minutes, up to 12 maximum. do NOT overcook them. they must bake until just slightly browned. you may also brush them with cream and coat with sanding sugar before baking to gild the lily, should you wish.

remove to a cooking rack and eat while warm. they can be frozen and are good for a day or two, if any are left!

get out your double devon english cream and best preserves to adorn your creation. most of all enjoy with a good strong hot cup of tea!

if you like these snacks, like i do, check out stephanie jaworski's site, joy of scones. eyeballicious.

and for a gluten free alternative, try this one.


Allergic Girl said...

i looove scones and i loved watching jeff smith when i was a kid. i wonder if these would work as GF and with brown unprocessed sugar? that could be a fun experiment.

burekaboy — said...

hey allergic girl :)

jeff smith really was fun to watch (in spite of his, ummm, later reputation). i, too, remember him when i was young(er). he always had some interesting and amusing story to go along with what he was making.

you know, they may work GF as the dough for scones is not "worked" so that you DON'T have gluten formation and the baked product remains "short" as opposed to, say, a bread. it would definitely work with brown unprocessed sugar. are you talking about sucanat? i have another recipe which uses brown sugar so it does work.

i'll let you know if i find anything GF re the scones. if you experiment, i'd like to know what you end up with. :)

Pammie said...

Hi Burekaboy, mmm, yummy scones. I lived in the UK for two years and so I often had cream teas. I once went on a walk around Lake Derwent in the Lake District and saw a cozy little lodge where I could have a cream tea and read the newspaper after the walk, except, they gave us the kind that come in a big box and they tear them apart so you can still see the perforations (!!) and served them cold and a little stale...argh! Then again I have also had the UK's best cream tea in Cornwall, beauty, my dad and I went there TWICE !!

Say, I've been thinking. How did Monkey find out about my post?

burekaboy — said...

hey pam - i can't stand when you go somewhere in a foreign country and end up getting a crappy facsimile of a specialty. i mean, "fresh" from a box? lol, to add insult to injury, fresh served stale!? and i was so vicariously enjoying the first sentence or two of your somewhat bucolic story!!

didn't you know monkey has HUGE ears? duhh, he read your comments and followed the links, silly girl. monkey see, monkey do!! :) sssh, he may be listening.

Ostara said...

Oh, yum! I haven't made scones for years but somewhere have a recipe very much like yours that includes the lemon zest. Heavenly!

You need a warning lable for your blog -- "May result in hunger and cravings!" LOL

burekaboy — said...

ostara - i like this recipe a lot, especially since it doesn't result in scones so hard they could be called stones! i really can't stand paying 2.50 @ starbucks or 2nd cup and getting a horrible product.

these freeze well, too and are super light. i didn't have a lemon or orange to put rind in this time :( they were still just as good. i have even used powdered green tea (matcha) in them. it's very flexible for flavour combinations.

i think sam just meowed that he wants some! or was that the bird?

ML said...

Those scones look very good! I love your pictures!

burekaboy — said...

ML - hi there. thanks! :) i limit myself to how many i will eat by freezing them, otherwise.....

Shelliza said...

I noticed this recipe here a few days ago, but didn't comment. Ironically, my son has developed a new love for scones. There are only a few places around here with good ones, so on our search this weekend, I couldn't hep but think about this recipe you have here. I'll make it today and let you know they turned out. I'm sure Connor will enjoy them. He loves good food:)
Thanks for the recipe!

burekaboy — said...

shelliza - often, the ones i find here (usually at a café) are always dried out and hard. not a pleasant experience. most of the time, i end up making my own.

this recipe is extremely easy and quick to make. the good part is that they will stay fresh for several days afterwards (keep them in a ziploc or a container) :D mine never last THAT long!!

hope Connor likes them — he should, they are fairly sweet and don't have any "things" in them. unless, of course, he likes them that way with raisins, etc. which you can add, if you like.

looking forward to hearing how they fare. :)

Shelliza said...

OMG, I made them and they are tres yummy! Connor LOVES it and likes it warm with Strawberry Preserves. Of course I have to really control myself, otherwise I'd eat all 12 (LOL). Thanks for the great recipe. I'll definitely make them again.

burekaboy — said...

hi shelliza - so happy you liked them :D i had to laugh because I ATE all 12!!

glad that connor loved them. they will be fine for a few days and you can rewarm them either in the toaster oven or microwave.

i make these often and keep a frozen supply :)

Pink Granite said...

Thanks for the good wishes over my way! I'm continuing to feel fine. They say the heat wave should break tomorrow, so I'll be making these this weekend. I'll pop back to let you know how they turn out.
But I'm confident they'll be just yummy!
- Lee

burekaboy — said...

hi lee - you're welcome. glad to hear you're on the mend...

these are quite simple to make. just try not to overwork the dough. you can freeze some of them if you don't finish them off right away.

hope you like them. if you can get your hands on double (english) cream or devon cream, DO IT!! sickly rich but worth every mouthful, i say!! :)

Pink Granite said...

Oh My!
They were scrumptious!!!
Many thanks!
- Lee

burekaboy — said...

hi lee - glad you liked them :) they keep well frozen, too. you can add things like dried cranberries or raisins, etc. but i like them best plain. thanks for letting me know what you thought :D

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

It took me the Devon experience a few years ago to refresh an old yummy recently renewed addiction... Inspired from BBC Food, my home version of scones includes buttermilk though, as I was told once it was The traditional ingredient.

Thanks for answering with your photographs the last trouble I had with understanding (believing trusting...) it could be done with that sticky dough of mine, with no overflouring as a result ;)

thank you thank you thank you :)))

burekaboy — said...

hi 'anonymous' - you're very welcome, welcome, welcome! :))

if one has never made them before with a sticky dough, it's hard to imagine (or believe) they'll cook into anything good.

buttermilk makes a big difference in the overall flavour. however, part of the reason for it is so that it reacts with the baking powder or soda or cream of tartar to act as a leavening agent. texturally, this gives very light scones such as the ones here. otherwise, hard as ROCKS! LOL.

continued enjoyment with your addiction! i share your love for them, especially on weekend mornings.

thanks for the visit and comment.

Bae said...

hi there,

nice scones you have there. i was just wondering u said 4 tbsp of butter, but howcome your photos looks like more than 4 tbsp or maybe just my imagination. i would like to try it out but have to hold back bcoz of this.


burekaboy — said...

bae - thanks for your comment and visit.

the 1/4 c amount is correct; the photo looks magnified. also, canadian butter comes in a solid 1 lb brick and not in sticks (like butter in the USA). i cut off a 1/4 cup slice so it looks like it is more than the amount called for.

hope you do try these. they are worth the effort! enjoy.

Bae said...

hi there again,

thanks for the reply, so 4 tbsp is equivalent to 1/4 cup? i live in Malaysia and sometimes i come across recipe required butter in stick i was wondering how much is 1 stick or 2 stick. i will surely tried your scones one day and will let u know the outcome ya.


burekaboy — said...

bae - glad to help. butter in north america is always sold (as a standard) in 1 lb (454 g) units. in canada, where i live, it is sold as a rectangular solid block. in the USA, they divide the block into 4 long quarters or "sticks" and wrap them individually. therefore, you'll see in many recipes the amount of a stick. remember though, 1 stick *1/4 lb* = 1/2 cup or 8 Tbsp (113 g).

in the recipe for the scones here, americans would say use a 1/2 stick of butter or 1/4 CUP * 4 Tbsp * (56 g).

hope that explains things better for you. if you have other questions, let me know! :) sometimes it is difficult to understand our measures, especially if you use the metric system. in canada, we use both but americans don't.

Bae said...

hi there,

i'm so happy that u reply me in such a short time and all the details, thank you so much for it.. it is indeed very helpful to me. you see, i have so many recipes that required butter in stick. but have to hold back bcoz i do not know the exact amount in grams.hahaha. guess i'm going to find all my recipe that i have put aside for so long. many thanks again ya


burekaboy — said...

bae - you're welcome ;) if you have other questions, just ask.

have fun making those recipes you've been saving!

Bae said...


finally i've the time to make this. i follow your recipes and instruction to the dots but somehow the dough is too sticky to handle and i can't even place it on my floured board. what i did was i scoop it and place it on the baking tray and bake it. i thought i won't work but to my amazement it is so delicious. hahaha. what went wrong ya? was it my 2 eggs are too watery. coz i'm using large eggs.