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.
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
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.