Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Time to Make the Biscuits. And Scones. Mmmmmm!

I love to bake. LOVE IT. I remember when it started. I decided to make Baklava from scratch for Christmas one year. You know, the traditional, Italian Baklava ;)  Kidding. I was looking to make something to bring to my in-laws for dessert that wasn't already taken. There are many impressive bakers in the family and I knew this wasn't already an offering. 

Well, it was so easy and it was SO impressive to my family in-law! I realized that baking was going to be my thing. Now I do it as often as I can! 

One thing I love to make is biscuits. Just seven ingredients, a little time and viola! Layers of flaky loveliness. Then I discovered making scones was just as easy and that was my new favorite, but then we came upon a dilemma.

The males in the house love biscuits, while the ladies like the scones best. What to do? One sunday morning I looked at my favorite biscuit recipe and realized it was pretty similar to my favorite scone recipe, so I decided to make a batch of biscuits and divide the dough and make half biscuits & half scones! This is now what we do and I am lucky enough that Little Miss O likes to get in on the action and help!

So the recipe:

4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoom sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces (OR for a Dairy free alternative, substitute same amount of Earth Balance dairy free margarine sticks)
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (dairy free alternative- use 1 3/4 cups plain almond milk or milk substitute of your choice with 1 tablespoon applecider vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes or a little longer to curdle)
A few tablespoons of melted butter or butter substitute to brush on top of biscuits prior to baking 
For scone option - a scone filling- we like dried apricots and sage

Pastry blender
Pastry brush
baking sheets/trays
rubber spatula
2 - 3" biscuit cutter

Preheat over to 375 degrees. 

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper trimmed to fit.

Add all dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  

Then pour in buttermilk and use rubber spatula to fold it in. Dough will be slightly sticky.

Flour a board liberally and get your hands floured up or they will stick! (we keep a measuring cup full of flour next to the board)

Take about half the dough onto the board and press out gently. DO NOT overwork the dough. You want nice, fluffy biscuits! Make dough about 1" thick and use a biscuit cutter (2" to 3" in diameter- use what you have on hand!) to cut out biscuits. We usually make 15 biscuits. The rest we use for scones.

To make the rest into scones, take half of the remaining dough and press it out into a rectangle. sprinkle a little bit of sugar 1/2 teaspoon or so in the middle of the rectangle. Cover the sugar with your scone filling- we LOVE to use dried apricot and sage, both cut into pieces. You can get very creative and use what you like! 

Roll the bottom up to cover the filling then roll the rest of the way. Cut the log you made into pieces-maybe 3/4" or so thick. When you are placing them on the tray, make sure they are wrapped well so they don't come apart when baking. I like to make sure the bottom of the scone is dough (not filling- the filling will burn) so I pinch the bottom to ensure no filling is showing through. 

Brush the tops of the biscuits and scones with a tiny bit of butter or butter substitute before baking with the pastry brush (you can always brush with buttermilk if you prefer) Sometimes, we add a tiny sprinkle of sugar on top of the scones. mmm. 

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway in between so they bake evenly.

As with all baking check when you get close. All ovens cook differently. No one wants to eat a burnt scone!

Little Miss O using the biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits for the boys.

Make sure to flour up those hands!!

Only a few more biscuits to cut out and it's on to the scones : )

JUST FOUND THESE PICS from another day of scone making. Yes, little ones can bake! Look at her go. 

Wait until you taste these out fresh out of the oven. OUTRAGEOUS!

We make these all the time for functions, brunches and snow days. They are super simple, impressive, delicious and INEXPENSIVE to make! Using top quality ingredients, for less than  $4, we have over 2 1/2 dozen biscuits and scones! Price that out at a bakery!

What your favorite scone fillings??

Leave me a comment and let me know  Would love to experiment with other flavors!

Bake on!

1 comment:

  1. I can attest that these are the best scones and biscuits I've ever had in my life!

    I love the pictures of Miss O hard at work in her Christmas Hanna Anderson pajamas! I still want to buy an adult pair for me! ;)

    Love you lots!
    Your favorite sister!