I love a good pastry. I do. I don’t care for breakfast unless a pastry is involved. If there is a coffee cake, muffin, scone, or danish, I am there.
The first time that I ever had a scone was when I was a teenager. At the time I was a ballet dancer, and spent an inordinate amount of time in the ballet studio during the week. Right next to my studio there was a great cafe/specialty food market (one of many things I really miss about NYC) called Yura’s (I think the owners split, so it is now called Corner Cafe and Bakery, and Yura’s is now a little further downtown on Madison).
Anyway, since I would basically spend all day there on the weekends, I would often find myself at Yura’s getting something for some meal. With my penchant for all things chocolate (and pastry), I had a hankering for a chocolate chip muffin one Saturday morning, which they didn’t have any of that day. They DID have chocolate chip scones though, so I figured how could it go wrong? My life was immediately changed. I know it sounds silly to say, but it’s one of those things that was a defining moment in my life. :-D
Incidentally, it is hard to find a good chocolate chip scone out here in the Mountain West. Actually, it’s hard to find ANY scones out here that aren’t completely confused with fry bread.
– Side Story –
When my husband and I first moved out here to Utah, I saw this place next to the grocery store called “Scone Cutters”. I asked my husband what it was, and he told me that basically it is a place that serves burgers on “scones”. It took me a while of being completely confused about why on earth anyone would put a burger on a traditional English scone, and how this came to be a thing of popularity, before I discovered that what people out here call scones are actually fry bread. Literally, balls of bread dough that are dumped into the fryer and allowed to puff up. Of course now every time I talk about scones I have to clarify what I mean. Quel Dommage.
Well, since #BreadBakers the world over are celebrating National Homemade Bread Day (hosted by Lauren at From Gate to Plate), I thought, what better way to celebrate, than with one of my favorite homemade “breads”! The best thing about scones is that, as long as you know the base recipe, you can really customize them however you like. You can add nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, chocolate chips, lemon zest… the possibilities are really only as endless as your imagination. This recipe is adapted from the Tartine cookbook.
My yield was 9 scones, but I also made them really big. You can cut them smaller if you want more.
6 oz semi-sweet Guittard chocolate chips, or similar.
4 3/4 cups (24oz/680g) of flour
1 tablespoon (15ml) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (3.75ml) baking soda
1/2 cup (3.5oz/100g) sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon (6.25ml) salt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (9oz/255g) cold, unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (12oz/375ml) whole milk (you can also substitute the regular milk for buttermilk if you like the extra tang)
2 tablespoons (45ml) melted butter
sugar for sprinkling (I wanted sugar crystals, but I my local cooking supply store was out of stock. I used a bigger crystal turbinado sugar instead)
1. Pre-heat your oven to 400°, and line your baking sheet with parchment. Depending on how many scones you cut the dough into, you may want to use two baking sheets. Don’t forget that these will expand when you bake them off.
(Note: I used a Cuisinart food processor to mix the dry ingredients and cut the butter in, but you can just as well do this by hand with either a pastry cutter, or a fork)
2. Pulse your flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar together until well combined. (Or hand whisk in a bowl)
3. Gradually cut in your butter by either feeding it in 1/2″ pieces through your feeder tube, or by cutting it in with the pastry blender. If you use a food processor, be aware that your butter pieces will likely be much smaller than if you cut it in by hand. I see this as ok, because the cold butter, when steamed in the oven, creates the airy separation of layers. You just want to make sure that you don’t over process your flour. If you cut it in by hand you will want to achieve pea-sized pieces.
4. In a big mixing bowl add your flour/butter mixture, your milk (all at once), and your chocolate chips. Carefully mix with a sturdy spoon until combined, but not more than that.
5. On a clean work surface, sprinkle a little flour, and then dump your dough onto that surface. Carefully press your mixture until it has achieved 1 1/2″ thickness, and then use a round cutter to cut them out. You can really cut the scones into whatever shape you prefer. I used a scalloped cutter.
6. Once you have cut out as many scones as you can cut, bring your scraps together until you have used all of your dough.
7. If you have man-handled your dough too much, I would recommend fridging your scones for about 30 minutes or so before baking, just to make your scones are super cold. Again, the cold butter, when steamed in a hot oven, creates that flaky expansion that you will want from your scones.
7. Transfer your scones to your lined baking sheet, brush the top of each scone with your melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar. Be sure to space them well. Like I said, they will expand with the baking process.
8. Bake your scones until your tops are golden. I baked mine for about 25 minutes, but I cut mine big. If you cut smaller scones, you will want to aim for about 20 minutes. Use your judgement.
9. After cooling, serve. You could serve with jam, butter, cream… whatever you like. Or nothing at all. I think I will have mine with a little apricot preserves. Yum!
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient, and I hope that National Bread Bakers day prompts you to bake your favorite homemade bread today. Check out my fellow #BreadBakers celebratory posts:
Pumpkin Bagels by Sophie at Sweet Cinnamon & Honey
Pain Tordu by Carola at En la Cocina de Caro
Peanut Butter Buns by Renee at Magnolia Days
Pumpkin Chocolate Tea Bread by Linda at Brunch with Joy
Almond Bread by Rocio at Kidsandchic
Hatch Chile Bread by Holly at A Baker’s House
Italian Dinner Rolls by Lauren at From Gate to Plate
White Cranberry Nut Bread by Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Hadrian’s Bread by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Hearth Sourdough by Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Homemade English Muffins by Stacy at Food Lust People Love
Stollen by Laura at Baking in Pyjamas
Olive, Feta & Tomato Bread by Robin at A Shaggy Dough Story
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org.