Sunday Mornings



Sunday mornings are a really great time in our house.  They are not as hurried as Saturdays and are just a quieter, more relaxed time.  Coffee and some sort of good breakfast are usually on the agenda.  Then a few more hours of coffee and paper.  Good times.  And good for the soul.  This morning I managed to win Steven over to make some scones.  If you have not ever had a proper scone, I am sorry for you.  That crap that Starbucks and other coffee houses try to pass of as scones is an insult to real scones and scone bakers everywhere.  We all know I have a very low tolerance for baking and Steven is an exceptional baker.  He has the patience, hands, and the ability (almost a necessity) to follow the recipe exactly and that is what is needed in a good baker.  After all, cooking is chemistry and baking has some crucial variables there.

 A real scone is lighter than a biscuit, denser that a pastry, and as flaky as a good pie crust.  They are just waiting to hold whatever goodness you would like to put in them.  We have had everything from chocolate chip to lemon blueberry.  Today's were cinnamon raisin and they were divine.  The recipe, of course, comes from the food bible.  We learn something every time we cook out of that book.  We have learned quite a bit recently about protein content in flour and the effect it has on whatever it is you are baking.  Scones require a low protein flour (Gold Medal is a good brand here).  We have tweaked the amount of cream and it is noted in the recipe below.  The dough was just a tiny bit too dry and needed an extra shot of cream. 


Cream Scones

2 cups unbleached, all purpose, low protein flour
1 Tbs baking powder
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbs cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
1/2 cup currants or other fruit
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
1. Place dry ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade.  Pulse for six 1-second pulses.
2. Add butter to work bowl and process with twelve 1-second pulses.  Dough should resemble course meal.  Add dried fruit and pulse once more.  Transfer dough to a large bowl.
3.  Stir in heavy cream with a rubber spatula until dough begins to form. 
4. Transfer the dough and all dry flour bits to a counter top and knead the dough by hand just until it comes together in a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds.  Lightly press dough into a 9" cake pan.  Turn dough back out onto counter and cut dough into 8 wedges.  Place wedges on ungreased cookie sheet or baking stone. 
5. Bake until scone tops are light brown, 12-15 minutes.l  Cool for at least 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 
I am always in search of whatever lovely dollop of goodness will compliment the scones.  Don't get me wrong, they are WONDERFUL by themselves.  But the lemon blueberry scones served with lemon curd, or the chocolate chip ones served with clotted cream are just over the top.  And let's be serious, why settle for great when you could have Holy-crap-what-is-this-ambrosia-in-my-mouth goodness?  Today I decided to make a maple and nutmeg whipped cream to compliment the cinnamon.  Yeah.  More is more. 




          Maple Nutmeg Whipped Cream        
 1 cup cold heavy cream
2 Tbs real maple syrup
1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg

Beat cream in a cold bowl until soft peaks begin to form.  Add syrup in a drizzle while mixer is running.  Add 1/2 tsp  fresh nutmeg and incorporate.  Serve with fresh grated nutmeg.


Next time I think I will add only a Tbs of the maple syrup and see if I can find some maple extract.  Real maple syrup is so sweet and the extract may give me more of the intensity I am looking for without watering down the cream.  It really was a lovely, lovely breakfast.  The rest of today will be football and lounging.  Happy Sunday.

  

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