What an amazing weekend it has been!  Actually, I’ll go even farther than that – what a WEEK!!  But, then, I’m an Olympics addict, so every four years, I pretty much geek out on sports.  Our household TV is usually on anything BUT athletics, but for two weeks out of every 208, I go completely insane and inhale every bit of swimming, track and field, rowing, gymnastics and equestrian action I possibly can.  And, of course, as an American living in the UK, I feel lucky to have two teams to cheer for.

My poor mister.  The Olympics isn’t something that he’d set out to watch, but he sits and watches it with me .. and then, I saw him get excited with Mo Farah’s gold medal run last night, so I think he’s starting to get into it, too.  Add Jessica Ennis’s gold for the heptathlon, numerous medals for Team GB in rowing and the outstanding swimming at the aquatics center and you’re talking about an amazing week of athletics.  I really couldn’t be prouder of both my countries.

So, anyway, given last night’s three gold medals in track and field (out of the total of six golds plus one heartbreaking silver in rowing), I decided to have a little Team GB celebration of my own today and break out the scones with clotted cream and jam.  I also decided to shake things up a bit and play with the method of assembling – and, I have to say, the results would have made the judges smile.

Oh, and one more thing for my American friends:  scones are not a breakfast treat, despite what certain coffee chains have sold you.  They are for the afternoon with a nice cup of tea, to be served with clotted cream or lemon curd and jam. This has been a public service announcement in my bid to help transatlantic relations.

I’ve included measurements in both weight and volume below – as this is a bread, I recommend that you invest in a digital scale and do this by weight for better accuracy.  The recipe is based on one from the silver fox, himself, Paul Hollywood.

Scones

  • 500 g — 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 large eggs (plus one for the egg wash)
  • 75 g — 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 30 g — 2 rounded Tbsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 75 g — 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
  • 230 ml — 1 cup milk
  • good handful of golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking tray with parchment powder.

In the bowl of a food processor, quickly blitz the flour with the baking powder, salt and sugar to give it a quick sift.  Add the cold butter and pulse a few times until it’s fully incorporated into the flour.  Add the two eggs and milk, then give it a couple of quick pulses to begin bringing it together before you pour the lot into a large bowl with the raisins.  Gently mix with a wooden spoon, then knead to bring everything together, but don’t overwork it.  Just so you know, the dough will be sticky – not wet, but definitely sticky.  Dust your work surface well and tip the bread out, folding it a little and turning it over a couple of times, then pat it down to about 2″ thick (if the top is tacky, dust it lightly with flour).  Use a 3″ cutter to cut out your shapes and place them on your prepared tray with about an inch in between.

Now, some people say that you shouldn’t try to reuse the scraps, but I hate waste – so, gently bring them together and pat them into  2″ depth then continue to cut out your shapes until you’ve used everything.  These may turn out a little raggedy, so set them aside as a chef’s treat if you don’t want to serve them (hey, they’re all good eating, right?)

Anyway, lightly beat an egg with a dash of milk, then use a pastry brush to across the top of the scones, being careful not to let the egg wash to go down the sides.  Pop them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown on top.  Serve warm but not hot out of the oven.

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