I’m really trying to bake more and understand the science behind it all so that I can finally start developing my own recipes. Over the last few months I have been researching different recipes, following them and learning what needs to be done when, does wet go into dry, do I need both baking powder and bicarb, am I ok doing this on Fan rather than conventional. It’s a real skill but I am enjoying the process, and slowly slowly I am starting to make my own amendments so that I can finally create recipes of my own.
When it comes to scones, prior to this attempt I had never made them before, but after enjoying Afternoon Tea with scones on the beach for 7 days in Antigua last month, we were starting to crave them here in Italy and I can assure you, you won’t find these in any bakery, patisserie or supermarket. So, to Google I went and I found a few different recipes before settling on this one by Jamie Oliver. It seemed simple enough and I had everything I needed in the fridge except I used tropical juice instead of orange juice just because…
Needless to say I was worried about how they would come out but I followed the recipe and also watched the video which helped a lot in terms of assessing whether the dough was ready or not and they came out great! I found in my fan oven they took around 15 minutes to go golden, but I was keeping an eye on them from 12 minutes to make sure they didn’t burn. What’s great here is that I feel that I can now take what I’ve learnt and start playing around and create something new!
We also ended up making fresh whipped cream in the absence of clotted cream (boo) but it did the trick and for a slight minute we felt like we were back on the sandy beaches of Antigua. I’m hoping Italy decides to create a clotted cream equivalent soon because they really don’t know what they’re missing.
Makes: 16-20 scones
Prep time: 15 minutes + 2 hours soaking + 15 minutes chill time Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Ingredients 150g Raisins and sultanas (or any dried fruit you fancy) Orange juice, for soaking (or in my case tropical juice) 150g Cold unsalted butter 500g Self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting 2 Tsp Baking powder 2 Tsp Golden caster sugar Pinch of Salt 2 large Free-range eggs 4 Tbsp Milk , plus a little extra for brushing
To serve: Clotted cream (or whipped in my case), jam
Put the dried fruit into a bowl and pour over just enough orange juice to cover. Ideally, leave it for a couple of hours to soak.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C Fan. Put your butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and a good pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and use your thumbs and forefingers to break up the butter and rub it into the flour so you get little cornflake-sized pieces.
Make a well in the middle of the dough, add the eggs and milk, and stir it up with a spatula.
Drain your soaked fruit and add that to the mixture. Add a tiny splash of milk if needed, until you have a soft, dry dough. Move it around as little as possible to get it looking like a scruffy mass – at this point, you’re done. Sprinkle over some flour, cover the bowl with clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 2-3cm thick. With a 6cm round cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles from the dough and place them upside down on a baking sheet – they will rise better that way (so they say). Re-roll any offcuts to use up the dough.
Brush the top of each scone with the extra milk or some melted butter and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until risen and golden. At that point, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down a little.
Serve with clotted cream, whipped cream and a little jam.