Thursday, May 19, 2011

Oat and Orange Scones

I never tire of scones. The varieties are endless, sweet or savory. This oat and orange scone is made with whole wheat pastry flour, which was challenging to find around these parts. I've never seen it in any of my local markets so I called Whole Foods and, sure enough, they had it. Gotta love that store!

Whole wheat pastry flour is lighter than whole wheat flour and it makes these scones light and quite delicate, which is a good thing. They have a nice subtle nutty flavor.

I halved the recipe and I did make a change in the original recipe. I used half and half instead of buttermilk. I make almost all my scones with half and half but because these don't have an egg in the recipe I thought the scones needed a little more fat.

One thing to always remember when making scones is to have your butter and milk or cream very cold.

Once you add in the half and half, gently stir the mixture with a fork, using almost a folding motion.
This insures that you will get a light scone.

Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into a round or rectangle shape.
Then, using a bench scrape or large knife, cut the dough into 8 to 10 triangles ( for half the recipe), depending on what size you want.

At this point you can bake them all or freeze some for another time.
For the ones you're going to bake right away, brush the tops with half and half then sprinkle with raw sugar and a little more oats, if you like.
Oat and Orange Scones ( adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

Makes 12 to16 large size scones. ( I tend to make my scones small so this recipe would yield 16 to 20 for a smaller size scone.)

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar ( I used cane sugar)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt ( this is my addition)
2 sticks unsalted very cold butter, cut into small cubes
Zest of an orange
2 cups oats ( I thought this was too much oats so I used a little less)
2/3 cup dried currants
1 cup cold buttermilk ( I used cold half and half), you may need a little more if the dough seems dry
1/4 cup raw sugar ( for sprinkling on tops)
1/4 cup buttermilk or half and half ( to brush on tops)
Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1. In a food processor or large mixing bowl, add together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pulse or stir to combine.
2. Add in the butter and orange zest, pulsing a few times if using a food processor, (blend in with your fingers if mixing by hand), til mixture consistency resembles small and large peas.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl ( if using a food processor) and stir in the oats and currants.
4. Pour the buttermilk (or half and half) over the dry mixture and gently stir with a fork, using more of a folding motion. Add a little more milk if the mixture seemd too dry.
5. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and using floured hands, shape into a round or rectangle, patting the top to approx. 1 1/4" thickness. Using a bench scrape or large knife, cut the dough into triangles.
6. Transfer the sections onto your parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk or (half and half) and sprinkle with raw sugar and a little more oats, if you like.
7. Bake the scones 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the size. The bottoms should be golden and they should feel firm when gently pressed in the center. You can also check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean with no crumbs clinging, then they're done.

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