I love to bake breakfast on the weekends. Scones, muffins, doughnuts, breads, crepes, you name it. I love it all. Prrrrobably because it’s really just dessert that’s socially acceptable to consume as a meal. Whatever, works for me.
When I first started making scones I was quite surprised at how soft they are. If you buy them in a store they are pretty hard and a little dry (think day old biscuits). But freshly baked, they are soft and moist on the inside with a slightly browned outer crust. The best part about scones is that you can use the same recipe and just alter the fruit/seasonings/toppings to get a totally different result. Lemon blueberry, chocolate chip, apple cinnamon… This weekend I chose blackberry.
My blackberries are very tart so I start by sprinkling 1 tsp. sugar over the top and stir to coat.
Next, mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Here is my no-sifting-required trick for baking soda: measure out how much I need, dump it in the palm of my hand, and crush any clumps with my fingers. When added to the dry ingredients it will all blend together easily with a whisk. No need to sift.
Once the dry ingredients are mixed well it is time to cut in the cold butter. I like to start out with smaller chunks so I don’t spend 40 minutes with the pastry cutter. Just chop it up and throw it in to the dry ingredients.
The trick to cutting in cold butter is to coat it in the flour mixture before touching it with your pastry cutter. So toss butter with the dry ingredients, cut once, toss dry ingredients over the new cuts, cut again, repeat. If you don’t have a pastry cutter you can use two knives to slice the butter into smaller and smaller pieces while tossing with the dry ingredients.
The dough will look like sand with some bigger lumps of butter. Those lumps are good, they help to make the scone more flaky.
Mix all wet ingredients in a separate container and then slowly add to the dry mixture. I prefer to do this with a fork. Add a little of the wet, toss it with the dry, add more wet, toss it with the dry, repeat until everything is just incorporated (a little flour around the edges is ok, just take care of all the wet ingredients). It seems to me that the more you mix the dough the tougher the scone will be.
Gone are the days of violently scrubbing pans that have undergone the torturous oven. Use the parchment paper, there is no need for time consuming clean up! The paper goes on the countertop (or directly on to your baking sheet), place 1/4 of the dough in the middle, lightly dust it or your hands with flour, flatten it out and form a circular shape (take it easy, the more you work the dough the tougher it will be), then top with 1/4 of your berries.
Add another layer of dough right on top and form it into shape (this is how you get the berries throughout the dough, instead of just on the top layer. You could mix them in with the wet ingredients but then the berries get all smooshed and your scone will have blue streaks). Top with 1/4 berries, slide the parchment paper on to the cookie sheet, and slice the dough with a knife. Your scone is now ready for the oven and you should have enough ingredients to make one more. You could probably get them both on one baking sheet but it will be tight and at 7:20 am, with only a few sips of caffeine on board, I just don’t care to try.
Drizzle with glaze topping. If you let it cool a few minutes more of the glaze will stick to the scone. Enjoy!
- 2½ C. all purpose flour
- 1/3 C. sugar + (optional) 1 tsp. sugar for berries
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 C. cold margarine (1 stick Saffola margarine)
- 1 Egg
- 3/4 C. almond milk
- 3/4 C. frozen blackberries
- 1/2 C. powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. clear vanilla (if you want a white glaze)
- 3-4 tsp. almond milk
- Heat the oven to 400°.
- Remove berries from the freezer and coat with 1 tsp. sugar.
- Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives cut cold margarine in to the flour mixture until it looks like chunky sand.
- In a separate container mix all wet ingredients.
- Gently fold into the dry ingredients, mixing lightly just until blended.
- Divide the dough into 4ths, leaving it in the bowl.
- Place 1/4 of the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Gently pat it into a circular shape.
- Top the dough with 1/4 of the berries.
- Place another 1/4 of the dough on top to form two layers. Top with 1/4 berries.
- Move parchment paper on to a baking sheet and cut the dough into 4-6 pieces.
- Assemble the remaining scone and bake for about 17 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges.
- While the scones are baking mix the glaze.
- Mix the sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp. of almond milk at a time until you get a pourable glaze.
- Let the scones cool 2-3 minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the top.