Monday, June 6, 2011

Oatmeal Scones


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m not really a scone fan.  Even if they have good flavor, they tend to be dry and crumbly and just… disappointing.  I figured this was how scones were supposed to be, and that they just weren’t my thing. So I’d pretty much given up on them until I tried these.  My friend Rebecca made them for a baby shower and – knowing that she makes good food – I tried one.  Well!  They were anything BUT disappointing, and I smuggled one home in my purse.

Turns out I’d had the recipe for YEARS, as it’s in a 2003 issue of Cook’s Illustrated!  I made them a couple of weeks ago, and they’re easy and really good.   Not dry and crumbly!  I don’t think they need anything on them and will happily eat them plain, but my husband and son liked them with jam or honey.  I was hoping these would be healthy enough to make a batch a week and have one for breakfast every morning, but… I plugged the ingredients into an online nutritional calculator, and let’s just say that health food they are NOT. Despite the oatmeal.  Alas.

Make them anyway, though!  Just not for every day.  They keep well, too, if you don’t eat them all the day they’re made.

Oatmeal Scones
from Cook’s Illustrated, Sept/Oct 2003
Makes 8 scones

  • If you use King Arthur flour (or another higher-protein brand of flour), ad an additional 1-2 Tbsp milk.
  • You can substitute half-and-half for the milk/cream mixture (I did).
1 1/2 cups (4.5 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (2.25 oz) sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for sprinkling
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  1. Preheat oven (with rack in middle position) to 375°.  Spread oats evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant and lightly browned, 7-9 minutes (it took me more like 10-11 minutes).  Cool on wire rack.  Increase oven temperature to 450°.  Line second baking sheet with parchment paper.  When oats are cooled, measure out 2 Tbsp and set aside.
  2. Whisk milk, cream, and egg in a large measuring cup until incorporated.  Remove 1 Tbsp to a small bowl and reserve for glazing.
  3. Pulse flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined, about 4 1-second pulses.  Scatter cold butter evenly over dry ingredients and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 12-14 1-second pulses.  Transfer mixture to medium bowl; stir in cooled oats.  Using rubber spatula, fold in liquid ingredients until large clumps form.  Mix dough by hand in bowl until dough forms cohesive mass.
  4. Dust work surface with half of reserved oats.  Turn dough out onto work surface and dust top with remaining oats.  Gently pat into 7-inch circle about 1 inch thick.  Using bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough into 8 wedges and set on parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing pieces about 2 inches apart.  Brush surfaces with reserved egg mixture and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar (you can use sanding or decorator’s sugar here, if you have it).  Bake until golden brown, 12-14 minutes.  Cool scones on baking sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes, then move scones to cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes (or, y’know, don’t.  They were wonderful warm!).

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