This post is specifically for Marie - who requested my cheese scone recipe after I took them to Sara & Max's Easter Egg hunt party on Friday. The children all had a super time and it was so funny to watch Oliver and friends tearing round the garden at warp speed collecting eggs. For those of you that want to see the photos - you should be able to view them if you have a Facebook account . Sara's Easter Egg Hunt 15/4/11
Stupidly, I didn't take photos of Friday's scones, but since Victoria and Emma were coming over on Saturday.... I made some more.
Scones are best eaten on the day they are made - preferably still a little warm. Still - if there are any left a day or two later, try toasting them and spreading with butter. Cheese scones are awesome toasted and the cheese melts again so they taste as good as they did straight out the oven.
Cheese Scone Recipe - makes 6 > 8
350g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mustard powder (omit if you prefer)
300g coarse grated strong cheese
squeeze of lemon juice
beaten egg (to glaze)
Preheat fan oven to 200deg C
Scones are so quick and easy to make that once you make them once yourself, you'll never go back to shop bought. I'm serious. I hadn't made scones in a year until last week, but I hadn't bought any either. Ok - that's a lie. I occassionally buy really cheap reduced / out of date ones for the chickens. They do love scones... but I refuse to make scones for chickens !
There are a few rules for making good fluffy scones that rise tall.
1. Grate your butter. Yes - sounds crazy. I think that was a tip I picked up off a Jamie Oliover program many years ago. It may seem mad - but it works like a dream. You want to work the dough as little as you possibly can. Grating the butter means it incorporates into the dough FAR faster.
2. Warm your milk. Just as you are ready to use it, give it a zap in the microwave. You want it nice and hot - but not too hot to touch.
3. Sour the milk with a squeeze of lemon juice (or use buttermilk). I normally use a little lemon juice. If you don't have any, vinegar would do. It doesn't need much !
4. Handle the scone dough as little as possible and get it in the oven as fast as you can. The addition of the warm / hot milk helps them rise from the inside.
In a large bowl, mix sieved flour, salt and baking powder. Rub in the grated butter until crumbs form. Keep a small amount of grated cheese back to decorate the tops, and toss the rest of the grated cheese through the crumbs. If you forget, it's no big deal. I often do and have to grate some more ..
I usually like to use EXTRA STRONG Mature Cheddar (Cathedral City) for scones - but the ones photographed were made using Applewood smoked.
Warm the milk and add it to the dry ingredients. Combine with a fork. Bring together with your hands. It will be very soft and a little sticky.
Tip out on to a work surface and pat it into a rough rectangle about 9" x 6" I guess. Try not to add any extra flour and handle the dough as little as you possibly can. Mine is normally about 1.1/2 > 2" thick (yes - before they go in the oven !)
I never ever roll my scone dough....and I never use cutters on it either. If you want to cut it into rounds, push the cutter the whole way down in one go. Don't twist / rotate the cutter as you do this - otherwise the scones don't rise nearly so well.
I simply cut into rectangles with a sharp knife. One single cut down and lift the knife out exactly the way it went in. I basically cut my rectangle into 3 and then each big piece into two.
I've got quite a lot of photos and some video clips that are far too long to load up on here. This was before the fire brigade arrived and the THIRD fire. Yes - you did read that right. There were an additional two further fires at this same property on Wednesday. The problematic machinery obviously wasn't fixed.... Thankfully on those occasions, the wind was blowing the opposite way and there was no risk to us.
I think by the time I took this photo, essentially the fire was out. Anyway, the fireman at the bottom of the ladder is Richard (one of my employees) who is also a retained fire fighter with Attleborough Fire Brigade. If it wasn't for local businesses letting staff remain on retention with the fire brigade, we wouldn't have a local fire service. I'll need to remember not to whinge too much when he gets a call out and has to make a rapid exit for a fire call..
Basically, I've been really held back this week due to various things that have to take priorirty - like fires for instance. I've got several parcels waiting to send to some of you guys / gals (who have offered some help) on my desk and will be sending several emails in the morning for addresses. A few have also already been sent - and one or two received already. Apologies for the late replies... it's been a very packed week !
Massive thanks to Ann Low of Ancoo Journal who send me an awesome parcel last week - full or agar agar and jelly molds to play with. I can't wait to have a go ! Do have a look at Ann's blog though - she really is the master of jellies and her photos are stunning :-)
I took a couple of hours out yesterday when my friend Victoria brought her little girl Emma to play with Oliver. For those of you who don't know, Emma and Oliver are the best friends in the whole wide world. I met Victoria outside nursery last autumn when for some unknown reason I offered her some newly laid eggs from our chickens that I had in the car... You meet people in the strangest of ways !
We took Emma and Oliver out for a walk. The joy of a sunny day and the outdoors.
Below : Catching Butterflies.
Beautiful cherry blossom,. Oh - how I'd love to visit and see cherry blossom in Japan. My thoughts go out to those in Japan after all their tradgedy of late.
Really wierd. Glorious sunshine on one side and thick black cloud on the other. We made a quick dash for home....
Well - that's it for tonight. Got some photos using a new mould to upload tomorrow if time allows