Currant Scones

Servings

twelve to sixteen 4- by 1 1/2-inch-high scones

Makes: twelve to sixteen 4- by 1 1/2-inch-high scones

Oven Temperature: 400 degrees F

Baking Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Internal Temperature: 200 degrees F

Equipment: Two cookie sheets or inverted half-size sheet pans, lined with parchment

Ingredients

Scones

Amount

Measure

Ingredient

8

Ounces

Cold, unsalted butter

21

Ounces

All-Purpose flour

3

Ounces

Sugar

16 1/3

Ounces

Heavy cream

4

Ounces

Currants

2

Teaspoon

Baking powder

Teaspoon

Baking Soda

1/4

Teaspoon

Salt

Procedure

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Add the butter and, with your fingertips, press the cubes into large flakes. (Or use an electric mixer on low speed and mix until the butter is the size of small walnuts.)
  3. Mix in the cream just until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to come together in large clumps.
  4. Mix in the currants.
  5. Knead the dough in the bowl just until it holds together and turn it out onto a lightly floured board.
  6. Lightly flour the top of the dough, or use a rolling pin with a floured pastry sleeve, and roll out the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and about 8 inches by 12 inches. Use a bench scraper to keep the edges even. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter. Lightly flour the board and rotate the dough so that the smooth side faces to the left. Roll it out again to an 8- by 12-inch rectangle and repeat the "turn" 3 times (for a total of 4 turns), refrigerating the dough, covered with plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes if it begins to soften and stick.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. at least 20 minutes before baking. Set an oven rack at the middle level before preheating.
  8. Roll out the dough once more and trim off the folded edges so that it will rise evenly.* Cut it lengthwise in half so you have 2 pieces, each about 4 inches by 12 inches. Cut each piece of dough on the diagonal to form triangles with about a 3-inch-wide base and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. (The dough rises but does not expand sideways.)
  9. Bake the scones for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown and the tops are golden brown and firm enough so that they barely give when pressed lightly with a finger. Check the scones after 10 minutes of baking, and if they are not baking evenly, rotate the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back. Do not overbake, as the scones continue baking slightly after removal from the oven and are best when slightly moist and soft inside.
  10. Place a linen towel on each of two large racks and place the baked scones on top. Fold the towels over loosely and allow the scones to cool until warm or room temperature. (Since linen breathes, the scones will not become soggy, but they will have enough protection to keep from becoming dry and hard on the surface.)

 

VARIATIONS

Dried Cranberry Scones

The same amount of dried cranberries can be substituted for the currants for more tang.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

Omit the currants and add 3 tablespoons (1 ounce/28 grams) poppy seeds and 2 tablespoons (0.5 ounce/12 grams) finely grated lemon zest to the flour mixture.

STORE

Airtight, room temperature, up to 2 days; frozen, up to 3 months. To reheat frozen scones, heat in a preheated 300 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. A cake tester inserted in the center and removed will feel warm and the outside will be crunchy.