filling the empty nest with food
Apparently, I’m not the only person thinking about scones and what makes them tasty and/or authentic. See this week’s Slate article on American vs. British scones. Actually, it’s a defense of the Americanized scone. The author argues that while purists may decry our inability to even pronounce the word in proper English (BTW, is that argument still going on over our inferior American pronunciation of the English language?), our scones are a testament to what he calls American flexibility and others call our ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. We may have broken the scone rules and thumbed our noses at purity, but, damn, if some of our mongrel scones don’t taste awfully good. And if it tastes good, what difference does it make what we call it? Wait, didn’t Shakespeare say something about calling things by other names?
I happen to agree with the author’s dislike of so much sweetness in our US scones. So, perhaps my recipe below is more biscuit than scone. Whatever. This substantial treat is great with a knifeful of butter and a big spoonful of marmalade.
I’m not actually sure where this recipe came from, so if I’ve plagiarized it and not given proper credit, please let me know and I’ll correct my transgression.
Oat Flour Scones with Buttermilk
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup oat flour (make your own by pulsing oats in your food processor or blender until they’re the consistency of flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbls. sugar
1/4 cup cold butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
Put dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk. Cut butter into flour mixture until the mixture resembles course meal. If using, stir in raisins. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs and buttermilk. Stir milk/egg mixture into flour just until the mixture forms a sticky yet manageable dough. Knead the dough very gently on a generously floured surface for 30 seconds and pat into a 1-inch high round. (This dough will remain fairly sticky, so be careful not to add too much flour in the kneading stage.) Cut the dough into rounds with a 1-inch (or so) cookie cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and cut into more rounds. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
This recipe makes a large batch of scones/biscuits. Ideal, I think, for serving with a pot of homemade vegetable soup on a cold fall evening. Enjoy!