Currant Scones
dried cranberry scones 
lemon poppy seed scones 
makes twelve to sixteen 4- by 1 1/2-inch-high scones 
these scones are ample, warm, and comforting -- crisp on the outside, 
soft, moist, and layered inside with purely butter/flour flavor and 
just the right touch of sweet stickiness from the currants. i've tried 
many other recipes and discarded them all. these are the best. they are 
prepared by layering butter flakes into the dough much in the style of 
puff pastry, which gives the dough a slightly flaky texture, but since 
they contain only about one third butter to flour (in contrast to puff 
pastry, which employs equal parts) and heavy cream instead of water, 
they offer a far more substantial, soul-satisfying texture. if you want 
each scone to be a perfect even triangle, there will be some wasted. 
personally, i prefer to use every scrap of the delicious dough and 
embrace the rustic misshapen ones along with the more even variety. 
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 
1 cup  (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold (8 ounces/227 grams)
  about 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour,
  preferable hecker's (21.25 ounces/608 grams)
1/2 cup  sugar (3.5 ounces/100 grams)
2 tsp  baking powder (9.8 grams)
1/2 tsp  baking soda
1/4 tsp  salt
2   liquid cups heavy cream (16.3 ounces/464 grams)
1 cup  currants (4.6 ounces/131 grams)
  cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and refrigerate them for at least
30   minutes or freeze them for 10 minutes.
in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking 
soda, and salt. 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.) 
mix in the cream just until the flour is moistened and the dough starts 
to come together in large clumps. mix in the currants. knead the dough 
in the bowl just until it holds together and turn it out onto a 
lightly floured board. 
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. 
preheat the oven to 400 degrees f. at least 20 minutes before baking. 
set an oven rack at the middle level before preheating. 
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.) 
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. 
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.) 
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. 
hecker's flour has a protein content somewhere between that of 
gold medal unbleached all-purpose and king arthur all-purpose, 
which is slightly higher. any of the three flours will produce 
excellent scones, but hecker's is my preference because it results 
in the best compromise between tenderness and flakiness. a slightly 
stronger flour can be used for scones than for puff pastry because 
the sugar and baking powder tenderize the dough. 
"the pie and pastry bible" 
by rose levy beranbaum, 
scribners & sons, new york 
from ann in fla 
(ID: 10214) Mirror: Sat, Nov 1, 2003

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