Posted by: A Part of the Solution | May 11, 2012

Oatmeal Scones

Oatmeal scones in general suffer from either dampness or dryness–paradoxically, some even manage to do both at once. Oatmeal scones would be more prevalent throughout the scone-consuming world if they were more reliably tasty and less of a textural challenge. So here’s my oatmeal scone recipe to bring this fine piece of food into your repertoire of unfailingly delightful baked goods.

I serve a big table most mornings. When I double the oatmeal scone recipe given below, I also divide the dough into two circles to cut them out. If you do so, remember to tack a minute onto their cooking time to account for your more crowded oven. These oatmeal scones are also aces at a good tea. But please don’t make them first thing in the morning. Like all real scones, they will  turn to stone when the clock strikes noon. To capture their full appeal, don’t pull them from the oven more than two hours before you want to serve them.

Oatmeal Scones

1 1/2 cups, 4.5 oz, rolled oats (toasted in a 375° oven until medium light brown and fragrant and cooled to room temperature)

(optional) 1/2 cup, 3.5 oz, raisins or chopped dried apricots, or dried cranberries, or dried pineapple–you get the idea

1 1/2 cups, 7.5 oz, all purpose unbleached flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

8 TBSP, 4 oz, cold butter cut into cubes

1 TBSP. .5 oz, cider vinegar

5 TBSP, 2.5 oz, whole milk

AND

5 TBSP, 2.5 oz, heavy cream

OR

10 TBSP, 5 oz, half and half swapped for both the milk and the cream

1/4 cup packed, 1.75 oz, light brown sugar

1 large egg

 

Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together with a fork the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Alternately, pulse the dry ingredients eight times together in the bowl of your food processor. If preparing the scones by hand, use your fingertips to press and squeeze the butter cubes into the dry mixture. Do so until the scones look like coarse sand. Or sprinkle the butter cubes into the bowl of your food processor on top of the dry mixture. Pulse until you have the coarse sand texture. If you’re using the food processor, now is when you put the butter-flour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the toasted, cooled oats and the dried fruit–if using.

Pour the dairy ingredients over the vinegar in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the brown sugar. Now beat the egg well in to the wet ingredients. With a spatula, or wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients as briefly and thoroughly as you can.

Dust the counter with flour, knead the dough briefly (say, 12 times), and pat out the dough into an 8″ circle. Using a bench scraper or a sharp slicing knife, cut the oatmeal scone dough into 10 wedges. Set these well apart (at least 1/2″, more is better if possible) on the prepared baking sheet. You may glaze them with a little milk brushed across their tops and a light sprinkling of  brown sugar (or demerara sugar). Bake the scones for 10-12 minutes, until medium-well browned on top and bottom.

Eat them while still warm, if at all possible. Eat them with cultured butter and homemade jam if at all possible. Or even homemade clotted cream. But they’re excellent as given.

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Responses

  1. These sound yummy. I’ve been making savoury ones of late with strong cheese, chives and marmite or tobasco. Great served with cream cheese and beetroot chutney.

    • I’ve been thinking about taking them in a savory direction. But then I get distracted when I start to reading Elizabeth David on English yeast and bread–and I come out with my head swimming in ancient units of measurement and cross-Atlantic approximations of ingredients non-existent over here, and then I don’t get much farther. I need to focus!

  2. Any suggestions for an appropriate substitute for the milk and cream that will still produce a respectable scone? I’m allergic to dairy 😦

    • My favorite substitute for dairy when baking is the water in which potatoes have been cooked. This will usually improve the texture of your baked goods, as well. It renders the outside crisper and the inside more tender, without any interior ‘dampness’. Give it a try. Just save your potato water–and add a tablespoon of vinegar to it if you need ‘buttermilk’. Let me know how that goes for you.


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