I have many failings as a cook. Many of the recipes I try never make it to this blog. I'm too cheap to toss the failures, so I usually wind up eating them. Most taste okay, but a few have not. And I'm lazy. I love recipes that only mess up a single bowl or dish or that don't dirty every dish, pan and surface in my kitchen. I tend to rush through processes because I don't pay as much attention as I should to the recipe. I am impatient.
I am an inexperienced baker. I have little skill but boldly go forward with ill-advised confidence. Oh, I'm good at cookies because I've made plenty. I'm okay at some cakes. I am terrified of bread. All bread. I am Southern born and bred but do not know how to make biscuits. I hope to one day correct this.
But a few things happened today that led me to baking scones...a visit to the farmers market for some lovely, locally grown strawberries and the fact that I spent hours cleaning my oven.
What, you say? You don't want to sully a freshly cleaned oven? Not me...I could hardly wait to toss something inside. So I found a recipe online for scones using fresh strawberries.
Believe me, this recipe was very close to not making this digital record. The dough was very wet and far more a mess than I wanted. The instructions failed me. I will post the recipe as written by Annie Y on Allrecipes.com and then add my notes below.
Fresh Strawberry Scones
1 cup ripe strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and diced
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup light cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place diced strawberries on paper towels to absorb liquid. Combine the cream and vanilla extract in a small pitcher and set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and zest together in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into chunks and cut into flour until mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Gently toss strawberries in flour mixture. Create a well in the flour mixture and fill with the cream mixture. Quickly stir dough together until just blended. Allow dough to rest 2 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and satiny, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch round. Use a serrated knife to cut the round into 8 wedge shaped pieces. Separate wedges on the baking sheet, leaving at least 1/2" space between.
Bake in preheated oven until the tops are light brown and crusty, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 20 minutes before serving.
So, here is what I found. This is a very, very wet dough. Do not skimp on the flour for kneading. I kept adding flour, using at least 1/2 cup, maybe more. The dough was so wet, that I never achieved "smooth and satiny" but did place it on the prepared baking sheet and formed an approximately 9" round. I used my bench scraper to cut the round into wedges and did not separate them. (You can call me a rebel, but my hands were goopy and I was tired of messing with it.)
Also, a small disclaimer...I used heavy cream because that was what I had in the fridge.
Anywho, "all's well that ends well" and this ended very well. The scones are tender and not as dry as scones I've purchased. I really like them, but wish I had used more strawberries. I love the brightness that the lemon zest adds and the subtle hint of the nutmeg. With a little schmere of butter and a cup of tea, they are lovely.