Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SCONES (or BISCUITS?) - Daring Bakers' Challenge - January / 2012

Leia em PORTUGUÊS



Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

First off, let's make things clear. Scones or Biscuits? According to the information our host Audax gave us, to clear up any confusion, the recipe presented here is called "Scones" in Australia and England, but "Biscuits" in America. Whatever the name, they are delicious, very easy to put together, and versatile since you can flavor them with just about anything that suits your fancy, sweet or savory.


As a Brazilian, I wasn't familiar with scones (biscuits) until recently, but they brought me fond memories of my childhood when my sister and I used to wake up very early on weekends to make a very similar recipe. These could be translated as "One Minute Bread", because they resembled bread but were made with baking powder and didn't need yeast or resting time.

I had two ingredients that I wanted to use and thought they would pair well together for my scones (biscuits): Some Herbes de Provence I bought in Paris on our way back from Brazil to Korea (oh yes, there had to be something good about travelling such a long distance, and in our case being Paris our connection city!!); I also had a large piece of French Brie that had been left in the fridge before our vacations and when we came back it was dried out but still smelled really good. I removed the white outer layer and coarsely grated what was left. Perfect!


HERBES DE PROVENCE & BRIE SCONES (BISCUITS)
(for about 20 small scones)

Ingredients:
90 g (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
50g (1/3 cup) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder***
1/2 tsp baking soda***
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
30 g (2 tbsp) frozen grated butter
60g grated cheese (I used dried out Brie)
1/2 cup (120 ml) cold milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9. (Mine browned too fast at this temperature, so next time I will try 220°C instead)

Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt and triple sift into a large bowl. Stir in the Herbes de Provence. Refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.

Rub the frozen grated butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Stir in the grated cheese.

 Add all of the milk at once into the flour/butter mixture and mix until it just starts to come together into a sticky dough, using a rubber spatula. Do not overmix!

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. Pat the dough into a rectangle and fold in three (like a letter), and turn the dough. Repeat about 3 or 4 times until it has formed a smooth texture.You may use a floured plastic scraper to help you fold and turn the dough.

Pat or roll out the dough into a 6" X 4" rectangle 3/4" thick (about 15 X10 cm rectangle 2cm thick). Cut out the scones (or biscuits) using a round cookie cutter (I didn't have one so I used a flower shaped one). 


Stack the scraps of dough (as you would with puff pastry) and make more scones. This time I decided to pat it into a circle and cut wedges using a sharp knife so that I wouldn't have scraps again, as the more you handle the dough, the tougher the dough gets.


Place the scones (or biscuits) on a baking dish lined with parchment paper, about 1 inch apart.

Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 8 to 10 minutes until they are well risen and are lightly browned.


Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

***Using fresh baking powder and/or soda is essential for successful scones (biscuits). Again, Audax came to our rescue and taught us how to check them before using.

HOW TO TEST YOUR BAKING POWDER or SODA

How to test your single action baking powder:
1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.

How to test your double action baking powder:
1. Place a teaspoon of baking powder into a cup, add 1/4 cup room temperature water it should bubble a lot.
2. Wait 30 secs and then place your cup into the microwave heat for about 30 secs until about 180F it should bubble again.
3. If it doesn't then discard and buy a new jar.

How to test baking soda:
1. Place a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into a tablespoon of vinegar it should bubble a lot.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks so much, Audax! This was a great challenge, you provided so much detailed information and gave such remarkable support during the month. I can see many scones (biscuits) coming out of my oven in the near future!

To check out the amazing results of the other Daring Bakers, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you can also find the original recipes and guidelines for this challenge.


26 comments:

  1. Renata, your biscuits (scones) are absolutely beautiful, and they sound so delicious! Amazing work, as always!

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  2. Renata glad you enjoyed baking the scones - as always your presentaion is superb and love the sound of the scones with the lemon curd.:)

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  3. NICE! These French-inspired scones sound fantastic. And they look very tempting. Now, you've made me hungry...

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  4. Renata your scones do look so professional (sorry to hear about losing the draft information for this posting). I'm happy that you enjoyed the notes I included in the challenge. Very professional looking website and photos as well. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  5. Thanks for dropping by Renata! Your scones look so perfect! And I loved the combo of herbs and brie, must have been a super hit at your place!!

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  6. Mmm, cheese and herb scones sound fabulous.

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  7. Beautiful scones, Renata! The flavour must be superb!

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  8. Renata, we must have been looking at each others posts at the same time! When I came back to mine I found your comment! Thank you! I didn't think to explain Vegemite. It is very popular here in Australia but not very well received by overseas visitors! It has a strong yeasty taste a bit like Marmite or Promite. It is best for the unitiated to butter fresh white bread and then very lightly smear on the black paste. My son is born and bred Australian and loves it spread thick even on croissants! Take care, Marcellina.

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  9. herb and cheese, my all-time favourite combination in a savory biscuit!

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  10. I love all the different shapes. The triangles are my favorite! Thanks for all the baking tips for making them.

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  11. Renata I am always in love with your photography and styling,and I can't wait to try your brie and herb scones. I can only imagine how good they smelled or tasted

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  12. Renata
    Your scones look so yummy and fluffy, I just love them,woderful job!!!

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  13. When you visit me you can try some vegemite!

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  14. These scones sound A-MAZING. Brie and scones are two of my favorite things on their own, I can only imagine the magic that they would be together. And that's a great tip on how to handle the leftover scraps of dough :)

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  15. They look great Renata. Sorry about your posting issues - you don't really type your posts on an ipad - do you?

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  16. Oh yum Renata, love the idea of using Brie. Great post as always.

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  17. Yum, I love the idea of using brie in baking. Another great post.

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  18. Hey Reneta.....

    Hi again..... Love these. The colour and texture is so gorgeous !!!
    I'd been out of action fora bit but back now.
    Can't wait to try brie in my baking......
    Love the post as usual !!

    Cheers

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  19. Brie and herb scones sound great. I'm pleased you found a use for the Brie it's horrible throwing cheese away!

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  20. Beautiful biscuits and the brie with herbs biscuits sound yummy.

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  21. What a great use for the dried brie! I don't think I would have thought to use it like you did... Your scones (biscuits) look delicious, and I am so glad you were able to share your take with us, despite the "fun" blogger threw at you. I love to see your creations every month, and as usual, I am so impressed!

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  22. Beautiful looking scones, and they sound delicious as well! Nice job on the challenge!

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  23. Renata!!! As always your challenge has turned out amazing and your photos are beautiful. I've never actually tried herbes de provence before, but now you've got me intrigued. I bet your biscuits/ scones were delish! :)

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  24. Herbes de provence and brie cheese, what a wonderful combo! Love how nice and golden your scones look!

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  25. I've always shied away from savoury scones, as I had a bad experience when I was a teenager. (Someone gave me cheese scones, but they were really sweet! I made myself eat them so I wouldn't hurt their feelings.) Anyway, I think your brie and herb variety might be just the scones to tempt me back. I'd scoff the lot! They look absolutely beautiful. :)

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  26. Fabulous results my dear. Love the use of good dry brie! They look gorgeous.

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