Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wanted: Support and Encouragement: Scones

When I told my sister I wanted to make biscuits or scones, her first reaction was: "Eeks! I'm not going to eat it!"
But I still went ahead with it. I quite like the biscuits that Popeye's Fried Chicken serve, but recently, I find their biscuits taste a little different. So I resort to making my own, but actually it's just for the fun of it.

I followed the recipe on Joyofbaking.com, but halved it. Making this requires a technique where the butter is cut into the flour such that the mixture resembles bread crumbs. A very important point to note is that the mixture must be cold, so that the butter will not melt. This explains the countless opening and closing of the fridge door when I was preparing the dough.


The dough did not rise as high as I expected, but still, it didn't look that bad.


The surface was not very brown. Is it because I've brushed too little egg wash?
The freshly baked biscuit is pretty good, but it starts to get crumbly when cooled. Eating it warm is a must. I bought a bottle of jam specially to go with it. But unfortunately, none of my family members liked this. I'm pretty sure they think I'm torturing them with my baked products. *Sobz*

Ingredients (makes 8 pieces):
160 g plain flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
60 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
90 ml cold milk
1/2 cold egg, lightly beaten (use leftover egg for glaze)
1 1/2 tsp milk for glaze (mixed with leftover egg)

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 210 deg C. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (with fork or fingertips) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If the butter is melting, pop it into the fridge for 15 mins to harden the butter.
  3. Add the milk and slightly beaten egg and stir until just combined. The texture should be sticky, moist and lumpy.
  4. Place mixture on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently for 10 seconds until it comes together into a smooth dough.
  5. Roll out dough to 2cm thickness. Cut the dough into 8 pieces with a floured pastry cutter.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg and milk mixture and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the biscuit comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter.
Adapted from Joyofbaking's Biscuits.

Making the biscuits were pretty quick. To satisfy my baking crave, I decided to try out another cookie recipe. It is *supposedly* a Shiroi Koibito recipe, and it requires the use of 2 egg whites, with the normal butter, sugar, flour etc. I guess my mind was probably on muffins, because I poured the sugar together with the flour when I am supposed to cream the sugar with butter first! I had to store the sugar + flour mixture for muffins then.



Baking the cookies was a disaster as I do not have the square template, I tried to pipe it with a ziploc bag but the bag split and the batter started to ooze out. In the end I just use a spoon to make it into round cookies. It did not help that my oven temperature is not very uniform, which explains the non-uniform shapes and colour of the cookies. I shall not try this again, unless I can get hold of the square template.

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