Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lemon-Ginger Scones with Oat Flour

One year when I was in college, a roommate and native Utahn announced that some of her friends were coming over that night for a scone-making party. Apparently this was a long-standing tradition for them, and I was elated at this information. Why, this party sounded like something straight out of "Pride and Prejudice"! How British! How proper! I was all ready to bring the tradition of afternoon tea back to America with this little band of apparent Anglophiles.
When the friends showed up, they appeared to be congregating around a pot of boiling oil, much to my confusion. Later, when my roommate came and offered me a piece of fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, I was confused and disappointed. It was then that I learned that in some places like Utah and Idaho, the term "scone" is applied to what is called fry bread, fried dough, or elephant ears in other places, and looks like this:

It was a tasty snack, don't get me wrong, but don't expect me to ever apply the term "scone" to anything other than true British teatime scones. I'm a staunch traditionalist in this respect.

One of my favorite scone flavor combinations is lemon with crystallized ginger. Ever since I began cooking from Kim Boyce's "Good to the Grain" cookbook and realized how delicious whole grain flours can be, I find it hard to justify using all white flour in any recipe. So I tweaked a recipe for scones to include oat flour.

As you can see below, the scones are delicate; crunchy on the outside and soft inside, dotted with chunks of warm crystallized ginger and sprinkled with coarse sugar. Enjoy with with a cup of lemon ginger herbal tea and you'll be feeling British by breakfast.

Lemon and Ginger Scones

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
7 T. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped into small pieces
Zest of 1 large lemon
2/3 cup buttermilk (I substituted almond milk plus 1 tsp. lemon juice)
Coarse sugar to sprinkling on top

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger and lemon zest. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.
3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 or 4 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar.
4. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

1 comment:

  1. I had those "Utahn" scones for the first time and I FELL IN LOVE. I was like "fried bread? fried bread!" I tried to recreate it but it was nothing like how it was. They were light and puffy balls of dough and savory, not sweet. But BUT I do have a hard time calling them scones. They were more like savory donut holes.


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