I was invited this week to take part in a collaboration on Instagram for International Tea day on the 21st of May and to put together an Afternoon Tea. In planning this, scones seemed almost a prerequisite. Continuing my earlier quest for scones that rise well without self-raising flour, at some altitude and without the taste of baking powder, I decided to try the use of some baking powder and some baking soda. Soda needs an acid to activate it, and without whey on hand this time, I decided to try using honey, which somewhat surprisingly is acidic. I didn't use any sugar and instead used about a tablespoon of honey, and my scones came out quite well. They didn't rise as much as I would have liked, so I will try again, increasing the quantities of soda and honey accordingly, but as a first attempt at this, they came out nicely and had a lovely flavour. Given the absence locally of clotted cream, I used Double Crème de Gruyère instead which worked delightfully.
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c butter, cubed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp honey
1/3 c milk
1/3 c raisins
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1) Place dry ingredients in a bowl. Add butter and rub together with the dry ingredients until they form a crumb-like consistency.
2) Add the honey and milk and stir with a fork, forming a thick dough. Mix in raisins and press dough together without kneading.
3) Roll out on a floured surface to about 1 1/2 cm thick and cut out rounds of the desired diameter. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 180°C for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter or clotted cream and jam or honey for best results. These were very tasty and had a very nice crumb. I would have liked them to rise by about another 1/2 or 1 cm, but I was quite pleased with them doubling in size. They had a taste almost of cinnamon raisin bagels and were particularly nice with homemade Plum and Apple Jam.
Book Pairing: I made these while listening to Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. it is one of the few of hers that I had not previously read. My sister started reading it aloud to me a year ago on skype but we didn't get very far, so I decided to listen to it on my own instead and wrap it up. I found it thoroughly delightful, if a little frustrating in parts, and Austen's biting satire is as entertaining as ever.
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