Friday, March 29, 2013

Identity Crisis: Scottish Scones or English Muffins

I would not know a genuine Scottish scone if it introduced itself to me while wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes, so whether or not these are authentic, I cannot say.  What I can say is that they are mighty tasty and um, they kind of taste like English muffins.  No nooks and crannies, but the flavor is very similar.  Those of you that know me well understand that being similar to an English muffin is a very comforting thing in my book.  And a homemade scone-muffin is even better.

Deepest apologies to anyone who is English or Scottish and is heartily offended that a) I consider these scones Scottish, if they're not or that b) I compared these to English muffins.  Despite being an American I know that England and Scotland are not in the least interchangeable whatever the status of these particular baked goods.   


2 1/2 C flour
2 t sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cream of tartar
2 T unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 C buttermilk (As always, I didn't have buttermilk.  I usually do 1 T white vinegar to a scant cup of milk, but this time I did 3/4 C plain yogurt to 1/4 C milk.  It was a bit thick and I had to sort of eyeball extra milk to make it work).
1 large egg, beaten

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Mix until well combined.  Using your stand mixer, or your fingers, mix in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in the buttermilk and the beaten egg lightly until it forms a soft dough.

Turn the dough out on a very well floured surface.  Get your pan ready, you'll need a cast iron pan or skillet.  Use butter or vegetable oil to grease the surface (butter burns more easily, so you might be better off with oil) and turn the heat up to medium.  Okay, return to your dough.  Divide it into two equal pieces.  Then roll each one out into a 1/2" thick circle and cut into wedges (I got between 4-6 wedges per circle, it all depends on how big you want your scones).  Make sure each wedge is well floured, and get the first batch into the pan (you'll need to do two batches).

Cook for 3-5 minutes on the first side, flip them, cook 6-8 minutes on the back, then stand the wedges on their sides, like so:

and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.  If you think they're not done, you can return them to the first side to cook for a few more minutes, but mine were always done.  Repeat with the second batch.  Then get your butter and jam and go to town.

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