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Sunday, March 25, 2012


I don't know where I originally obtained this recipe but here is my version.  These are great because you can add whatever "feature" ingredient you like.

The key to flaky layers is cold butter, sliced in in flaky pieces. However if you're lazy and have a food processor, that is an easy way to cut the butter in.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar (I often use slightly less)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup margarine (or slightly less than 1/2 cup if using butter)
  • 1/2 cup frozen fruit (tart fruit is best... if using sweet fruit like blueberries you may want to add a touch of lemon zest or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients up to the margarine, then cut that in or pulse a few times in the food processor. Mix the fruit into the dry mix with a spatula.

Mix the milk, egg, and vanilla in a bowl with a fork.  Add your dry mix and stir briefly until dry and wet mixes are crumbly. Don't over-mix. Pull together dough with your hands until it looks like this:

Grease a cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper) and form your scones. Either flatten one large circle and but into eighths, or divide your dough into about 8 pieces. Shape into triangular forms (if you're feeling fancy) or just scoop some dough with a small measuring cup and drop it onto the sheet for a rough shape. Sprinkle a pinch of raw sugar on the top of each scone if desired. Bake for 15-17 minutes. 

Voila!  Warm and yummy. Serve with butter or eat them plain. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

No-Knead Bread

Crispy crust! Large air holes! Perfect for dipping in oil and vinegar!  No kneading! 

This bread rises well and takes minimal effort to bake, other than wait times.  This version seems to be floating all over the internet.
  • 3 cups flour (don't overfill or shake down; you don't want flour packed into measuring cup)
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • Any other mix-ins you like (for example - in the bread below, I added a handful of flax seeds, sunflower seeds, some rosemary and a taste of parmesan)

Mix all together and let it sit in a bowl covered by plastic wrap. Leave it on the counter for 18-20 hours. Pour onto a well-floured piece of parchment paper and form into a round loaf.  Cover it with the previously used/moist plastic wrap and let it rise a bit while the oven is preheating to 450 degrees. Put a Dutch Oven (Le Creuset or some other oven-safe ceramic pot with a tight-fitting lid - I use a Calphalon ceramic pot) into the oven while it's preheating.  When the bread is ready to go, pull out the pot, gently place the parchment paper with bread into the pot, and bake for 30 minutes. Take off the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Your bread should look and smell amazing. 

For the lightest bread, use all-purpose (white) flour. I often replace 1/3 or even 1/2 with whole ground wheat flour.  If I want to be really healthy, I'll do a full whole wheat version with slightly less flour and let the loaf rise well before baking... or else it is really dense. Put it very gently in the pot so the air bubbles don't burst inside. I'll usually put craisins and flax seeds in that one to provide some nice textures in there.