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Yesterday morning when I should have been doing many other things, I got the urge to bake. The first thing I did was get going on making soft wheat rolls to go with a pumpkin curry soup I was having for dinner. I'll share the bread recipe next week, if there's interest (the soup is being made by a friend), but here is my adventure in photos:
Since there is plenty of sitting around time when it comes to baking bread (waiting for the dough to rise), I thought I'd use my time wisely by baking a treat. I chose a recipe from the fabulous cookbook Flour by Joanne Chang. There are many reasons to want to live in the Boston area, but if the recipes in this restaurant cookbook are any small indication, I want to live in Boston so I can frequent the Flour Bakery + Cafe.
The recipes in this book are for some of the many of the goodies one can buy at the bakery run and owned by Chang. So often, cookbooks written by professional chefs fall flat when taken into a personal kitchen that is equipped with basic appliances and cookware. Not so with Flour.
As with any good cookbook, the first few chapters are all about techniques, equipment, and ingredients. But Chang also includes her 12 tips for successful baking. I love them, especially the last rule: "Have fun and relax." That is exactly what I do when I putter around the kitchen.
The chapters cover breakfast, cookies, cakes, pies, other sweets, and breads. The recipes use common ingredients and the directions are well written and non-intimidating. There are ample beautiful photographs throughout the book (though not every recipe has a photo). Recipes I want to try are Ginger Molasses Cookies; Lemon-Raspberry Cake; Country Ham, Cheddar, and Tomato Quiche; and Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. Yummmm.
What I made yesterday morning were the following yummy rustic scones.
makes 8 rustic scones
- 1 1/4 cups (210 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups (125 g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (50 g) pecan halves, toasted then chopped
- 1/2 cup (80 g) golden raisins
- 1/2 cup (1 stick 114 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8-10 pieces
- 1/2 cup (80 g) cold heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (160 g) maple syrup
- 1 cold egg
- 1 cup (140 g) confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons water
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle (or handheld mixer), mix together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pecans, and raisins on low speed for 10 to 15 seconds, or until combined. Scatter the butter over the top and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is somewhat broken down and grape-size pieces are still visible.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, maple syrup, and egg. On low speed pour the cream mixture into the flour mixture and beat for 10-30 seconds, or just until the dough comes together. It will be fairly wet.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. With a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the dry ingredients are mixed into the dough. Using a 1/3-cup dry-measuring cup, drop mounded scoops of the dough onto a baking sheet, forming 8 scones and spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the scones are golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
To make the glaze, mix the ingredients together, using enough of the water to make a smooth, pourable glaze. Pour over the cooled scones and serve.
Beth Fish's notes: I didn't have cream and used milk. They still tasted great. I made the glaze into more of an icing. Yummm.
Published by Chronicle Books, October 2010
Source: Review (see review policy)
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