British-Style Currant Scones
Once you see how simple it is to make these British-Style Currant Scones, you're going to want to bake them every weekend!
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When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with currant scones (see here, here, here, and here). Not only was my desire to eat them a persistent one, but I also felt a pressing need to make them from scratch. Because the recipe makes 12 scones, I'd bake a full batch of these British-Style Currant Scones on the weekend, leaving half of them out for Stephen and me to enjoy right away and putting the other half in the freezer. Whenever the stash in the freezer ran low, I'd go back into the kitchen and bake a fresh batch.
It was a good system.
I thought I'd abandon my scone obsession after the baby was born, but I actually grew to love the process of making them -- measuring the ingredients, kneading and rolling the dough, cutting them, brushing on the egg wash, and inhaling their intoxicating smell while pulling the scones out of the oven.
The whole experience is very grounding and helps me clear my head. Now, I make sure to keep all of the necessary ingredients on hand so I can bake them while Caroline naps. If you want to see how simple it is to make scones from scratch, then keep reading!
British scones aren't as rich or as sweet as American scones, so the amount of butter and sugar called for is relatively low. They're also lighter and fluffier than scones you'll find in the States. This just means you can slather on gobs of butter and eat more than your fair share without feeling terribly guilty about it. ;-)
Before I go any further, I should tell you that my recipe for British-Style Currant Scones is a lightly-adapted version of a recipe that I found in the March/April 2014 issue of Cooks Illustrated.
If you don't want to use currants (or can't find them in your local store), then you can certainly use raisins instead. Though, I'd recommend chopping the raisins up a bit so you don't have huge chunks of them in your scones.
Once you've combined the dough ingredients, you'll likely find that the dough is soft and wet.
THIS IS OKAY!
Ignore the temptation to add more flour... The dough is supposed to be soft.
When you turn the dough out onto your work surface and start to knead it, you'll see that the dough comes together just fine.
After rolling out your dough, use a sharp-edged biscuit cutter to cut the rounds, making sure to push straight down rather than twisting the cutter. This way, your scones will rise nice and tall.
(If you don't have biscuit cutters in the house, a drinking glass works just the same.)
Arrange the rounds of dough onto a baking sheet and brush the tops with an egg wash so they'll brown in the oven.
When the scones have finished baking, take them out of the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Or... You can be like Stephen and me and wait, maybe, one minute before slicing open a scone, slathering on the butter, and taking a bite.
Either way is fine.
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