This past Christmas, my boss gave all of us on the Administrative team a tin of scones from the Highland Gourmet Scone Company in Birmingham, AL. They came in this lovely gold colored tin with a simple label in the center of the lid.
I brought them home and put them with the rest of the baked goods, candies and cakes that were accumulating on the counter. I didn’t really think much about them because I’ve never been much of a fan of scones – I always found them dry and dense and cakey.
One Saturday morning I wasn’t feeling up to cooking, so my husband broke into the tin of scones. I decided to see what they were all about, so I grabbed one too and ate it with my coffee.
It was like no scone I’d ever eaten before – buttery, light, flaky, creamy, delicious. DE-licious. They were studded with sweet, juicy golden raisins and tasted more like a giant butter cookie than a scone or a biscuit.
Needless to say, these little pastries changed the way I thought about scones. These, of course, were baked with refined flour and sugar so I knew I’d need to do some tweaking if I was going to try and make a similar version at home using freshly milled flour. It’s funny because as I was contemplating scones yesterday, Deb over at Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for Oat and Maple Syrup Scones. Great minds.
Anyway, in an attempt to lighten up my flour mixture a bit, I finely ground some brown rice. I’d read that rice flour is a great way to get a flakier, more tender texture in baked goods because of the lack of gluten. However, let me warn you, if you have a countertop grain mill and are looking to grind some rice in the near future, it took about four or five times as long to grind two cups of rice as it does two cups of wheat berries. I’m not sure why, but it was the longest, most tedious (not to mention loudest) 20 minutes I’ve experienced in a long time. In the end it was worth it, though, as it yielded a very tender scone.
I added raisins to mine, and sweetened the dough just a bit with two tablespoons of honey granules. They weren’t as rich and sweet as the Highland Gourmet Scone Company scones, but they were pretty darn close. They had more of a rustic quality to them, but I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve them at a nice brunch or afternoon tea.
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey granules
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup raisins
1/2-3/4 cup sour milk or buttermilk
- preheat oven to 375F and spray a baking sheet with baking spray.
- whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and honey granules.
- using a pastry cutter, blend the butter into the flour until it resembles course meal.
- add the raisins and stir to combine.
- add the milk/buttermilk and stir to incorporate. only add as much as is needed to create a shaggy dough.
- turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently, 8-10 times just to form a ball.
- roll out to 1/2-3/4 inch thickness and cut using a 2-3 inch biscuit cutter or knife.
- place scones on prepared baking sheet and bake at 375F until slightly browned on top.
- serve with butter and marmalade.
For a printable version of this recipe, click here.