You need to know a few important things if you’re about to join the excellent ship MasterChef as a contestant.
1) Don’t skimp on gravy. 2) Only wear a hat when you want to become a national laughingstock. 3) Be very afraid of everything from outside the country; it’s the kind of baking judged at Deniliquin or Dumbleyung.
The V8 cake and the croquembouche are a thing of the past. The CWA challenge scones were the recipe that caused the most trouble in MasterChef. Gary’s date scones recipe from the first series was downloaded more than any other.
In the ’60s and ’70s, scones were made by your nan for the genteel teas in the hills or Flo’s Pumpkin variety, which was used to distract the public from the antics of her husband, Queensland Premier Sir JohBjelkePetersen.
Australia’s love of scones is reminiscent of an era when black-and-white movies were popular. It was a time when new Australians would be criticized at school for the food they brought, whether Greek, Indian, or Italian.
This has changed, thankfully, in the last few decades.
While it’s excellent that Aussie children of all cultures spend their time cooking stir-fries, gnocchi, or salami sandwiches, there’s a feeling some old Anglo-Celtic ways have been forgotten. Being part of a multicultural society allows you to embrace other culinary traditions while maintaining your own.
It seemed the perfect time to cover everything you need about making scones and educating the next generation of MasterChef contestants.
Tips to make the perfect scone
Follow the recipe. It is essential to use a lot of rising agents when making scones. They need a lot to be light and fluffy.
You can also follow the recipe but use cream or fizzy lemonade instead of milk for a lighter version.
Refrain from overworking the dough. Think of the scone mixture as ingredients that you gently pull together.
Instead of mixing ingredients, you can use the technique of “cutting.” When adding the wet ingredients, use a flat-bladed or palette knife to cut (or pull) through them.
Refrain from overworking the dough. It is best to remove it from the bowl and pat it very lightly with your heel on a floured area. It is best to make it about 3cm thick.
It should be moist and sticky. The scone mix is much wetter than the dough. It’s between a batter and a pastry dough.
Avoid adding extra flour to the dough by only lightly flouring your surface.
Remember: Refrain from overworking the dough; the scones may turn out hard and rubbery.
You can ruin the rise of your scones if you twist the cutter. The surge can be affected by rotating the knife. You can’t turn a blade that has a flute. Use a plastic or glass beaker if you don’t own a cutter.
The scones should be packed tightly on the baking sheet to support each other rather than spread out as they rise.
Warm scones are better than cold ones.
If you’d like a soft top on your scones after seven minutes of cooking, brush them with milk. You can also wrap them in a tea towel after they leave the oven.
Matt Preston’s perfect recipe for scones
Preheat oven to 220C. Rub 100g butter into 600g flour with your fingers so that the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Little lumps of Butter.
Add some sugar and salt. Pour 300g milk (or a 50/50 mix of milk and lemonade) into the flour mixture while cutting it with a knife. Pull it gently together to form a loose, elastic dough.
Cut out the scones by flattening the dough to a thickness of 2 cm. All the scones should be baked together in a single layer on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
How To Pimp Your Scones
Add 50g of coconut, chopped glace cherry, or crystallized Ginger to the mix. My grandmother’s favorite was crystallized ginger.
How To Make Fruity Scones
Add 75g of currants or dates soaked for 20 minutes in milk or tea. Add a few pinches of mixed spices or lemon zest. Also, walnuts work well. Add the zest from two oranges and some cinnamon powder. You can substitute the milk for fresh orange juice.
How To Make Savory Scones
To make savory Scones, leave out 75% of the sugar. Also, increase the amount of salt by a pinch. Add 100g of your favorite flavorful ingredients such as grated ham or cheese or herbs like snipped chives or picked thyme, tarragon, anchovies, or a mixture. You can experiment with cumin, fennel, or crushed coriander to spice up these savory Scones.
Do Scones contain eggs?
Generally, no. Oxford English Dictionary traces the word “scone” to 1513, when it was first printed. The word scone is derived from Middle Dutch, which means ‘fine bread.’ It was initially made with barley meal and water. It was sometimes combined with salt and an acidic ingredient, such as buttermilk or limeade. Today’s scone recipe does not include eggs like the old recipes, although there are a few rare exceptions. The texture of a scone can be affected by eggs. It should be golden and fluffy on the inside.