As breakfast breads go, my preference is the scone. Sure, I’m happy with good homemade buttermilk biscuits, and hearty grain breads, but when asked, I’m headed scone-ward. It’s a format that you can go a great deal with, indulging your desire for a host of flavor profiles, but spices and fruits. Cinnamon also being my spice of choice, this was a no-brainer when we were putting together brunch.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbl sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup butter
½ cup raisins
½ cup milk
2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
The Rocket Scientist is the baker on this team. I hold up my end by doing the eating.
She combined the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt by hand in a bowl, and then cut in the butter with her fingertips until the mixture looked like a coarse meal. She said (and I think she’s channeling Alton Brown here) that cutting in the butter is like “rubbing a puppy’s ears.” She stirred in the raisins, then gradually added enough milk (sometimes it’s as little as 1/3 cup, but most of the time, the full ½ cup is what works) to form a soft dough. She stirred it just enough to make sure the dry ingredients were all moist, not wanting to over-work the dough. She turned it out onto the lightly-floured (and thoroughly-cleaned) counter, and kneaded it lightly 4 or 5 times.
After heating the oven to 450F, she rolled the dough out into about a ½ inch thickness, then cut it into triangles, yielding 12 scones. She baked them for 10 minutes, but depending on altitude and whatnot, you might want to keep an eye on them after about the 8 minute point. You want them lightly browned, somewhat crispy on the outside and medium-textured inside.
She didn’t do it this time, but occasionally she makes a simple cream cheese frosting for them, or sometimes sprinkles some coarse sugar on top just before putting them in the oven.
Simple and tasty, these scones are a great addition to any brunch menu, or simply the perfect thing to have with a great cup of coffee.