Most weekends, and some weekdays, Carolyn will bake fresh muffins, scones or coffeecake for the boys and I (yes, she is perfect and we are very grateful). Carolyn has dozen of good recipes, but recently has been working with recipes from “Breakfast, Lunch, Tea” a cookbook from the Rose Bakery in Paris. The cookbook is very well-designed, with stylish photos and is turning out to be a very good resource for baking and some savory dishes. It is a good cookbook and worth a look.
One of the best things we have tried from the cookbook so far is a simple recipe for Maple Syrup Scones. Scones are a great treat for breakfast and can be made that morning- so they are a good pastry to have in your toolkit. This is a simple recipe, but the addition of the maple syrup adds wonderful flavor and aroma that just screams “breakfast time”. I won’t lie, it is a joy to wake up to the smell of Carolyn baking tasty treats.
Carolyn has adapted the recipe to add a bit more maple flavor and more color, but the overall recipe is very easy and something that can be done at home by any baker. The basic ingredients are all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, baking powder butter, salt, sugar, buttermilk (or milk), egg and maple syrup. Carolyn adds maple sugar for dusting the scones before baking- a very nice touch.
The process is similar to most scone recipes. First you sift and combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add chilled butter to the dry ingredients. You can use fingers or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter. The mixture should look like loose breadcrumbs.
In a different medium-sized bowl add syrup and buttermilk. Then make a well in the bowl with the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients and mix them together by hand until a dough forms. Try not to overwork the dough, you just want it to combine. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If sticky add a touch more flour, if too dry add a touch more milk.
When the dough is combined, flour a surface and then turn out the dough and shape it with a roller or by hand into a rectangle shape about 1 & 1/4 inch thick. Then, using a bench scraper or sharp knife cut the dough into even squares (expect a 4 x 3 distribution- see photo), or you can cut the dough into rounds. Carolyn usually likes squares, as the shapes are more even and you do not have to reshape the dough (extra handling makes for tough scones).
As a final step Carolyn beats and egg and then brushes the scones with the eggwash. She also sprinkles the scones with maple sugar. This is an optional step, but the maple sugar and egg combine to create a lovely golden brown crust that has some added maple flavor. (If you do not have maple sugar, a touch of turbinado or brown sugar would also work).
The scones will bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden. They are great with butter, lime or lemon curd, jam or clotted cream. We have been lucky enough to have some early blueberries and strawberries and they have been a perfect compliment to the scones. This is a great recipe for any baker, it is easy to make and can be made in under an hour- give it a try and you will see happy faces at breakfast.
Maple Syrup Scones:
(adapted from “Breakfast, Lunch, Tea” , the Rose Bakery cookbook)
Notes Before You Start:
- This is a tasty and easy recipe- try it, even if you don’t bake.
What You Get: Tasty, fresh scones for breakfast with the extra boost of flavor and aroma from the maple syrup.
What You Need: No special equipment required.
How Long? 45 minutes with 10-15 of active time. You can make scones any time.
(Makes about 12 scones)
- 1 and 3/4 Cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 Cup rolled oats
- 1 Heaping tablespoon of baking powder
- 1 Heaping tablespoon of superfine sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cup (about 5 and 1/2 ounces) of unsalted butter cut into pieces. Extra butter for greasing baking sheet.
- 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 Tablespoons buttermilk (you can substitute whole milk), plus some extra to moisten the dough, if needed
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons of maple sugar, turbinado sugar or brown sugar (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and postion a rack in the middle of the oven. Grease a baking sheet with butter (you can also use a silicone mat).
- Into a large bowl, sift the flours, then add the oats, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add the butter pieces and then combine with your hands or a pastry cutter (hands are good for this recipe). The texture should resemble loose breadcrumbs.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the syrup and buttermilk.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix them together gently by hand until a dough forms. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If sticky add a touch more flour, if too dry add a touch more milk. (In drier climates like California we almost always need to add some more milk).
- Lightly flour a large surface and turn out the dough. Using hands or a roller, shape the dough into a rough rectangle about 1 and 1/4 inches thick. Cut dough into 12 squares, or cut into rounds.
- Place pieces, evenly spaced, on the baking sheet, brush with egg. Add a sprinkle of maple sugar, if using, to each of the scones. Place scones in the oven.
- Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve.