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How to Make Scones

What are the three liquids that can be used for scones?

Scones are a richer and sweeter version of the common biscuit. They are often made with cream (#1) or a combination of cream and milk (#2), or buttermilk (#3). They are quite likely to include egg (#4, at least under our definition of a liquid). Many include butter, which is quite often melted (#5), though a lower-cholesterol scone might include oil (#6) instead. We're guessing for the purposes of your home-economics or cooking-school homework, the correct answer is cream, milk, and buttermilk.

Here's a recipe that we think produces a very nice, classical scone, and the choice of liquids is largely up to you:

Currant Scones
From La Varenne Pratique (Canada, UK), by Anne Willan.

Scones maybe baked in the oven or on a griddle. They are best served still warm, split to spread with butter, or cream and jam.

Ingredients:

2 cups/250 g flour
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup/60 g shortening
2 Tbsp/30 g currants
3/4 cup/175 ml buttermilk and 1 tsp cream of tartar or 3/4 cup/175 ml fresh milk and 2 tsp cream of tartar (more liquid if needed)

Instructions:

Heat the oven to 425F (220C) and grease and flour a baking sheet. Sift the flour into a bowl with the sugar, baking soda and salt. With your fingers or two knives, work in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the currants and make a well in the center of the mixture. Stir the cream of tartar into the buttermilk or milk and add to the well. Stir lightly, just until the dough clings together. It should be soft and sticky, so add more liquid if necessary.

On a floured board knead the dough lightly for 1 minute. Pat it to 1 in/2.5 cm thickness. Stamp out rounds with a 2-1/2 in/6 cm pastry cutter pastry cutter. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: Makes 6-8 scones

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