I like a challenge, the chance to do something a little different, the chance to explore a common theme with a little of my own imagination thrown in. I also enjoy seeing how others respond to an idea…
…for example if you were asked to make scones (aka American biscuits) what would you come up with?
Sweet, savoury, a circle of wedges, round scones cut with a cutter, fruity scones, chocolate scones, scones served with jam and cream for afternoon tea, scones served as a side with a casserole or broth…the list goes on!
I have recently joined the Daring Bakers and this was my first monthly challenge….scones! The challenges are set on the 1st of every month with a publishing date of the 27th of every month. It’s been very interesting to check out the results of the other bakers and to see just how different the outcomes can be.
For me the basic scone recipe presents simply the principle, one which I can then tweak to create a healthy vegan adaptation. I opted for sweet scones as would be traditionally served with jam and cream (or in my case sugar free jam and a dollop of soy yoghurt). This is the type of scone with which I am most familiar; I remember days gone by cuddling up on the sofa with a warm wedge of light and fluffy baked scone slathered in jam and squirty cream!
I haven’t had too much experience with baking healthy vegan scones (or any scones for that matter), other than the first batch I ever made- my Halloween pumpkin scones which were a resounding success! This gave me a little confidence boost and I was keen to get cracking!
Traditional scones, whether sweet or savoury, consist primarily of plain flour, butter and milk. I adapted the basic recipe to incorporate spelt flour, almond milk and coconut oil and I’m pleased with the overall result…a good base for many flavour combinations. I had three attempts at this challenge, tweaking as I went and reducing the liquid slightly and adding a little baking soda along with the baking powder, and adding a little dried fruit. The original Daring Bakers January recipe challenge can be found here.
So, question time...Do you call them ‘biscuits’ or ‘scones’? Do you prefer sweet or savoury? What’s your favourite flavour combination?
Recipe: Scones with walnut and cranberry
Makes approx. 6 wedges or circles (I made one batch of each)
- 1 cup mix of white and wholemeal spelt flours
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 2 tables coconut oil (not melted)
- Slightly over 1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice) plus extra for glaze
- 2 tsp agave syrup
- ¼ cup mix of chopped cranberries and dates (optional)
Mix/sift dry ingredients well to maximise air in the mixture.
Rub through the coconut oil with fingers to achieve a breadcrumb like consistency, then mix through the dried fruit if using.
Mix agave into the milk and add liquid to the dry ingredients. Use hands to create a soft dough ball that should be slightly sticky but manageable.
On a floured surface, knead dough into a circle approx. 2cm thick and either cut into 6 wedges or circles using a cutter. Brush a little ‘milk’ over the tops to glaze.
Lay close together on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 210C for 8-10 minutes until tops are golden. You may need to rotate halfway through to ensure an even rise.
Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host.. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!
For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.