Friday, March 28, 2008
LEVAIN BAKERY OATMEAL RAISIN SCONES, adapted
We have a bakery very close by that sells outstanding cranberry-orange scones. I've tried scones at other places, and there's just no comparison. My few feeble attempts at scone making have failed to come anywhere near the texture of our neighborhood bakery scones. But with my recent success making the Levain Bakery fabulous scone-like chocolate chip cookies, I started thinking again about trying my hand at scones. Levain Bakery has not kept their scone recipe a secret, so no need to find a copycat recipe. These girls really don't seem to like flavoring, because their recipe has no flavoring at all in it: no vanilla, no citrus zest, nothing. Since I love cranberry-orange, I decided to switch the raisins to cranberries and add some orange zest. I intended to halve the recipe, but goofed and added the sugar for a whole batch, so then I had to go with the the full recipe. I also used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. Oh, and I added some nuts. These aren't half bad, especially when you consider they're really a breakfast with the whole wheat flour and the oatmeal. Honestly, you feel full after eating one. They're still not like our neighborhood bakery scones, but they are the closest I've come. Still looking for that perfect scone recipe, but in the meantime, these are worth making.
Levain Bakery Oatmeal Raisin Scones, Adapted
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup Craisins
3 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
2-1/2 cups 1-minute quick oats
3/4 cup white sugar (I used 1 Tbsp. Stevia + 1/4 cup sugar)
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbsp. orange zest
12 oz. sweet butter, cold and diced small (It's easier if you grate the butter)
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1-1/4 cups half and half (I used Land O'Lakes fat-free H&H)
DIRECTIONS: In microwaveable 2 cup bowl, heat orange juice on high till very hot, about 45 seconds. Add craisins; cover and let sit about 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Drain craisins, reserving liquid in a 2-cup measuring container. Combine all ingredients except reserved orange liquid and H&H in a large bowl. The key word is combine, do not cream, do not overmix. Add enough H&H to the reserved orange liquid to equal 1-1/4 cups. Quickly pour in all of this liquid while mixing on low speed. If the dough appears at all dry add additional H&H by tablespoonful until just combined. Again, do not overmix.
I took about 1/4 cup of dough and with wet hands, roughly shaped it into a ball, flattened it slightly and put it on the baking pan. I did weigh the dough balls to try to get them uniform, and if I remember, they were roughly 4 oz. each. The Levain instructions follow, and are different from what I did: Turn the dough out onto a very well floured surface. If the dough is very sticky, flour the top of the dough also. Pat the mixture into a layer, 3/4 to 1" thick. Using a 2-inch diameter round cutter, cut out the scones, dipping the cutter into flour each time between cuts. Place each scone, as cut, onto lined baking pan leaving 2-3" between each scone. This should make 12 round scones. (You can also form dough into rectangular shape and cut with a knife into 12 square or triangle scones.)
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until light golden brown on both the top and bottom of scones. (I used a toothpick inserted in center to test for doneness.) Yield: 12 scones
A simple glaze of orange juice, melted butter and 10X sugar drizzled over the warm scones is a nice addition.