I bought a sturdy, stainless-steel pastry blender at Sur La Table in Baton Rouge recently, and it inspired me to make scones. The pastry blender is the ideal tool for scones, biscuits, and pie crusts (well, other than the food processor, but I meant hand tool, not electrical appliance). Riffling through half a dozen baking books, I unearthed scone recipes with every imaginable baroque variation, from chocolate chips to dried and candied fruit to cheddar and bacon. In the end, simplicity won out; a simple, part-whole wheat nutty scone recipe from Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours won out. The resulting scones were just slightly sweet, perfect with jam for breakfast.
Dorie Greenspan’s Honey Nut Scones
- 1 large egg
- 2 T honey
- 1/2 cup cold milk
- 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 stick (8 T) salted butter, cut into equal-sized bits (cut into tablespoon-size pats, then slice lengthwise into three or four horizontal slabs)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together egg, honey, and milk; set aside. Stir together flours, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add butter bits and begin to cut butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender. When mixture reaches a pebbly consistency, pour in milk mixture and stir to moisten all of the flour (don’t overblend). Add chopped pecans, and knead/fold the dough 8-10 times inside the bowl. Turn dough onto a floured counter and divide in half. Shape each half into a thick disk; using a dough divider or long knife, cut each disk into six wedges. Transfer wedges onto the baking sheet, pulling the wedges slightly apart for crispier scones. Bake for 20 minutes until deep golden brown.