Scones (slightly modified from the currant cream scone recipe in the Tassajara Recipe Book - makes 8 good sized scones)The Tassajara Bread Book and the Tassajara Recipe Book are great resources if you are interested in bread making. They are sweet little paperback volumes complete with hippie poetry about the feel of dough beneath your fingers and very helpful hand drawn illustrations. (Obviously, the food processor modification to this recipe was mine, and I'm not sure the author would approve.) They give you plenty of information about technique, so I never feel lost when following the recipes.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 dried, pitted dates (original recipe calls for currants and really, any dried fruit will do)
1 or 2 tbsp sugar (depending on your sweet tooth)
5 tbsp cold butter, cubed
5 tbsp milk or cream
Zest of one orange
A few drops of vanilla
If you have a food processor: put the flour, salt, baking powder, dates and sugar in the food processor and buzz it around a couple of times.
Drop in the cubed butter and pulse a few more times, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, zest and vanilla and pour it into the food processor while it is running. It should quickly combine into a rough dough.
Stop the food processor, scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead a couple of times until the dough comes together. Shape it into a circle about 3/4 inch thick, brush it with a the remnants of the egg/milk mixture and sprinkle a bit of superfine sugar over the top, if desired.
Use a large knife to cut the circle into 8 wedges and place them on an ungreased baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees, until the scones are golden brown on top.
If you don't have a food processor, you can sift the flour mixture and then add chopped dates. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter and then gently stir in the wet ingredients.
Wait, did you catch that? It's my new tea cup!
Because scones require good tea, preferably served in a fabulous cup.