This month was a real treat. First, I’m swearing off sugar for 2012. I’ve got pounds to lose, and sugar’s ability to drive me into a fervent hunt for food does not help. Second, the recipe was simple, extensible, and reproducible enough that I could try it 3 times over the course of the month…which Audax suggested and I did.
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!
To be clear, these are what Americans call biscuits, and what are called scones in most of the British Commonwealth.
Here were my three variations.
The first used a blend of whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour. I also went relatively easy on the salt, and used equal parts butter and (natural, palm oil-based) shortening. I didn’t have buttermilk on hand, so I curdled some whole milk with vinegar instead.
The biscuits turned out nice, although a tiny bit heavy (probably the whole-wheat thing going on) and a bit insipid-tasting (I really needed to add more salt). They were still flavorful and my DH and I gobbled all 6 of them fairly quickly. We ate them with poached eggs (here’s how to make them) and veggie bacon strips. A nice twist on a traditional Southern breakfast!
My second variation turned to a bit more a traditional formulation: I used pastry flour, and a bit more salt (actually a blend of sea salt and no-salt potassium salt, since I’ve recently become more aware of the dangers of high sodium). The result: gorgeous, fluffy biscuits. They were a lot saltier, just a touch too salty for my taste, but otherwise, they were great.
My third variation used a mixture of 50% rye flour, and 50% einkorn flour. I also used half the fat (butter & shortening) as before, and went just a touch easier on the salt blend. The result: much more dense but still fluffy, but not flaky, biscuits. My DH said they were too dense but conceded that they left a really nice taste in your mouth. I think going low-fat was a mistake; the fats really do add some flakiness and irregular texture to the crumb that was missing from the last batch.