Monday, February 11, 2008


I used to hate scones. They were dry, tasteless and way too uppity. My entire experience with them, of course, was based on the ones at Starbucks. And then one day at Panera, I decided to try theirs, taking one each of their Orange Iced and the Savory Ham and Cheese.

Damn. I'm not sure what possessed me to to give them a shot, but those were revelations. both varieties were moist and flavorful, with a distinct firm (but not dry or tough) texture. I love them.

I also noticed that my Foster's Market cookbook had a recipe for them, with a number of variations. I made one batch, divided the dough in half, and then mixed in diced ham and shredded cheddar into one half of the dough. Overall, not bad. They're definitely better served fresh, that's for sure.

A few observations:
  • Scones are basically biscuits. I should have guessed, but I didn't know that before. At least, this recipe is pretty much the same as my biscuit recipe.
  • My oven still needs some adjustment. It's running a little hot now. These were looking done about 3/4 of the way through, easily.
  • The texture was a bit crumbly - not unlike the problem I have with muffins. I think I need to work on the balance between combining and overworking ingredients with flour.
  • I don't like working dough in my food processor. The bits in the corners of the food bowl were dry because the blades couldn't get at them. I had to work them in by hand. Though maybe if I had run it a little longer, I would have gotten them mixed in right and gotten enough gluten action. I was definitely conservative.
  • I need to practice more with the ham and cheese to nail how well Panera does it. I'll probably buy a couple to take home and work side-by-side with them.

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