Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Little Round Things

These are called "Little Round Things" because, well...first I wanted to call them Sconeamon Buns. We took a batch up to Mary's mom to try because she is a great pastry tester! The next day, my Mary was up there and her Mom asked her if she had brought more of the "little round things", so there you go.

These are not easy if you have never made scones before, but I think I can walk you through it pretty well. If not, we'll set up a demo down here in the Bear Creek Bakery Kitchen and have us a time!

My basic scone dough is the dry and crumbly type and it works best for this recipe.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar (sifted if there are lumps)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk or Half and Half
1 whole stick chilled butter
1/2 stick (or a little more) softened, spreadable butter
Cinnamon, about 2 tablespoons or to taste
Brown sugar, about 12 teaspoons

Mix all the dry ingredients together well (except the cinnamon and brown sugar).
Add the one whole stick of chilled butter cut into small pieces (about 1/4 inch thick) into your dry flour mixture.
Work the butter well into your flour, mixing by hand until you can feel no more lumps of butter.
Make a well at the bottom and add 2/3 cup milk or Half and Half (for a richer flavor).
Mix (but don't overmix) with a large spoon until everything is incorporated, it will be lumpy.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Lightly spray an airbake pan (my favorite method) or a good, thick cookie sheet with baking spray; set aside.

Dump 1/2 cup of flour on your kitchen table (if you don't mind cutting on it) or a large cutting board. Mix it around a bit with your hands because you'll need it on them, until it's a spot about 12 inches by 12 inches. Go back to your dough and bring it together by hand just enough so you can get it from the bowl in one piece and lay it on the flour on your table or cutting board. Push down lightly to cover the bottom quarter of the dough with flour, turn it 90 degrees and push down again doing the same thing. Repeat this process until all four sides are done. Now form the dough into a dome and push it
flat to about three inches thick. Turn over and push down again to about 1 inch thick. Begin pressing flat by hand (turning over carefully to incorporate a little more flour for easier handling if necessary) into a rectangle about 8 inches wide and 12 inches long. It should be about 1/2 inch thick. Once that's all done, the fun begins.

Butter the dough rectangle liberally. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon (good cinnamon like Ground Saigon Cinnamon from Costco) or whatever you have on hand. The next part may take a little practice, but you'll get it soon. Roll the dough the long way, pressing it together lightly with your fingertips as you go. Once you have formed your roll completely, push the ends together lightly toward the center of the roll. Work the roll lightly with your hands until it's evenly sized. It will be
12 inches or so long. With a very sharp knife (I use my Chinese Cleaver), cut the roll into 12 even pieces with one quick downward stroke.

Place the rolls evenly on your baking sheet flat side down, I make 4 rows of three rolls each. Put a teaspoon of brown sugar on top of each one of the rolls and don't worry if some of it falls on to the baking sheet. Then drizzle about a teaspoon of melted butter on top each one of the rolls and the brown sugar.

Place in your preheated oven and bake until the edges just begin to brown and the tops of the rolls begin to turn golden brown. My oven takes 16 to 18 minutes, so begin checking them after about 15 minutes just to be sure. Use your oven light, don't open the door.

When finished, remove from oven and let them sit on the baking sheet 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and just try not to eat one immediately.

These sound rather labor intensive, but after you get the hang of the recipe, you can turn them out in about 12 to 15 minutes, so a second batch right after the first is gone, is easy! And that's a good thing, because they sure disappear quickly!