Welcome to The Travelling Tiffin! My name is Cathey Visscher, passionate baker and Country Show addict.
Here’s hoping you enjoy my semi regular contribution and gain an old-fashioned approach to basic baking.
I will admit, I am not fond of a lot of modern recipes. Substituted ingredients and shortcuts often don’t cut it, losing flavour, texture and design. With my column, I am hoping to show that preparation and a few extra moments of your time, scratch cooking can produce award winning results!
So, why bake?
According to a psychologist “Baking is a productive form of self-expression and communication”.
In layman’s terms, you can bake items that you enjoy, items that will challenge you and be able to present these goods to family and friends to show that you love and care for them. At the heart of baking for others is the very act of giving. Baking for others can increase a feeling of well-being, contribute to stress relief and can elevate your connection with other people.You do not need to be a chef to be able to product something edible. Start off with a baseline comfort level in the kitchen.
This weeks recipe is an old classic favourite – Scones. Yes! Who can resist a warm scone with jam and cream on a cold winters day with a cup of tea? Sounds good to me – lets go!
Scones got their start as a quick bread, baked on a griddle in Scotland in the early 1500’s. Originally made with oats, todays version is made with flour and baked in the oven. There are so many variations – savoury with cheese, chives etc and our classic plain, pumpkin, dried fruits.
So enough rambling, lets get started.
Foundation Scone Recipe
3 cups self raising flour
½ tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
50g melted butter
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Line a biscuit tray with baking paper.
Place dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Melt butter gently in milk in a small saucepan. Allow to cool slightly then whisk in the egg.
Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Only stir enough to combine. Do Not Overmix!! Otherwise you will end up with tough, doughy scones.
Tip mixture onto a floured surface and gently pat into a round shape approximately
2-3 cm high.
Using a metal or plastic, round cutter, cut into shapes – do not twist the cutter, just cut in a straight up and down motion otherwise your scones will twist and distort their shape as they cook – and space about 3cm apart on the baking tray. Make the most of the first cut before you re roll the remaining mix and cut until all the dough has been used. The more times you re roll the dough the tougher it gets.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the scones with milk. Bake on the top shelf in the oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top.Remove from oven and cover with a tea towel on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Cheese and chive – add 1 cup grated cheese and 1 tablespoon fresh or dried chives.
Sweet – add 1 cup of either of the following: sultanas with the grated zest of 1 orange, 1.5 cups chopped dates soaked overnight in ¼ cup orange juice. The variations are only limited by your imagination!
Out of your whole batch, choose the amount required that you need (usually 4 or 6 – check your schedule) and select the ones that are uniform. ie. Similar in colour, size etc. Using a pastry brush, brush off any flour excess.Only use scones that were cut from the first roll of the dough. They can get tough after the dough has been re rolled.