Monday, 7 September 2009

Moving Day

It's been a busy few days at the Colehill Kitchen, we've moved to a shiny new flat (luckily just a few doors down - which was a godsend!) and spent the weekend turning it into a home. It's a beautiful flat, but most importantly it has a lovely kitchen, perfect for cooking up a storm in!

It's taken a little getting used to, the oven, for example, has a mind of it's own. Completely different to the old oven, so far I have discovered that one side is hotter than the other, and that the temperature on the dial is nowhere near as hot as the temperature is in reality!! However, it's a challenge and so far it hasn't caused any disasters. In fact, my bread is actually better in this oven as the initial baking heat is higher, and the bread has a much more flavourful crust on it - delicious!!.
I decided that as we were all in need of a little relaxation and something soothing during the hectic weekend, I would bake scones for cream tea on Sunday afternoon. I love scones, especially with jam and clotted cream. They are so wonderfully British and elegant. You can't help but feel civilised when you have a dainty scone and little pots of jam and cream. I'm more of an 'eat each half separately' kind of person. If you sandwich them together with the jam and cream, as soon as you take a bite it all squirts out everywhere with ensuing chaos and the jam and cream has seemingly travelled an amazing distance, managing to cover your hands and clothes and your eating companions. Kind of takes away from the whole 'cream tea is so elegant' notion! With four of us eating, two girls and two boys, guess which two decided to sandwich their scones together and cause a mess?!?!?

So, I made the scone recipe from my River Cottage bread handbook,

Scones (makes 12 mini scones)
300g flour
75g butter (if it's unsalted add a good pinch of salt) plus extra for greasing
2 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
1 egg
120ml cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
a little milk

Sieve the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt (if needed) into a mixing bowl.
Add the butter at cool room temperature (not fridge cold but not soft either) and rub together until it resembles a breadcrumb texture.

If you prefer you can put it all in a food mixer and use the whisk attachment to combine.
Combine the cream, egg and vanilla essence, then add to the dry ingredients and bring together to form a rough dough.

Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 seconds.

Roll out to about 1 1/2 centimetres (these make mini scones, you can increase the thickness and use a larger cutter to make bigger ones).
Cut out scones, don't twist the cutter though, try and push it straight down and straight up again, this will help the scones to rise up. It may help to dip your cutter in flour to prevent it sticking to the dough.

Place on a greased baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the scones are turning golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, then demolish when still warm with jam and cream and a cup of tea!!

Perfection on a Sunday afternoon!!!

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