From Maximum Flavors comes this turn-the-world-around recipe for scones. Although the recipe below calls for nut butter and some kind of fruit, in the headnotes authors Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot do give away their favorite combination: peanut butter and strawberries.
I know that “peanut butter” says “butter” but I never think of it as “butter” like the yellow stuff Suzen and I bake with. Yet here it is. And the result is a light, melt-in-your-mouth texture. The peanut flavor is an undertone with the strawberry highlights punctuating palate in unexpected surprises.
These scones are rich enough that no additional butter is needed. Pairing these scones with a hot espresso is precisely the way to begin a winter morning.
Nut Butter Scones
Yield: 12 smallish scones
- 1 ½ cups/ 225 grams all-purpose flour
- I ½ cups / 210 grams white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup / 100 grams granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons / 12 grams baking powder
- ½ teaspoon / 2.5 grams baking soda
- ½ teaspoon / 3 grams fine sea salt
- 1 cup / 270 grams nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond, etc.), cold
- 1 cup / 260 grams whole milk (or substitute soy, almond, or rice milk)
- ¾ cup fruit (berries, raisins, diced bananas, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons / 25 grams raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and pulse a few times to blend. Add the nut butter and pulse to blend. The mixture should look coarse and granular. Add ½ cup (195 grams) of the milk and pulse until the mixture begins to clump together. If it seems too dry, add the remaining milk, 2 tablespoons (32.5 grams) at a time, pulsing in between additions, until it begins to clump together and look like coarse streusel.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and scatter the fruit over the top. Use your hands and a bench scraper, if you have one, to gently fold the fruit into the dough, adding a bit of flour if the juices from the fruit make the dough too wet to hold together. It should just hold when you press the dough together. Form the dough into an 8-inch (20 cm) round and cut it into 12 equal wedges. Or you can shape it into two 4-inch (10 cm) rounds and cut each in to 6 pieces.
Put the scones on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with the raw sugar. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate the sheet, and bake until golden brown, 4 to 8 minutes more, checking after 4 minutes. Let the scones cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Maximum Flavor Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot
Photo Information [top picture]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/100th second at ISO-1000
Here is an exceptional flatbread thanks to Bon Appetit. There is no yeast here: just salt, flour and butter. The “flaky” concept comes from the softness of the bread in your mouth. The butter flavor is there along with the carbon aromas creating from skillet cooking. The effect is dramatic, particularly given the bare simple beginnings of this bread.
Suzen served this bread with a creamy salmon spread. The bread would be the ideal vehicle for a bevy of spreads at your next cocktail party.
From start to finish, this bread takes about 5 hours including rising time, so planning ahead is necessary. But the aromas, the tastes will make it all worthwhile.
The recipe below calls for sea salt to adorn the top of the bread. Here is your chance to go freelance using the salt of your choice. Suzen and I live in Manhattan where we have The Meadow as a source of dozens of salts that could be used. The Meadow began in Portland, Oregon and you can go online to see their selection. Or, go to your local gourmet store to find something smoky and fun.
Yield: 10 rounds, enough for 5+ people
- 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface while rolling out
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melt, plus more at room temperature for brushing [about 10]
- Flakey sea salt [such as Maldon]
- Olive oil for the parchment
Whisk kosher salt and 3 cups flour in a large bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter; mix well. Gradually mix in ¾ cup water. Kneed on a lightly floured surface until the dough is shiny and very soft, about 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic; let rest in a warm spot at least 4 hours.
Divide the dough into 10 pieces and, using your palm, roll into balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest 15 minutes.
Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out the balls on an unfloured surface with a rolling pin into very thin rounds or ovals about 9” across. [If the dough bounces back, cover with plastic and let rest a few minutes.]
Brush the tops of the rounds with room-temperature butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Roll up each round onto itself to create a long thin rope, then wind each rope around itself to create a tight coil. Working with 1 coil at a time, rollout on an unfloured surface to 10” rounds to more than ⅛” thick. Stack as you go, separating each round with a sheet of parchment paper brushed with oil.
Heat a large cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Working 1 at a time, brush both sides of a dough round with room-temperature butter and cook until lightly blistered and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and sprinkle with seat salt.
The coils can be rolled out up to 1 month ahead; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Cook frozen [adding 1-2minutes to the cooking time].
Source: Bon Appetit