03 October 2013

Blue Cheese and Onion Scones Redux

The last time I made these scones was just about a year ago. They tasted very good-it's blue cheese, onion jam tucked into buttery, nutty whole wheat dough! But their appearance was kinda sloppy and I remember sticky dough and tepid fingers and worry/regret when I plopped the dough onto the sheet pan into an oven I was just getting to know (and would replace shortly after that). I'm not going to beat myself up- they spread, the butter probably wasn't cold enough and I was afraid to actually mix and shape dough... but they were still tasty, because it's a good recipe--just on the softer side for a scone.

Remembering that compared to what came out of the oven the other day when I decided these were in order, I can at least say that practice makes for better and calmer everything. Somehow, I let a year slip by before making these again. And that is why I'm bringing them up today, because it is Fall, and these scones go incredibly well with your lunchtime squash/apple/pecan/variation-of-fall-junkie-salads, as well as being a more formal addition to an appetizer cheese plate and heck, I just ate one by itself for breakfast with a little butter, leftover onion jam and sliced seasonal fruit. As their savory and wholesome selves, they are interested and available for any mealtime, is what I'm trying to say... First, you'll have to make some **caramelized onions, but that's what big yellow onions are for : )

Now onto technique. I did a few things differently-I weighed my ingredients, worked quickly and efficiently, wasn't afraid to mix a bit, and I made sure it was cold going into the oven. I also worked with little squares rather than triangles when it came to cutting. I used a blend of whole wheat flour and all purpose, and I really cut the recipe down, to just make four scones, and I'll write that out below. And the other thing I noticed this year when I re-looked at the recipe in Kim's book, was that after being cut, the raw scones can stay in the fridge well covered for up to two days. So I baked two and refrigerated the other two, and can testify that the "aged" dough scone worked out swimmingly the next day when it was baked. That's all for now. xoxoxo MN

Blue Cheese and Onion scones
Barely adapted from Good to the Grain
yields 4 scones

48 grams/1/4c + 2 T whole wheat flour
39 grams/1/4 c + 1T all purpose flour
1.5 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 ounce cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
60 ml/1/4 c buttermilk
2 T caramelized onions
1T honey

Preheat oven 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stick butter in freezer while you sift together dry ingredients and combine wet. Whisk together the buttermilk, onions and honey and pop in the fridge. Add the cubed, cold butter to the dry ingredients and using a pastry blender break down the butter until it breaks down into pieces as small as crumbs and as large as squashed peas. Stir the crumbled blue cheese into the mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Gently combine the two until everything is incorporated and a soft ball is formed. Dump out the dough (I dump it onto a piece of plastic or parchment). Using lightly floured hands, gently flatten and fold dough over itself a few times and shape into a rectangle with a bench scraper. Shape into a rectangle 1 inch thick. Using bench scraper, cut the dough into 4 squares and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 22-24 minutes, rotating the baking sheet around halfway through. The scones are finished baking when the tops are golden brown and the blue cheese starts to ooze out and starts to caramelize on the baking sheet. 
**To caramelize onions, heat a wide skillet over medium high, oil/butter it and add a big  chopped onion, cook til translucent, about 5-10 minutes, add salt, turn to a simmer for up to an hour for best flavor. Deglaze with a drop of vinegar and water. Cool completely and store in a jar in the fridge.  

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