Scones are a Scottish quick bread whose popularity has spread to the British Isles and across the ocean to the United States. They are similar to biscuits, but richer, with a slightly cakelike texture. Scones usually contain moist additions such as currants, the traditional choice, or more unusually, ham, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and often in the Southwest, green chile. These scones combine two forms of ginger, ground and crystallized, and are much moister than the traditional ones.
Yield: 8 scones
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons honey
4 cups unbleached flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened and cut into small pieces
½ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped and dredged in flour
½ cup raisins, dredged in flour
Preheat the oven to 400°F, and lightly oil a sheet pan.
Combine 2 tablespoons of the milk and the honey in a small saucepan over mediumlow heat, and stir until the honey is dissolved. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Add the butter and cut it into the dry ingredients using either a pastry blender or two forks, until coarse crumbs are formed.
Add the crystallized ginger, the remaining milk and warm honey mixture to the flour and gently mix just until a soft dough is formed. Do not overmix. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 5 times.
Roll out the dough to form a thick 8-inch square. Cut the square into quarters, diagonally. Cut each quarter in half to make triangles.
Place the scones 1 inch apart on the sheet pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Place them on a rack to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.