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perfect scone base recipe?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I like dense dry scones, not cakey, not too sweet. I am finding a hard time finding a recipe that doesn't try to turn scones into sweetbreads.

What makes a good dense dry scone? egg or no egg? I'm thinking no egg. Do I need to find a recipe that uses close to equal amounts of flour and a non-flour addition like oatmeal or ground nuts?

Do any of you have a recipe, or a link to a recipe that I can use as a base recipe? I'd like to find a base recipe that I can add various fruits to and occasionally some chocolate chips. So far the closest recipe has been for an apple nut scone that I found on the Martha Stewart website. It had similar quantities of flour and oatmeal, but just a bit more of the flour.
post #2 of 15
My mother has a scone recipe that has no eggs and uses yogurt for the dairy. If I have time, I'll ask her for it.
post #3 of 15
I still haven't talked to my mother.

Rereading, you could take a recipe and alter it.

For example, baked goods with rice milk or brown rice syrup are naturally dry. And brown rice syrup is not as sweet as sugar. Still, I know there's controversy around rice syrup these days.

Oat flour is slightly sweet on its own, so replacing some of the flour with oat flour (you can make it yourself in a blender or food processor from rolled oats) and replacing all or some of the dairy with rice milk, and cutting the sugar in half may get you close to what you're looking for.

If you or someone in your household will eat just about anything, go ahead and experiment.

I generally use olive oil for the fat in baked goods. Ground nuts will give it a nutty flavor, so be sure you're OK with that before trying it.

Eggs also help retain moisture, so don't use them if you're looking for a dry scone. Or use only 1 if the recipe calls for 2.

Let me know how it goes.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I didn't know that about the alternative milks. I'll try some of those. The first recipe, and best so far, didn't use oat flour but used a little less than half oatmeal and half regular flour. I'll try mixing in some of the non-gluten flours and see if it makes a denser drier scone. I might also try grinding up the nuts more and using that instead of oats, for protein instead of so many carbs.

The family has been good about taste testing, as long as they can add butter or jam.
post #5 of 15
Not all alternative milks are the same. Rice milk is the only one I know for sure that releases it's moisture during baking. Soy will give a more moist scone. Oat milk would give a scone between rice and soy for moisture.

Sugar and eggs also hold moisture.

Nuts add protein but have their own flavors. Some people love cashew milk. I believe it would help hold moisture.

Have you looked online?
post #6 of 15
Rice, in general, releases moisture in an oven, so I'd expect rice flour to do the same.

Fruits contain sugar, which holds moisture, so mashed bananas or applesause added to the batter will keep the scones moist.

I gues it depends on how dry you're looking for them to be.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

As I test out some recipes, I wonder if saying I want them dry is the right description.  Maybe a better description would be to say that I want them dense.  Some of the recipes I tried were more like muffins than what I think of as scones.  They had little air pockets that made them like a bread or cake.  When I think of a scone, I don't think of air pockets in them at all.

post #8 of 15
Dense is different than dry.

OK. Forget the dry alterations. The air pockets are created by the baking powder. Cut that, and you'll have a denser scone.

Instead of baking powder, you could use equal parts white vinegar and baking SODA. If doing that, the wet ingredients are combined in one bowl, the dry in another. Then add the dry to the wet and get them combined as rapidly as possible, then bake quickly. Baking POWDER is generally double acting and gives you more time to combine and bake. It also gives more air pockets.
post #9 of 15

My absolute favorite scone recipe is the plain scones from The Rose Bakery cookbook.  This (without the chocolate chips added) is it.  And if it isn't quite what you're looking for, there are 2-3 others I've used too that I can look up too.  It isn't cakey at all, it's more like a biscuit and almost forms layers inside (like pastry) and doesn't have the egg (except as a wash on top).  The handful of wholewheat or wheat germ is much better than without (though that's fine too).  

post #10 of 15

I've never used eggs in a scone recipe. That sounds more like biscuits to me. My scones are made with cold butter cut into the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, and currants) and then some cream added to create the dough. The result is a dense, moist scone. It's a pretty traditional English scone.


I don't have my recipes with me (away from home) but you could search for something similar. 

post #11 of 15

Forgot to add - you could experiment with what kind of cream you use. I wouldn't use milk, actually, it isn't rich enough for a good scone. Again, it sounds more like a biscuit than a scone.


I have used buttermilk but prefer heavy cream. An alternative is sour cream - perhaps adding a little milk or cream for the right amount of moisture. Upthread, yoghurt was mentioned - that's an interesting idea too. 

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm going to try some more again this morning. Even though I haven't gotten exactly what I've wanted yet, the family and I are having a good time taste testing them and probably getting far more butter than we need in our diets.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
The scones just came out of the oven. I like them. My boyfriend prefers a more muffin-y texture and thinks this batch is too dense.

Here are the ingredients and quantities, mixed up in the usual order for scones. Dry ingredients first, then cut in the butter, then add the fruit, then mix up the egg and buttermilk and mix them in last. Pat them into biscuit shaped rounds and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of coarse sugar on top of each.
Bake at 400 for about 20 min or until they look brown. In my case, I checked for the bottoms starting to look brown. It's hard for me to judge top brownness on a whole wheat recipe.

1 cup of freshly ground plain almonds
1-1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp butter
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
about 1/2 to 3/4 cup blueberries (not truly measured out)

It made about 6 biscuit sized scones, which fits on my cookie sheet for baking.

This gave me the texture that I was craving, but it's too dense for the boyfriend. (I'm not sure I'll adapt to please him. He likes foods that are much more light and sweet than I do.) I could try using 1 full tsp of baking powder and see if reaches some middle ground between dense and muffin-y.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
the myfitnesspal nutrition calculator says that per serving they have 338 calories, 34 carbs, 20g fat (oops) and 9 g protein. I don't know how accurate the calculator is and that's all the data it provides.
post #15 of 15

Maybe you can sometimes make a batch for him, while making yours.

Glad it worked out!
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