Winter weekends always put me in the mood for baking, and what’s more English than whipping up a batch of scones to munch on with a pot of tea? Like muffins and other quick breads, scones are fast and easy to make, just don’t handle them too much or you’ll toughen them. This is one of my favorite recipes, adapted from a recipe found in The Bread Bible:
Cranberry Ginger Scones
1 c. unsalted butter, cold
4 1/4 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. heavy cream
1 c. dried cranberries
1/2-2/3 cup candied ginger, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut butter into 1-inch cubes and chill (or freeze 10 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the butter and press the cubes into large flakes with your fingers.
Stir in the cream until the dough is moistened and comes together in large clumps.
Stir in the cranberries and ginger.
Knead the dough in the bowl until it holds together, then turn out onto a lightly floured board. Lightly flour the top of the dough and roll into a long 8 x 12 rectangle about 1 inch thick.
Fold the dough in thirds, lightly flour board again, and rotate dough so the closed side faces to the left. Roll it out again and repeat the “turns” 3 more times (put in fridge if it gets too soft).
Roll out the dough once more and trim edges so scones will rise evenly.
Cut the dough in half lengthwise so you have 2-4 x 12-inch pieces. Cut each piece into triangles with a 3-inch base and place them on baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment, spaced about 1 inch apart. If the dough is too soft, freeze it for 15 minutes to firm it up.
Bake the scones for 15-20 minutes, until edges begin to brown and tops are golden brown. Cool on racks.