I am adept at baking while talking to people, especially when it is a recipe I have made dozens of times and I have the "feel" for it. You'll often find me in the kitchen with my arms elbow-deep in flour while simultaneously talking to someone through the iPad propped on the counter. It's actually rather a fun thing, to be immersed in an activity I love - baking - and simultaneously sharing that moment with a person I love, though he or she may be an ocean away. How cool is technology today? Well, except when it's scary and intimidating...
But baking? That's not intimidating. At least to me- it's a matter of familiarity. But I understand that to many, baking is a scary and intimidating activity, and making something like these scones, which may not be part of the usual repertoire, might seem like a stretch. But I urge you to give these a try, because scones are something that should become part of your usual repertoire, if only because they are made from ingredients that are almost always found in the house, and the add-ins that give it a little flair (in this case, lemon zest, dried basil, and candied ginger) are flexible and can also be based on whatever you have on hand. Scones also always seem to impress people. I'm not sure it's really justified, but I will not bother disabusing them of their silly notions.
Whole Wheat Lemon, Basil, and Ginger Scones
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life
You will notice that these scones use a ratio of white and whole wheat flours- this is often the case with whole wheat baked goods, because a 100% whole wheat item would have a heavier consistency and the taste and texture would change quite a bit. In the case of this recipe, I think you could probably use a 50:50 ratio of white flour to whole wheat flour, but I wouldn't use only whole wheat.
1 1/2 cups (185 g) white flour
1/2 cup (60 g) whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp (2 oz) (60 g) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 Tbsp (40 g) white sugar
1/3 cup (40 g) chopped candied ginger
1 tsp dried basil
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup (120 g) cream, plus more for glazing
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 425F/220C.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, and salt.
3. Using your hands, rub the butter mixture into the flour mixture, pinching the butter cubes until they become almost incorporated and the flour mixture is coarse and shaggy.
4. Add the sugar, ginger, basil, and lemon zest, and mix to incorporate.
5. Break an egg into a small bowl. Pour in the cream, and beat together.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a fork or spoon to combine. Mixture will still look shaggy- all of the flour will not become incorporated.
7. Using your hand, squeeze together two balls of dough, trying to get as much of the flour in there as possible, but realizing that the dough will be extremely loose and crumbly.
8. Press the two dough balls on the counter into two rounds that just barely hold together- the circle of dough should be about an inch thick and as wide as your palm.
9. Cut each round into 6 wedges.
10. Place the wedges on a baking sheet (I like to line the sheet with parchment paper).
11. Mix a Tbsp or two of cream with the lemon juice, and then, using a pastry brush, paint the tops of the scone wedges with the lemon-cream mixture.
12. Bake for 10 minutes.
13. Scones are best served warm or re-heated slightly.