Monday, August 31, 2009
My most used kitchen appliance is my grain mill, we purchased a Whisper Mill when our local wholefood store was offering a $200 discount on the RRP. I buy my wheat grain from them in 12.5 kilo bags (27 1/2 lbs). Buying in bulk gives me a 10% discount. A bag of organic bio dynamic wheat grain costs me around $25 and lasts 4-6 weeks depending on how much baking I do.
A 1 kilo bag of organic white flour cost over $5 at the supermarket. It may be organic and unbleached but the most important, nutritious part of the grain, its outer husk, has been removed. The grain costs $2 a kilo. The mill has been a worthwhile investment that also benefits our health!
I often make muffins but my girls love to rub the butter into flour when we make scones. Most scone recipes ask for self raising white flour and store bought scones will usually have extra artificial ingredients such as preservatives. Ask your bakery what ingredients go into their scones if you are unsure. Do they use butter or margarine? Dried fruits are not likely to be sulphite free. I have stopped using white flour and now that I own a grain mill that is capable of producing a finer flour I have been using freshly milled flour in all of my recipes. Over the weekend I made two big batches of scones... a fruit scone with dried cranberries rather than sultanas and the one my family enjoyed the most, orange and coconut scones which utilizes another of my pantry staples and a healthy oil... coconut oil, along with organic dessicated coconut and freshly squeezed orange juice.
Orange and Coconut Scones
You can take your favourite scone recipe and substitute wholemeal flour for the white flour, raw sugar for the white and replace half the butter with coconut oil... place it in the fridge in order for it to solidify if it is warm and your oil is runny. Add in half a cup of dessicated coconut (I always buy organic to avoid preservatives), grated orange peel and a good squeeze of orange juice or you can use my recipe which I must let you know is very approximate... if the mixture feels too wet add in more flour or if it seems too dry and crumbly, add more milk. I always make dough by feel but remember with scones to not overwork the mixture or your scones will turn out tough.. the lighter the hand the lighter the scone!
In a large mixing bowl sieve together
2 cups freshly milled flour
3-4 tsp allergy free baking powder (aluminium free)
a pinch of celtic sea salt
Rub into flour mix until it resembles breadcrumbs
25 g butter (approx 1 oz)
25g extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup raw sugar (depending on how sweet you want your scone to be)
n.b I use rapadura or honey in muffin recipes but prefer the texture of raw sugar for scones. I never use white sugar.
grated peel from an orange
1/2 cup organic dessicated coconut
1 free range egg (lightly beaten)
a good squeeze of orange juice (I use half an orange)
3/4 cup milk
Combine gently to form a dough. I use a knife at first and then my hands.
Roll out on a lightly floured bench to desired thickness and cut out rounds with a cutter
Place rounds on a baking tray (I line my tray with baking paper)
Brush beaten egg onto tops
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (392 F) for approximately 10 -15 minutes until scones are risen and a lovely golden brown colour on top if you chose to glaze them.
These scones have a subtle citrus flavour and you can taste the coconut. For my second batch I used only coconut oil... they really taste of coconut! Today I am going to use the last of the limes from my Tahitian lime tree to make lime and date scones. Other scone variations my family loves are....
Banana and milk chocolate
Blueberry and white chocolate ( I occasionally buy a chunk of organic Swiss chocolate from my local health food store)
Apricot and honey
What is your favourite sweet scone variation?
An update Lime and Date Scones
It is Monday lunchtime and I have just baked a batch of lime and date scones. I did not use coconut oil this time as I used the last of it this morning when making a new batch of my homemade muesli. I used one cup of chopped organic pitted dates which I buy at Aldi and the grated rind of 2 small limes and the juice of one lime. They were delicious and I had just enough time to arrange them on a plate for a photograph before they were demolished... I have saved one for my husband to try when he returns from work this evening! I have three limes left so I'm going to use them make another batch. I'm looking forward to the next harvest as I want to make a lime and date chutney. A friend told me that she tried this at a farmer's market and it was beautiful.... this is what gave me the idea of adding lime to date scones. There are no limes left on my lime tree but it is starting to blossom and the bees are arriving... just a reminder that tomorrow is the first day of spring!