Baking classes are back in session! We jumped right in with both feet, using a pastry blender and a micro plane on the first day of class. Hearing squeals of delight (“I love using a micro plane!”) over kitchen gadgets really made the class perfect! We made lemon poppy seed scones and quick strawberry jam and both turned out terrific.
To begin the kids read through the recipe and decided how to divide up the work. Then they began zesting, measuring, mixing, blending, stirring kneading and shaping until their scones were ready for the oven.
Just like pie crust or biscuits, scones need butter cut into the dry ingredients. The butter should be cold and it needs to be in small pieces before going into the bowl. Then scatter the butter over the flour mixture and cut it into the flour using a pastry blender.
Set aside the dry ingredients and mix together the egg and milk in a small bowl. I always crack eggs into their own bowl to check them for egg shell or weird stuff before adding them into a recipe. I was beginning to think that step was superfluous (for an adult who doesn’t often get egg shell mixed up in the egg) but just a few weeks ago I cracked an egg that had big red spots on the yolk. Ew. So crack the egg into a bowl and add milk. Use a whisk to break up the yolk and combine the egg and milk. Pro tip: kids love to crack eggs! It’s almost universal. They just love it! So call them into the kitchen when you’ve got eggs to crack, give them a small bowl and watch the inexplicable joy they find in egg cracking.
Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix them together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. As the dough begins to form a ball switch to using your hands. Gently knead the dough to work in all of the little dry bits at the bottom of the bowl. You can add a tablespoon more milk if you need to get the dough to all come together. At this point, you need to assess the stickiness of the dough. Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto a clean work space. If the dough is sticky sprinkle the top of the ball with flour too. Your hands should be a little flour-y too at this point. Pat the ball of dough into a flat circle about 7 inches in diameter. Use a ruler to get a general idea of how close you are to 7 inches. Transfer your circle onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Using a pizza wheel cut your circle of dough into 8 pieces. If the dough is still really sticky, be very careful not to tear it into pieces while attempting to make the cuts. A bench scraper or long knife can be used if the pizza wheel isn’t cooperating. Gently separate the 8 wedges on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees on the middle rack of the oven. In case of sticky dough the wedges can be left in a circle for baking. They can easily be separated after baking. While the scones are in the oven, juice your half of the left over lemon and mix it with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Whisk until well combined. This makes a glaze that can be drizzled on top of the scones when they come out of the oven.