Author Notes: This was the first scone flavor we ever created at Ovenly, and it continues to be our most popular. My failed hunt to find fresh currants, which I’ve loved since I was a kid, inspired us to add dried currants to our dough. The fresh rosemary adds an herby aroma reminiscent of a summer garden. While they can easily be made in small batches, our bakers now make these in batches of many thousands at a time. Mounds of scone dough are rolled into sheet pans and then cut by hand. A lot of care (and muscle!) goes into making these scones.
Excerpted from Ovenly by Agatha Kulaga & Erin Patinkin (Harlequin Nonfiction). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Winona Barton-Ballentine. —Ovenly
Makes: 8 scones
tablespoons (4 ounces) chilled, unsalted butter
cups all-purpose flour
cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
tablespoons baking powder
cup dried currants
tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
cups chilled heavy cream, plus more for brushing
tablespoons turbinado sugar, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Cut the butter into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes and freeze for 10 minutes before using. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, quickly cut or blend the cold butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal. The butter pieces should be mostly about the size of small pebbles, but some larger pieces are okay.
- Using a large fork or a wooden spoon, mix the currants and rosemary into the flour-butter mixture.
- Stir the cream into the flour-butter mixture with a large wooden spoon or a fork until the dough begins to come together. The flour should not be fully incorporated at this point, and do not overmix.
- Transfer the dough and any loose floury bits to a floured countertop or pastry board/mat.
- Quickly knead the dough until it comes fully together, and then flatten it with the palms of your hands into a 3/4 inch-thick mound (the shape does not matter at this point). Fold the dough in half, give it a quarter turn and then flatten it again. Repeat this process 3 more times.
- Flour your surface once more, and then shape the dough into a 3/4 inch-thick round that is 6 inches in diameter. Use a bench scraper or a knife to cut the dough into 4 equal triangles. Then cut those in half to make 8 even triangles. Place the triangles on an ungreased rimmed sheet pan.
- At this point, we recommend placing the rimmed sheet pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help the scones firm up and retain their shape during baking. If baking right away, brush with cream and top with turbinado sugar to finish; or if freezing, brush with cream and top with turbinado sugar just before baking.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the scones comes out clean. Cool the scones on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter, jam or honey.
Photo by Winona Barton-Ballentine