It’s been a terrible time. Two weeks ago my best friend was rushed to hospital and we weren’t sure she was going to survive. There are pictures of her here on the blog I think. Many tears have been shed. For the first week whenever I told anyone what was happening I burst into tears. Every time there was a positive text from her daughter I blubbed. We’ve all been stressed and anxious about her progress. She is heading in the right direction but it’s slow going. She has her family around her.
I had it in my mind to bake scones. I had made some panettone bread and butter pudding before the illness and had cream left over. I needed to make my weekly loaf too so I would make it a day of baking. It’s one of my few enjoyable activities and hopefully it would take my mind off the sadness. It did a bit. I was in the kitchen alone thinking about my friend almost dying. So it didn’t really. I also felt a bit guilty about doing something enjoyable. It was a day of mixed feelings. It kind of doesn’t feel right to be writing this either. It seems trivial. I’ve got to carry on though, what else can I do? Our friends have family to look after, places to go, things to do. I’m on my own so have time to think about it all and feel guilty and sad.
I adapted my pastry school recipe.
500g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
150g unsalted butter cut into small cubes
150g caster sugar
20g baking powder
260ml double cream
A little water available
pinch of salt
Butter a couple of baking trays. Maybe flour them too.
Set oven to 180C.
Put the flours salt and sugar in a bowl. Sift in the baking powder. Give it a good mix to combine. Add the cubed butter. Rub it all together with your fingers. You can do this in a machine, it’s much easier of course, but I did it by hand. It does take a lot to rub all that butter in though. When the mix looks like bread crumbs pour in the cream. Mix a bit with a fork. You have to judge whether to add a bit of extra water or flour. Then get your hand in to bring it together. My dough looked and felt like that rubber that’s used to seal things. It just shouldn’t be too dry and crumbly or too wet and sloppy. Tip onto a floured worktop and squeeze together. Don’t knead it like bread. You can then flatten it with your hand or use a rolling pin. It needs to be about 2cm thick. I usually make little scones but I decided to go big-ish. I used square, fluted 5cm cutters. Bring the scraps together and cut more scones. Try to use it all up. Just hand shape the last bits of dough.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Mine ended up a nice brown colour. I can’t seem to get them pale like the ones everyone else can make.
I was so happy with them. My sadness scones were the best I’ve ever made. My loaf of sad bread was also the best yet. The scones had a nice crust and were soft inside. They had the right butteriness and sweetness. They can be frozen.
I warm them for a few seconds in the microwave then spread with butter and jam or just jam. Yummy. I don’t generally have cream in the house unless I’m baking so no cream tea for me. If you have a few people round then buy a pot of cream and whip it or get clotted cream.