There’s a comfort in baking that I find difficult to put into words. Maybe it’s the memory I have of my mother immersed in her dough-making process in our flour-dusted kitchen. Or maybe it’s because as a young girl, my eager little hands would wait in anticipation to indulge in the fruits of her labor. Running to the kitchen at the first whiff of freshly baked bread, I can still remember how happy she was when she baked – singing and smiling like she was in her own secret world. For my mother, baking was an outlet that went far beyond cakes, cookies, and pies. Less about the end result, baking was a creative, soul-quenching time that gave her the chance to disconnect and let her imagination run wild and free.
Now fully immersed in the throes of motherhood, I find the same comfort in the kitchen that my mother did (although my singing voice isn’t nearly as good as hers). When I bake, time could literally stop and I probably wouldn’t notice. Yes, I really do find it that therapeutic! Whether it’s something as simple as whipping up a batch up fresh scones, or a bit more elaborate like a four-layered cake dripping in puddles of chocolate ganache, I find solace in folding fresh cream, melting chocolate, and swirling my whisk through ribbons of sugar and softly whipped egg yolks.
A tiny part of me hopes my children will have the same memories that I have of my mother – with our flour-dusted kitchen table and my mama-bear-hands covered in dough.
I got it from my mama, and I know she would be proud.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Classic Currant scones
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 & ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 140 grams unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes and chilled
- 1 egg
- ½ cup buttermilk (alternatively you can use ¼ cup full fat plain yogurt or cream mixed with ¼ cup milk with a squeeze of lemon juice)
- ½ cup dried currants
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* note that this recipe can be easily doubled if needed
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
Put the flour mixture in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (you can also do this with an electric mixer or by hand). Pulse a couple of times to distribute the ingredients.
Add the butter to the flour, pulsing several times (as many as 40 times if your butter is super cold!). Remember not to run your food processor or mixer continuously at this point. You need to see little lumps of butter in the mixture.
Combine the milk, cream, egg, and vanilla in a bowl and mix until all the ingredients have been incorporated well.
Add the wet milk/egg mixture and the currants to the flour mixture.
With your hands, combine all the ingredients together without over-mixing.
Put the dough onto a large, lightly floured surface and form into a rough shaped disk, measuring approximately 2 to 3 inches high.
Cut rounds out of your dough using a fluted cookie cutter (alternatively, make free-form balls).
The amount of scones your dough will yield depends on the height of the dough and size of your scone cutter. This batch makes roughly 8 large to 14 small scones.
Place your shaped scones you’ve made on a parchment lined baking tray, and freeze for AT LEAST 30 minutes or longer (I usually make my scones the night before I serve them, and keep them in the freezer until ready to bake. You can also freeze the dough shapes for up to a month and use as needed. Remember to store them in airtight freezer bags if storing for a long period of time. you can bake the scones directly from the freezer).
Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F) and position your baking rack in the center of the oven.
Bake the scones for 25 to 30 minutes (time varies depending on size), until tops are golden brown and the smell emanating from your oven is insanely delicious.
Serve hot, cold, or in between.
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Photos by Tara Atkinson Photography