Thursday, May 27, 2010

Figgy Buckwheat Scone Failure

I have been waiting forever to make the Figgy Buckwheat Scones from Good to the Grain - even before the book came out, when the recipe was posted on 101 Cookbooks.  I knew it would be time consuming and although I wanted to eat them, I was putting it off longer and longer.  Today, I decided, would be the day, and had I known what I was getting myself into...

I got started on the fig butter while watching some TV.  If you read each of the recipes (the Fig Butter recipe as well as the recipe for the scone itself) you would think the fig butter would be the rough part.  Even with the specific directions and concerns outlined in the recipe, preparing the fig butter went smoothly.  It is delicious too - after I moved it to a container to put in the refrigerator, I licked the spoon.  Yum.  I might make bread soon JUST to have this on my toast.  It is DELICIOUS!  Even if you don't want the scones, you should make the fig butter.  It keeps for about a month in the fridge (and that's good, because it makes probably about 2 cups, maybe more) so I will be using it on my toast, waffles, etc.  I'm thinking it might even be good spread on the Pear and Buckwheat Pancakes I have in the freezer.  I'll probably give the scones another go as well with the proper ingredients.

That brings me to the main problem of this endeavor (or at least, I think it is).  The scone dough was coming along nicely, even though my hands were coated in gritty nubs of butter.  I opened my fridge for the next ingredient, heavy cream, which I should have known I didn't have.  I didn't want the butter in the dough to melt, so I used half and half.  That was a bad idea if I've ever had one.  The dough instantly became liquidy goo.  I added 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, thinking it would return to a pliable state, but it didn't work.  I was about to add another 1/4 cup, when I decided I would keep the ratios at least closer to equal and use 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour instead.  This firmed up the dough somewhat, but it was ridiculously sticky.  I put it out on a large, heavily floured cutting board and tried to smush it out with my hands instead of - another missing "ingredient" - a rolling pin, which I don't think I have, at least not in my kitchen.  This, too, was a disaster.  My hands were covered in dough almost immediately and I had to wash them off.  I tried adding more flour.  No go.  I tried to scrape the dough off the board to make sure it wasn't sticking.  It was basically not happening.  I'm fairly certain it was the half and half that caused this problem as I know heavy cream is a different consistency.  Normally I'm good about using the ingredients the recipe calls for, at least the first time, but I had started before I realized.

I wanted to see if this was a total or just partial failure, so I decided to bake the dough.  Because of the viscosity of the dough, I decided to make muffin-shaped scones.  That way, they wouldn't spread out too much.  I sprayed the pan liberally, then baked them at 350* for about 25 minutes. 

Interestingly enough, it worked.  The scones are actually pretty good.  I split one in half to try, and spread some fig butter on it.  It was yummy!  At least I now have an interesting little treat to spread my fig butter on.  Next time I will be using the correct ingredients for sure.

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