Being a bit of an anglophile you would expect me to love the English quisine as well. I guess my love for England has more to do with it’s scenery, landscape and cottages than with what people put on their plates over there. A Sunday breakfast fry up, steak and kidney pie and Yorkshire pudding still don’t sound very appealing to me. I guess if I have to pick some favorite English food it would be something sweet that is served at a high tea, like carrot cake and scones.
I made a green, clean version of carrot cake last week (see this post
), so this time I will be focussing on scones. So far I have only had the sweet tasting variant of scones, filled with some raisins and served with clotted cream and jam. But when I was looking through one of my vegetarian cookbooks this week I came across scones with a potato base. In the book they added sugar to sweeten these potato scones, but I adapted the recipe a bit and changed them to savory scones. Taking a different approach to things every now and then keeps life interesting
Before I go over to the actual recipe, as an anglophile, I would like to share some info on scones in general:
“Scones are traditionally connected with Scotland, Ireland and England, but exactly who deserves the honor of invention, no one knows for sure. Scones may well have originated in Scotland. The first known print reference, in 1513, is from a Scottish poet.
Scones are related to the ancient Welsh tradition of cooking small round yeast cakes (leavened breads) on bakestones, and later on griddles. One claim, probably not the best, says that scones are named for the Stone (scone) of Destiny, a stone upon which Scottish kings once sat when they were crowned (the Abbey of Scone can still be found, upriver from Perth; but the Stone of Destiny was long ago removed to Westminster Abbey). Other contenders include the Gaelic “sgonn” (rhymes with gone), a shapeless mass or large mouthful; the Dutch “schoonbrot,” fine white bread; and the closely-related German “sconbrot,” fine or beautiful bread. The Oxford English Dictionary favors the latter two.
Originally, scones were made with oats, shaped into a large round, scored into four or six wedges (triangles) and griddle-baked over an open fire (later, a stovetop). With the advent of oven baking, the round of dough was cut into wedges and the scones were baked individually.
Today’s scones are quick breads, similar to American biscuits. They are traditionally made with wheat flour, sugar, baking powder or baking soda, butter, milk and eggs, and baked in the oven—both in the traditional wedge form and in round, square and diamond shapes. This recipe produces a hard, dry texture.
Traditional English scones may include raisins or currants, but are often plain, relying on jam, preserves, lemon curd or honey for added flavor—perhaps with a touch of clotted cream.
In the U.K., plain or currant scones are traditionally served with afternoon tea. First, the scones are spread with jam or lemon curd, then topped with a dollop of clotted cream. This is known as cream tea or Devonshire tea. In the U.S., where afternoon tea is a rare event, scones have joined muffins and croissants as a breakfast/brunch bread alternative, and as a snack bread. Plain and savory scones are substituted for other breads at lunch and dinner.”
Enjoy these savory scones and stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, I’ll make a soup that goes very well with the scones!
Potato Thyme Scones
vegetarian, makes 8 scones
* 250 grams of potato
* 125 grams of whole wheat flour
* 1 egg
* 3 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
* 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon of salt, I used French sea salt
* a pinch of nutmeg powder
needed: cooking pan, potato masher, mixer, mixing bowl, oven
1. Peel, cut and cook the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash.
2. Mash the cooked potatoes.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, the oil, the baking powder, the nutmeg and the salt and mix well.
4. Add the whole wheat flour to the mixture and mix well until it forms a crumbly dough.
5. Add the mashed potatoes and mix some more.
6. Put the thyme in and fold it in with a spoon.
7. Preheat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius.
8. Line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper.
9. Form 8 balls from the dough with your hands, out them on the baking tray and make them a little flatter by pushing on them with your fingers.
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius.
Tip: you can eat these scones warm or cold. And with some butter on them they taste even better.