Thursday, October 29, 2009

Treasure State scones

To continue with my bread making journey, I finally found a recipe directly out of a Peter Reinhart book that works for me!

In Crust and Crumb, the scone recipe is delicious. No butter or even jam is necessary to touch up the final product. The secret is a lot of brown sugar and a cup of cream to make 8 large scones. I actually used about 1/4 cup more cream to create the "soft dough" that is spread out to become the scones.

When I ask long-time bakers around here how they compensate for the altitude (we're at over 4,000 feet), they tell me they don't. But sometimes I find myself adding more liquid or flour. So whether it is altitude or atmospheric conditions or just plain bad measuring that is challenging me, I have to be careful when I bake.

One thing I am particularly careful to do, if the recipe gives me more information than merely cup measurements, is weigh dry ingredients. I really only concentrate on the flour since I find that sugars usually don't need as much attention. If I can get the amount of flour right, other things seem to blend in better.

Warm, sugar-sparkled scones (they look like jewels to me) and tea are a welcome treat today. The weather is cold (17 degrees F just before dawn), though the sun shines in a bright blue sky during the day. 

This morning I woke up while it was still dark and was awed by what I saw outside. The vast sky was brilliant with myriad stars and the ground was covered with sparkling frost.

Montana's official nicknames include Big Sky Country and The Treasure State -- both are apt.

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