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Scones: Crumbly or Spongy?


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Greetings, bakers. I'm baking scones, and trying to get a nice crumbly texture with a firm crust . . . and getting a spongy result. Here's a shot of my not-so-risen blueberry scones, which are bendy and spongy like Wonder Bread . . . hmmmmm. I'm forming them in a large rectangle (probably could go smaller to increase the height of the dough before baking), rather than a circle, and cutting them into bars with a bench scraper. Here's my formula:

17 oz AP flour

2 oz sugar

.6 oz. baking powder

.5 oz. salt

6 oz. very cold butter, cut into pea-sized pieces in the dry ingredients

4 oz. egg

9 oz. very cold milk

5 oz. plain greek full-fat yogurt (or 14 oz. buttermilk)

9 oz. blueberries

Chill for at least 1 hr., form into a 8x15 rectangle, cut into 9 pieces, bake 350 convection for about 18 mins.


My question is if I should increase or decrease the liquid, cut the butter into larger or smaller pieces (I have a little butter leakage with the pea-sized butter), and/or bake at a higher temp. They're not getting very browned, as you can see. The use of yogurt/milk or buttermilk does not seem to make a difference.




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I think there is too much liquid in the recipe.  From the combo of the egg, milk and yogurt.  And, the sugar seems a little low, which could affect browning. Also, I brush the top with either cream or melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. 

Most scone recipes bake at a higher temp as well. I usually bake at 400F convection. 
I have made several types of scone recipes over the years, and my favorite that I have found for any type is the blueberry recipe from Cooks illustrated. I've made savory, Cherry, etc with it, and it works great. 

In this recipe,  the butter is grated on a box grater. Makes a big difference in flakiness and also doesn't need to be worked in as much.

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Yeah I agree, just way too much liquid. Generally speaking I do a rough ratio of 3:1:1:1 flour:butter:buttermilk:egg. Sugar is variable depending on whether they’re sweet or savoury, but two ounces is a reasonable number; for this much flour I might do three, especially on a sweet scone. 

edit: also agree on the temp; mine go at 425°F. 

Edited by jimb0 (log)
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You may also want to sub baking soda for part of the baking powder. You'll have some acidity there from the yogurt, and acidity inhibits browning. The soda will correct for that.

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5 hours ago, RWood said:

my favorite that I have found for any type is the blueberry recipe from Cooks illustrated.

Just dropping in to second this recipe recommendation -- I've brought many scones into work and this recipe gets the best reviews by far. It's a bit of a different technique for incorporating the berries, but it works really well.

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