Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Cheddar Dill Scones October 15, 2010

Filed under: bread — freerangenurse @ 8:44 pm

Gougeres and scones

Who doesn’t love Ina Garten?  I know I do.  I have three of her cookbooks and haven’t been disappointed in a recipe, yet.  Today I made her recipe for cheddar dill scones.  I am making tomato soup today with some grilled shrimp and thought the scones would be a lovely way to bring it all together.  It just so happens that I’m invited to a seafood boil tomorrow afternoon, so I’ll be setting aside some scone dough to bake up for tomorrow along with the sangria (recipe link here) and an English Coffee and Walnut Cake for the birthday girl (recipe to come).

I loved the scones (what’s not to love if there are three sticks of butter in the recipe), but I did make one modification and would make another if I had it to do over.  Ina’s recipe calls for a petite dice of the cheddar.  I would shred the cheese next time for a less lumpy/more incorporated cheese scone.  I also decreased the amount of dill, quite frankly because one cup of dill seemed excessive.  I think I made the right choice for my taste.

Cheddar Dill Scones

adapted from Ina Garten

  • 4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 sticks (3/4 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup cold, heavy cream, plus extra for brushing scones
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or small diced
  • 1/3 cup minced dill weed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the 4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together to combine.  Add the butter and cut it into the flour, using a pastry cutter, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.  Add the eggs to the cream and stir to combine, then add it to the flour mixture, combine just until blended.  Toss the cheddar and dill with the reserved tablespoon of flour and then add it to the dough, mixing just until incorporated.  You want your butter to remain as cold as possible, so don’t over-mix.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it just until it comes fully together.  Roll the dough, using a floured rolling pin until it is about 1/2 inch thick.  Using a small round biscuit cutter, begin cutting out rounds of dough.  After you cut as many rounds as you can, gather up your scraps and quickly combine them into a ball.  Place the ball of dough in the refrigerator before rolling it out again to cut more rounds, preventing your butter from melting.  Repeat this process until you have used all your dough.  At this point, you can set some of the rounds on a cookie sheet, in a single layer, to freeze for later use.  Once they are frozen, toss them into a freezer bag for storage.

If you are planning to bake the scones for immediate consumption, spread the scones apart, allowing at least two inches between scones, on a cookie sheet.  Brush the tops of the scones with heavy cream.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are lightly golden.  Enjoy your delicious scones!

 

A Tête-a-Tête About Brioche April 27, 2010

Filed under: bread — freerangenurse @ 9:14 am

Têtê-â-têtê – noun – (quite literally a head to head) a private conversation between two people.

Brioche â têtê – noun – culinary, traditional way of preparing brioche, in a mold with a little head of dough.

Come, let’s have a little talk.  It’s about bread.  I mentioned in a previous post my love of bread.  I love a warm chunk of bread, just out of the oven with a delicious imported butter spread across it.  I will never be thin.  I blame this bread fetish on my elementary school years, growing up in Austin, and our field trip to the ButterKrust bakery (which, sadly, is no more).  The tour took us on a behind the scenes tour of making loaves of bread.  I remember the warm yeasty smell in the air, the workers hand twisting the dough, the conveyor belt of baked loaves, but most of all I remember the slice of warm Texas toast slathered in butter that we got at the end of the tour (along with a No. 2 pencil and a ruler).  The amount of butter on that bread was obscene!  And so delicious.

Now that I’m an adult (in years, if not mentality), I still enjoy a warm piece of bread, with slightly less butter on it.  My friend, Jackie, was kind/cruel enough to bring a copy of Fine Cooking to work to show me and inside was a tempting recipe for brioche along with detailed step by step instructions.  I immediately went to Central Market to pick up recipe ingredients and my own copy of the magazine.  My first day off and I made two batches of brioche, reasons to follow. (more…)

 

White Bread… from a brown girl December 11, 2009

Filed under: bread — freerangenurse @ 9:28 am

I love baking bread!  I love kneading the dough, seeing it rise, smelling the bakery goodness in my house, having that first slice, still warm from the oven slathered in butter.  YUMMMM!  My first attempt at making bread was actually years ago.  I can only remember that the results were not great.  It could’ve been the recipe, it could’ve been the baker?  I tried again several months ago when I was out of bread here at home and decided that I’d rather make some than go to the store to buy some.  I googled a recipe for white bread and chose the first I came across, Traditional White Bread.  It’s easy to make and you probably have most of the ingredients in your house, already.  Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll love it!

Traditional White Bread

recipe from AllRecipes.com – modified ever so slightly

  • 2 (0.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour works fine)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Stir in butter, salt and two cups of the flour.  Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oill a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves.  Place the loaves into two lightly greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Place loaves in oven and lower temp to 375.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 15 minutes, brush tops with butter and continue baking for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.