The New Bakers Dozen
Shortbread vs. Scones.

The The Bakers Dozen: Shortbread vs. Scones.
By Cflower on Sunday, June 18, 2000 - 03:28 pm: Edit

I would like to duplicate a scone I had at a restaurant in Houston. It was a shortbread type scones. I make great scones but this was more shortbread like. What I am wondering is what makes the scones "short" is it more butter to sugar ratio or what? I'm experiment with alot of different recipes for my tearoom and loved these shortbread type. Hope someone can help.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, June 18, 2000 - 11:20 pm: Edit

Sometimes the shorter ones use some cornstarch, have you tried that?

By Cflower on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 09:31 am: Edit

Also, these where cherry scones with raisins. Should I use dried cherries or frozen cherries? After looking at my recipes for scones, it seems like the ratio is 3 parts flour to 1 part butter (or just a little less butter) Should I increase the butter or add a little more sugar? I wish I knew more about the science of baking but I only had one semester of baking before I left that college.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 07:41 pm: Edit

whats your liquid, heavy cream?

By d. on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 08:53 pm: Edit

When you say shortbread type scones Do you mean crumblier and more dry than a regular scone? I either use buttermilk to achieve a lighter scone or heavy cream for a more heavy, dense and buttery one. If flour is 100%, my butter usually ranges from 35-37%. I'd use dried cherries if they were more raisin like, since frozen cherries tend to leak out liquid and make your scone dough more moist.

By tj on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 08:55 pm: Edit

your recipe sound too lean to me.i use 1:2 butter flour ration, and heavy cream for liquid.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, June 19, 2000 - 09:46 pm: Edit

This works well for us and lends itself to fruits and such. 24 lbs. bread flour,- 4 lbs. granulated sugar,- 6 oz. salt,- 1 lbs. 8 oz. baking powder,- 12 lbs. unsalted butter,- 8 lbs. whole eggs.- 6 qts. heavy cream.
If you want it shortbread like you might mix it a bit longer. Although we incorporate the cream with approx.10-15 turns of the paddle on high speed.
Good luck

By Cflower on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 07:44 am: Edit

These definitely were not dry. I'd say more buttery, crumbly. There were yellowish almost in color--delicious and I thought mine were great.

By Cflower on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 08:23 am: Edit

Thank you.
Panini, your recipe must make 1000 scones!. I'm probably going to be making batches of 100-200 and freezing the dough. I've had very good luck with freezing the cutout scones and baking as needed. I still bake using cups/tablespoon measuring. I am anxious to try these today with the cherries and other ingredients.

I don't want a shortcake type scone, just one that is buttery and moist---delicious. Thanks again.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 08:27 am: Edit

Funny because I'd go the opposite of Panini. Keep your butter in bits (not finely ground in a cusinart), don't incorporate/handle it too much, then BARELY work your dough with the liquid, just to hold together (not in a neat ball).

*Like pie dough you want the very least amount of liquid needed to hold together. I find this most important to have a short flaky crumb. I'll often stop a bit short of the liquid quanitity the recipe calls for.

I'd stay with dried cherries definately.

P.S. I've been playing using 1/2 sourcream 1/2 heavy cream in some recipes that call for heavy cream only and gotten some really good results? Maybe?

By cflower on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 11:08 am: Edit

I bake on a smaller scale than all of you. How do I convert the pounds and ounces to cups and teaspoons/tablespoons

By Rubble (Rubble) on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 03:24 pm: Edit

2T = 1 oz
8oz = 1 cup
2cups= 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
2 qts= 1 gallon

Another way to convert your recipewould be to divide the amount to want to produce ("new yield" = NY) by the amount the recipe actually produces ("old yield" = OY). For instance,if the recipe you're using calls yields 4 #s (or 64 oz), and you want to make 2.5 #s (or 40 oz), the equation would be NY / OY = CF ("40 / 64 = 0.625"). 0.625 would be your conversion factor and you would multiply this by each ingredient measurement to arrive at your reduced recipe.

Hope this makes sense!

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 05:23 pm: Edit

Your reading to fast. I actually told Cflower that we hardly mix at all. Just long enough to hold the liquid. We paddle dry to bean size.
I'm not really sure if mixing longer would give her the results she wanted.

I suggest not going to tsp etc. Keeping a formula in oz.,lbs.,grams. will give you the consistancy in product. Weigh your liquids,eggs, etc. The yield of who9le eggs varies dramatically depending on size. If I see a formula that calls for eggs by each, I stay away from it. Invest in a scale, you will eventually anyway.
I give you this recipe not to follow but to look at the ratios and percentages. Feel free to scale this recipe down as small as you want.I'm sure it will work because of the percentages of each ingredient.

By Country Baker on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 05:48 pm: Edit

Cflower, You cann't change pounds and ounces to cups without knowing the equivlents. A pound of sugar would be 2 cups, a pound of AP flour would be 4 cups, a pound of conf. sugar about 4 cups. Do you see what I mean. You need to get a conversion chart. You will find them in a lot of text books. The one I would suggest for you would be Food For Fifty. It has a lot of other information in it that you could probably use. It is easy to read, not too technical. Unless I am working in large quanties I measure. I only weigh when I am doing large quanties of bread or rolls. If you have a good recipe you will have good results. Good Luck

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 06:16 pm: Edit

Rubble, your conversions are off - 4 quarts = 1 gallon, not 2.

By Cflower on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 08:30 pm: Edit

Just finished baking my scones. I added the dried cherries, raisins and nuts. They were really good but not as flaky as the ones I'm trying to copy. Would the recipe need more butter or sugar. Also the other ones were a little more yellow in color. My recipe did have eggs.

By Panini (Panini) on Tuesday, June 20, 2000 - 08:40 pm: Edit

Don't want to start a war, but you can change without conversion chart. I believe you will be going from cups to pounds. Scale you current recipes and weigh them as you go, this will be more accurate than a chart. If you are going to use a chart than use one than has commercial volume on the weight side, ? Amendola, Gisslen etc.
Cflower, if you are going to be making 100-200 scones and freezing them you need to be weighing. If you grow you will need to do it anyway.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 08:20 am: Edit

cflower more butter not sugar.

Here's an example of a good small batch of scones. You can change the raisins to dried cherries and the nutmeg to cinnamon and it maybe what your looking for.?

2 c. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 c. raisins
1 yolk
3/4 c. heavy cream or buttermilk or yogurt

375 oven. Cut butter into dry ingred.. Combine cream & yolk then stir wet into dry ingred. Pat into 2- 6" circles, cut into 6 wedges each (Do not separate wedges, not separating keeps them moister).

Brush the tops of scones with egg white and sprinkle with sugar before baking.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 08:23 am: Edit

Similar subject/ different question... has anyone tried freezing baking powder bisuits prior to baking like you can scones?

By Cflower on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 09:18 am: Edit

Right now I do not use the food processor or my Kitchen Aid for making scones. I like doing the butter/flour with my fingers (don't like using a pastry blender either). I really like feeling the texture with my hands and have learned to get it just the way I want it this way. i have my Prof Cooking and Baking Books by Gisslen
Question-- On a small scale, say for a tearoom, why would I want to do our baking by lbs/oz. instead of measuring by the cups (consistency I guess?). Panini, are you saying I should take my recipes I use now and as I make them, weigh each ingredient and bake from those measurements in the future? we will be making a variety of different scones and will probably be changing weekly.

what type of scale do I want. The small scale I have now is not very accurate. Do I want a digital small and larger scale? Can I find this in the Chef's catalog.

My scones did turn out great, but still not as good as the ones I had over the weekend.
Thanks again.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 12:18 pm: Edit

Using all yolks in place of whole eggs would give you a yellower color and a higher total fat level.

I use the words flaky and short to describe two different textures. Flaky meaning a tender dough with thin, obvious layers separated by air pockets, which are created by leaving the fat in the recipe in larger pieces (pea sized). I use short to describe a pastry that is very crumbly and tender, with no obvious layers, but a melt in the mouth texture, created by rubbing the fat into the flour almost completely, so there are no large pieces left. For either type, the liquid is mixed in minimally and the dough is handled gently.

I also use buttermilk for a lighter scone, and I prefer the flaky variety, as follows.

AP Flour 12 cups
Sugar 1-1/3 cup
B.powder 3-1/3 T.
B soda 2 tsp.
salt 1 T.
cold butter 1-1/2#
Buttermilk 4 cups
I prefer the hand blending method, too, but this recipe also works by cutting the butter in using a VCM and turning the liquid in by hand.

please note that Rubble's conversions apply to liquid measures only, not weights (unless you're talking about water). I agree with panini - that it's easiest to convert to weights by weighing your own recipes out, measuring the way you normally do. Flour averages 4 oz. per cup, but depending on the type of flour (protein weighs more than starch, I believe, so bread flour is heavier per volume than cake flour ?) and how you measure (dip and sweep, spooning into the cup...) a cup of flour can range from 3 oz. to almost 6 oz.

By Rubble (Rubble) on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 12:58 pm: Edit

Mikeh, thanks for pointing out the error and I extend my apologies.

Ramodeo, I'm going to check with my instructor at the culinary institute re: the conversion equation. We have used it successfully in classes, so I'm a bit confused. But then, we don't use "cup" measurements -- only pounds and ounces.

By d. on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 06:56 pm: Edit

Yes, W. you can freeze biscuits before baking them. Done it many times and in fact the frozen biscuits "spring up" a bit more when placed in a very hot oven.

Ramadeo,I know you're into food chemistry like I am --- why do some scone recipes contain baking soda(along with baking powder) even when an acid is not used(like buttermilk or yoghurt)? A good example is the recipe in The Pie and Pastry Bible. What would it accomplish when there is no acid to react with it?

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 07:07 pm: Edit

You should do what ever your comfortable with, I'm always looking at future growth. SOP's. If you do grow and somebody else will be doing the production, will they pack the cups of flour? Will the use the large or small eggs? Will they know the differance between a tsp.tblsp. tbl.T.t.
I can put Ramodeo's recipe together 3 or 4 different ways. big T? fill the gallon measure with flour, if I bang it on the table I can probable fit another cup in it. Not trashing the recipe but wieghing reduces your margin for errors.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 11:16 pm: Edit

You are exactly right, Panini. I've not had to standardize that scone recipe cuz I made it only about 3 or 4 times a year. It works for me the way I do it, but it could need tweaking for someone else!

Rubble - your conversion equation will work - for volume measurements or weights. It's your first two equivalencies that could be taken two ways. 2 Tbsp = 1 FLUID oz., but 2 Tbsp of flour does not weigh 1 oz.....8 Fluid oz.= 1 cup, but 1 cup of flour doesn't weigh 8 oz.

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Wednesday, June 21, 2000 - 11:30 pm: Edit

d. - A recipe with a large amount of b. soda and no strong acid like buttermilk will be unbalanced and taste soapy, as far as I know. However, a recipe that has b. soda AND b. powder may have enough acid from the powder to react with the soda??? Also, maybe the small amounts of acid found in the other ingredients is enough to react with the soda.

There was another thread that discussed baking soda a while back. As i recall we were all tearing apart formulations trying to figure out the proper ratios, but the truth is that the total acid content of a recipe can vary based on a lot of factors, and is really unknowable unless you have confirmed analysis of each of your ingredients, or an actual analysis of your dough/batter.

If I had a recipe that seemed to have gratuitous baking soda in it on top of baking powder, I would definitely try it without the soda. I have a sensitive palate when it comes to soda flavor - I really hate it! And if it is neutralizing some of the natural acidity of the ingredients, it's probably flattening the overall flavor, right?

By Cflower on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 08:21 am: Edit

One more question. For our tearoom, we will make a variety of scones, probably 2 different ones each week. I have probably 8 recipes I have been experimenting with. Would it be better to find one recipe and vary the ingredients for different flavors. I have some made with cream, some with buttermilk, some with more or less sugar etc.

By Panini (Panini) on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 05:44 pm: Edit

From my experience with supplying a few tea rooms,
scone eaters do not mind having the same type of scone,or the same flavor tea. I would limit the variety and produce the best possible product.
Maybe change up the flavors and the accompaniments.
My 2 cents

By Ltom on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 03:08 am: Edit

Cflower, I suggest switching to weighing your ingredients, doing slightly larger batches, rolling, cutting and freezing your scones so you can have a good variety at hand--mise en place. Measuring ingredients by weight is more consistent and quicker (e.g. 10 cups of flour vs. 45 oz) especially if you become successful. A digital scale is good for small quantities (e.g. baking powder), a balance one/spring type better for more. Just tray up the frozen scones, let them defrost (still cool to touch), top and bake. The rest in the freezer seems to make them more tender. You may also want a day off to let someone else do the baking.

We started experimenting with scones in the mixer (with paddle attachment), the key is not overworking the dough. Maybe have a few good scone recipes that work for you and make variations from there.

By Ltom on Wednesday, July 26, 2000 - 03:10 am: Edit

Baking powder added in small quantities to recipes may be for browning/colour--like in cookies.

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