Potato and Olive Scones
Tonight witnessed a major victory for me in my kitchen. I’ve tried to bake maybe ten times before in my life, (not including your box cake or cupcake mix) and saying that all ten times resulted in utter disaster would be putting it mildly. Flour everywhere, eggs on the ceiling, burnt “bread” …awful stuff really. Well, I’ll be starting culinary school here in about twenty days, and one of the classes I’m going to have to take is baking. I don’t want to have to learn how to bake at school, so this last week I’ve had a renewed interest in my oven. After a miserable defeat on Sunday with Irish (no yeast) bread, and determined to finally figure out how to bake something anything, I armed myself with the proper accoutrements of baking today at the market. Well sort of. I don’t keep milk in the house, so I ended up with some dehydrated milk flakes which on initial inspection smelled and tasted just as gross as real milk, so I figured it would work. I got some yeast, and some eggs and more flour and came home ready to make some baking magic. And I’ll be damned if it didn’t work! I don’t know if it’s a fluke or what, but I’m enjoying one of these delicious olive and potato scones, warm from the oven as I write this.
Little chunks of potato, salty bits of olive and woody fresh rosemary permeate every bite into one of these savory little gems. It only took about an hour including baking time and If it’s easy enough for me to pull off, then anyone can do it!
Adapted from Bay Books Ultimate Kitchen Companion.
Assemble the following:
- 8 OZ potatoes, peeled and cubed (Recipe did not specify, I used red potatoes)
- 1/2 C. Milk
- 2 Cups Self-Rising Flour (See Note.)
- 2 OZ butter, chopped and cold
- 4 TBSP Black olives
- 4 TBSP Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- 1/2 C. Water
- 1-2 TSP Olive Oil, for glazing.
(NOTE: I had only All Purpose Flour, but self rising can be made by sifting 1 Cup AP Flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Voila: Self Rising Flour. )
Do this with it:
- Preheat oven to 415°F (210°C)
- Boil potatoes until tender, mash with milk. Season with salt and pepper. Potatoes should be a little soupy.
- Sift flour into large mixing bowl. Slowly rub in the butter with your fingertips until all the butter is incorporated, and the flour has a crumbly texture.
- Add in the olives and rosemary, stir with balloon whisk until just combined.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add the potatoes and most of the water.
- Mix with a spatula until a soft dough is formed, turn out onto floured surface and knead briefly. It’s important not to work the dough too much, or the scones will turn out hard and doughy.
- Press out to a thickness of 3/4 Inch and cut into ten equal sections with a dough scraper. (See note 2)
- Roll the sections around in your hand a bit to round them off, and place on well greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Press the dough sections back down to 3/4 inch and brush tops with a little olive oil.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 415°F or until browned.
- Let cool five to ten minutes before serving with butter.
(NOTE 2: The recipe called for a two inch plain round cutter to be used to form the scones. I had none, so I improvised. According to the recipe, with a 3/4 inch thickness and a two inch round cutter, you can get 15 scones, I ended up with fifteen, albeit not perfectly round.)
Abstract and Notes:
- Next time I’ll reduce the amount of milk I put into the potatoes they turned out a little too soupy and I therefore had to add a little more flour to the dough after every thing was combined.
- I don’t have a rolling pin (yet) but wet fingertips and a gentle touch work almost as good as a rolling pin.
- I also don’t have a flour sifter, but I do have wire mesh colanders, which work just as well.