Friday, May 1, 2015

Goodbye Bakery and Yogurt Scones

Sad news in the neighborhood: the much beloved Eugene City Bakery will be closing this Sunday May 3, having been evicted by a new owner of the building. DeeAnn Hall's bakery has been a cornerstone of the community and her neighborhood commitment was instrumental in launching the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market five years ago. The loss of this welcoming haven for morning rendezvous and afternoon pick me ups will leave a deep void in the neighborhood. And nowhere on earth could one find a better marionberry scone.

This Mother's Day, we'll be left baking our own scones, and so I'm sharing this recipe for yogurt scones that I tried recently from Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini (an authority on baking with yogurt). The dough is quite easy to work with, and I slipped in some Lonesome Whistle Farm corn flour for a bit of extra flavor. We made them plain, served with creme fraiche and jam. Maybe next weekend we'll try layering in some frozen berries, but it won't be the same as ECB's. Their departure is a sad loss for the neighborhood.

makes eight scones
220 grams (1 2/3 cup) flour (I used 1/3 cup corn flour)
25 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
55 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
125 ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt (not fat-free)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk (not fat-free)
Your choice of flavoring (optional)
2 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground spice of your choice
1 teaspoon finely grated citrus zest
2 to 3 tablespoons finely diced dried fruits
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped nuts
2 teaspoons orange flower water
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped or grated chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. If you're using vanilla extract, spices, or citrus zest, add them in now.

3. Dice the butter and blend it into the dry ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter, until no visible lump of butter remains.

4. Stir in the yogurt, 2 tablespoons milk, and any dried fruits, nuts, orange flower water, or chopped chocolate you want to use.

5. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead gently just a few times to form a ball. Handle the dough as lightly as you can and avoid overmixing, or the scones will be tough.

6. Pat the dough into a round, about 12 cm in width and 3 cm in thickness (about 5 inches in width and 1 inch in thickness). Brush the top with the remaining teaspoon milk and sprinkle with sugar.

7. Slice into 8 wedges with a knife or dough cutter.

8. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, giving them a little space to expand.

9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the scones are set and nicely golden.

10. Serve warm, with an assortment of spreads, such as butter, clotted cream, jam, or honey.

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