Saturday, January 10, 2009

Olive Oil Carrot Scones, or A Happy Accident

Ever since happening across the Carrot-Rosemary Scones recipe at C&Z I have been aching to try it. I even had the chickpea flour, but I also had some levain I wanted to use up. Strike one: chickpea flour has gone rancid...and after the barrage of holiday baking, I have pretty much exhausted all of my "interesting" flours. But I had semolina...not all that "interesting" but moreso than all-purpose flour, so I continued to pursue the recipe. So far, I've found that you can modify just about any recipe in order to use levain (to use 1 cup levain, substitute for 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup liquid). But this recipe (I was making a half-batch for our family's dinner) only requires a small amount of liquid to help bind the dough together, so that part of the plan was challenged as well, strike two (almost). I didn't have parmesan, but did have a nice firm white cheddar, which actually worked quite well paired with the carrots and the rosemary.

But the real "oops" of this endeavor occurred when I started putting it all together. I measured out the levain into a bowl first, then the dry was I now supposed to cut the butter into the wet, floppy dough with any success? Having discovered a local olive oil that is divine I opted to substitute the olive oil for the butter and approach the whole thing from a batter bread perspective. I'm not sure if this removes them from the "scone" category or not, but I don't think it matters what you call them--they were delicious! And honestly the dough was manageable enough to make drop-scones out of them. By omitting the butter and cream (via the liquid from the levain) they are also a bit healthier as well. If you don't have levain on hand, you can revert to the original recipe for flour and liquid quantities. I got 8 palm-sized scones from this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup levain (sourdough starter), refreshed
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup semolina flour (although I think the chickpea flour would be excellent too!)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2-3/4 cup finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese (parmesan, romano, sharp cheddar, or crumbled chevre would be great)
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed lightly
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder or 1 Tbs prepared fine mustard such as Dijon
Combine all ingredients and stir briefly with a fork, just until combined. I never bother with patting and cutting biscuits or scones, and this recipe might be a bit too messy to do so; drop by spoonful onto baking sheet (or however big you want to make them--mine were about a 1/4-cup worth per scone). Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F.

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