Scones made with Laban in lieu of cream or buttermilk
There are some foods that oblige you to take a brief respite from a chaotic day. The scone is one of them.
Not surprisingly, I first discovered great scones while living in London. I had always been a fan of the scone’s more rustic American cousin, the buttermilk biscuit. But these were often used to sandwich sausage/eggs/cheese and consumed on-the-go. The scone demands a bit more attention — a sit down, with a cup of tea, a close friend and good conversation.
Scones usually only have 5-7 ingredients, but depending on their combination, the results can vary from delicate and airy to something that vaguely resembles a hockey puck.
I experimented with several scone recipes, and though the classic Cream Scones is most decadent, it may not be the best for your waistline. A great recipe for this scone can be found on the Joy of Baking website.
I have developed a sort of English-American-Emirati hybrid with the “Laban Scone.” Laban is a yogurt drink that is a perfect substitute for buttermilk, (the liquid left behind after churning cream to butter), which is difficult to find in the UAE. Some baking recipes suggest adding a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to full-fat milk to “sour” it if buttermilk is unavailable. Although this mimics the tartness found in buttermilk products, I feel that the end result still lacks body and texture. Using laban in the scones keeps them moist while providing enough leavening to make them light.
Here is the recipe, it only takes about 20 minutes to complete. However, the scones require much longer to be enjoyed.
- 350 grams cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons golden granulated sugar
- 85 g butter, cut into small pieces
- 180 ml container of Laban
- 1 tsp of vanilla
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F./220 degrees C.
Line a baking sheet with silicone or parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar and place in food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix the vanilla into the laban, and then add the laban mixture into the processor. Pulse again until the mixture just barely comes together. Do not overmix at this stage because you will get a tough scone.
Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to get the mixture together. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch and cut into rounds with a pastry cutter. Place on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes until light golden brown on top.